PostHeaderIcon Are you planning for your freelance future? Why you must act now, before its too late!
PostDateIcon June 19th, 2012 | PostEditIcon Edit
Yesterday, I had the pleasure of attended a freelancing workshop with about 120 other freelancers. This workshop covered all kinds of subjects, from legal issues, to finding work, to working with agents and also finance. It was an ‘advanced’ workshop – all the subjects were based around the assumption you had been freelancing for a while, so the presentations and discussions covered the more advanced aspects (such as better haggling with agents/clients/bank managers, dealing with difficult legal issues, expansions, overseas markets, etc).
As part of the freelancing discussions around finance, there was a general question asked – who in the group was planning for the ‘end game’? The definition of an end game was left open – it could be retirement, or selling the business or emigration or even returning back to the (shud
Last week, my business made £1,180 from a customer without doing any work. All it took was for this particular customer to pay their invoices late. This one customer was over 80 days late in their payment, and the amount was large.
Last week I learnt an interesting fact from a friend who works in a contract placement agency. Of all the emails he receives in his in tray from people looking for placement in contract or freelance positions, he only ever looks at about 10%. Put it another way, 90% of people responding for a contract job fall at the first hurdle.
I am sure it has not escaped you that we are less than one month away from Christmas.
As a contractor, freelancer or small business owner, we have the advantage of needing gifts that can work both for us, and for our businesses. So if you are fed up with yet more socks, bath salts or wall calendars, can I suggest a business Christmas list which you may like to consider and pass on to those stuck for something to buy you?
I was looking at some trends recently for the self employed, and there has been a sharp increase in the weight of IT Workers, Americans and in particular, freelancers throughout the world.
Maybe it’s because we are all so busy working that we catch quick (but unhealthy) meals, or we don’t have time to exercise, or maybe it just goes with the territory. However, as we all know, weight problems can lead to other problems, which can lead to the inability to work, which then leads to a lack of money.
Business Partnerships can be great. If you can find another company that compliments you, the result can be business opportunities that are bigger than the sum of the individual parts. But, there can be one major problem with some partnerships – spec (free) work.I have worked in partnership with many other companies in the past. In each instance without exception, we have agreed who is the lead in the partnership, and the leader pays the other for their services. This works for me – we can still run the process as a partnership, but money is not an issue. Everybody knows where they stand.
As the saying goes, Business is Business. However, different businesses have different ways of doing business.What is typical for one company may be completely different for another. These differences can be exaggerated and highlighted when a freelancer or small business works with a larger company. Whilst a large business may be stuck in procedures, committees and rules, being a smaller more dynamic company means that we can make decisions and change direction in an instant.
I found myself in an interesting discussion the other day on profitability. To be specific, the discussion was centred around how much profit is enough? When you work on a project (be it a contract, or a freelance/small business ‘project’ for a customer), what is a typical profit % you should be happy with?
It never fails to amuse me when I read specifications for jobs (freelance or contract), or adverts for products or services, or even hear consultants talk about solutions. They are always chocked full of buzz words which mean nothing, but at the same time, scare me. Phrases such as State of the Art, or Cutting Edge or one from the USA; Bleeding Edge. My wife chuckles at the term used for soap products such as New and Improved – she points out, how can anything be both new and improved? – its one or the other.
Being a freelancer or small business owner can be a lonely occupation. Unless you are working with other freelancers on a project, at a customer site, or do some work in a public place, its very easy to spend entire days with no human contact other than electronic work emails. Its one of the things I do miss (its actually the only thing I miss) about being a permi in an office working for somebody else – the conversations with other people and the ability to bounce ideas around.