When you’re working as a freelancer or as a contractor and consultant in the IT sector, you’re granted a level of freedom that many contracted workers simply do not have. You’re able to work on the projects that inspire you, and you’re able to take time off work to suit you and your family. It will be easier for you to manage your time and organize your day just like you’ve always dreamed of. This option has a lot of good and positive sides, but so many things are different than getting a regular 9-to-5 job in this profession.
However, there are specific challenges to this line of work that you are surely aware of: things like trying to drum up work in slow periods and balancing your books on your own. In this article, you’ll learn how to work best as an IT consultant in the modern world. This article can educate you about how to start working as an IT freelancer or contractor, so you can be the best between your competitors.
You only need to follow these 5 easy tricks and tips and start your career today:
There’s no doubt that your biggest challenge, as is the case for all freelancers and self-employed individuals, is simply finding work. This is especially true in times of lockdown and economic downturn when firms and individuals traditionally guard their assets and feel reluctant to spend money on services and upgrades.
Nonetheless, this is all about using your guile and your contacts to find work where others might languish without it. You need to make the most of your existing clients by ensuring that you maintain a great relationship with them. Feel free to offer discounts to your best customers when times are tough. Meanwhile, using your contact matrix, your social media profiles, and simple online advertising can help you drum up business during quiet periods.
Don’t forget to update your freelance portfolio and LinkedIn profile, so the recruiters can easily find you and contact you if yours and their conditions meet. It’s always nice to have a recommendation letter from your previous employer or client, so you can prove you are eligible for the job they offer. Many times, these HR agents are looking for a specific bunch of skills and knowledge, so you should mention every experience, skill, or course that is making you a good worker.
One of the biggest risks of going it alone as a contractor, consultant, or self-employed professional in the IT sector is that you may find yourself on the wrong end of a court case. Without a company to protect you, you’ll be lumbered with the legal fees, which can lead to significant difficulties down the line if the fees are sky-high.
As such, it’s incredibly important that you find general liability at Next Insurance to support you and give you peace of mind while you work as an IT consultant. This sort of insurance will cover you for a range of difficulties – and it is worth reading all of the small print to know exactly what protection you’re paying for. Who knows, this provision might be the difference between bankruptcy and financial stability in the future.
Don’t skip this step, because you can’t be sure you won’t need some professional help soon, or you’ll get into an argument or dispute, and you should have legal protection behind you.
Accounting and Finances
Many self-employed people find the world of finance and tax to be fairly flummoxing and tend to avoid dealing with these issues until they become urgent, like at the end of the tax year. Not only does this leave you with a colossal amount of work to do in a short space of time, but it could also lead you to make mistakes, which could cost you if the taxman comes knocking.
As such, it’s well worth getting into the habit of accounting for your expenses and your incoming payments each week, at a regular time, in order to keep on top of your cash flow. This will give you some idea of your financial health week on week, while also helping you set aside the right amount of tax money by the end of the year.
Precise your rate
Your clients need to clearly know what are your rates, so both of you don’t lose time with useless interviews and meetings. On the other hand, they should list their budget for the job they offer, so if it doesn’t fit your rates, and you can know if it’s worth applying. As an independent contractor and consultant, you need to calculate your rate following the average salary for your position in a company, but also add the hourly fees, or create a pricing package depending on the client’s requirements.
Sign a contract and get a deposit
When you work through a licensed freelance platform, the client should deposit the funds, and after you finish your task, they need to approve it or ask for some additional corrections if it’s not done completely properly. If you choose an hourly rate, the platform is processing the contract automatically. If you need to work for a company that is close to you, but they need nomads, it’s always a good idea to have a meeting and sign a contract, where every term is listed from both sides. That will make you sure that you’ll get paid on time, and they are sure you will finish the task until the due date.
Many freelancers and consultants choose to ask for a deposit, at least 20%, or even 50% of the sum in advance, so they are sure the client will pay them for the completed job. That’s a nice idea, especially if the other side is good with that. In every other case, a legal contract is a better option, because it’s usually verified with the legal department of the company you are working for.
There you have it: some key tips for IT consultants in the modern world. You only need to follow the basic rules of this market, so you can stay competitive with the other freelancers and consultants who offer similar services.