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Whether to freelance ?

(8 Posts)
PenguinOpera Mon 25-Jun-12 12:45:40

Hi there I have placed this on another board also, but as there is more traffic here thought I'd tap the knowledge of all you wonderful people who frequent this board also. Here goes:

Hi there - this is pretty much what I am thinking about doing. I have a wealth of secretarial knowledge from previous jobs so am well suited to this I think.

The question is - how to set myself up?

I am thinking:

Letterhead/stationery
Website
Flyers/Letters touting business and rates - addressed direct to the personnel manager of local companies
?? Assuming I would need PI insurance?
Will deal with my own tax and NI
Would seek to undercut - slightly - temping rates of local agencies
?? Wondering if I should set myself up as a Company via companies House??
May well branch out and recruit / place reliable friends if jobs come flooding in and would therefore take a cut of their rate - but how much??

I'm just wondering if anyone else on here has done this already and would appreciate their advice and opinions as to possible pitfalls etc.

I thank you in advance.

lizlemonhead Mon 25-Jun-12 13:31:18

I think you should just do it. I have no experience in your sort of business though so not much practical help but I do have my own business.
It strikes me you are talking about 2 seperate things firstly being a temp on your own terms seems like a good idea but don't know much about that line of work and if succesfull starting your own recruitment co - again why not plenty other people do it.
So just do it and good luck!

PenguinOpera Mon 25-Jun-12 14:42:30

Thanks for the encouragement.

Yes two separate things but intertwined as if I get a double booking rather than let one client down I sub contract the job out to (fellow school mums who I trust) and take a percentage of her fee.

Surely that makes good business sense. At the same time I'd be helping school mums in a career break back into that ladder.

GailTheGoldfish Mon 25-Jun-12 14:56:47

if you are thinking about sub contracting you should check with your insurers to clarify whether they are covered under your policy or not, and think carefully about who is liable if they mess up - you or them? I wonder whether that sort of thing might be a little further down the line for you - first, it would be worth making contact with companies you could work for, introducing yourself, building a relationship etc - build the foundations before looking to grow. I would think it best to spend moderatly on promotional materials at first, wait until you have a reliable income before really investing on that kind of stuff. Probably best to find a way to speak to them directly either in person or on the phone rather than just doing a mail out.

Just some thoughts but good luck - once you become your own boss you will never go back! it's the best!

HmmThinkingAboutIt Mon 25-Jun-12 14:57:52

Do you have a local business chamber?

We regularly deal with new sets up who have been referred our local business chamber. They offer advice on setting up and can refer you to other local businesses who do all the things you need help with (eg printers) and are very good at giving you all the information you need. I think there can be a small membership fee, but its worth it for the professional support they offer.

Certainly our local business chamber is very helpful - plus they are good for helping with networking to get your name out there.

PenguinOpera Mon 25-Jun-12 16:56:18

Thank you everyone for your thoughts on this - I'm off to do some planning!

emma123456 Mon 03-Aug-15 08:26:35

Talk to an accountant and get the business structure and book keeping set up right from the beginning. Most accountants will meet you for free to talk about the basics.

TremoloGreen Mon 03-Aug-15 11:08:38

Freelancing is great. Always good to work the contacts you already have before cold contacting people though.

Self assessment is very easy and you can do it yourself if you are operating as a sole trader. in fact if u pm me an email address, I can send you my excel template for book keeping.

Setting up a company is only worth it if you can save money in tax by paying yourself through the company. So if you're a higher rate tax payer usually. Again, it's very easy to set up the company but you may well need an accountant at that point to manage your tax affairs and pay roll. You also have to het clued up about IR35 legislation... I have an outside company who check all my client contracts for IR35 compliance for a fixed subscription per year.

Most firms will require PI as part of a standard freelancer contract but check what's standard in your industry. I have mine through Hiscox and they are good.

If you subcontract, you may want to offer friends slightly more than they would get paid per hour ad an employee but take the rest as you will incur the expenses in running the co and also time in checking their work if it's going out under your brand.

Good luck!

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