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Is this a positive opportunity?

(6 Posts)
freelancenewbie Tue 04-Jun-13 18:29:48

Currently negotiating the terms for a new freelance contract - I'll be offering my specialist skills to a company 200 miles away (I've posted previously about this re.IR35). Working from home, amounts to approximately 1 day per week. They want me to spend 1 day in the office with them every 6 weeks. They will pay approximately 75% of my travel costs (have agreed a set amount with them for this). I won't be getting a spectacularly great day rate but it's a great client for my newly formed company and I'm thinking (really hoping) that it could lead to great things (i.e. much higher rates) once the role is established and my children are at school etc. Would you do this - i.e. work for quite a low rate and commit to travelling 3hr train (and 3 hr return at end of the day) one day every 6 weeks? Funny how mumsnet works - even as I'm typing this I'm thinking it's quite a good opportunity - maybe I'll even enjoy my day trip out - hmmmm lovely train ride away from the children...! Thoughts please. Thanks.

MrsMargoLeadbetter Wed 05-Jun-13 08:50:32

I think that it sounds like a good starting contract - well done. It leaves with you 4 days (if you want to work full time) to seek/deliver other work.

Having a base of income is always helpful too, months ahead with no opportunities can be very depressing!

I also think a base contract can help you appear more successful than you are - for now - and gives you something to talk to potential clients about or to mention via social media etc. I recall the leader of a women's networking group near me opening her diary in front of me to book an appointment and it was completely empty for weeks. This probably sounds really shallow, but clients are looking for a successful consultant etc.

I think travelling every 6 weeks sounds manageable. Annoying that they won't pay 100% though, considering the only reason you are travelling is to be with them. Can you push them on that?

Not sure if you mean this client will be willing to pay more, but in my experience once you have set their expectations at x, they are unlikely to go for more. But if you mean it gives you a start which you can then build on with other clients I'd agree.

I'd personally go for it.

Good luck!

freelancenewbie Wed 05-Jun-13 19:46:12

Thanks MrsM, great post, has made me feel really positive & you've made some really useful points which I'd not considered. Negotiated better terms with them today. Have agreed to travel once in every 8 weeks (as opposed to 6) now with a starting time of 11.30a.m. (giving me plenty of time to travel by train and even squeeze in a nice cafe stop before I arrive!). Your points have really made me think - having a base contract is really important to me. I have a newly formed company so to start having dates to put in the diary is excellent - just provides me with something to talk about with other future clients. Also, I've learnt a lot from the process, mainly that I've accepted far too low a rate. However, on a positive note, without the low rate, I wouldn't have got the contract and I really feel that this contract will lead to others - purely because it will increase my own confidence which in turn will help bring in more work. I think you're right - this client is unlikely to up my day rate in the future now. I'll just have to focus on the non-monetary positives of this role - and there's quite a few. I'm excited about my journey into freelance - just hope it all works out!

WilsonFrickett Thu 06-Jun-13 17:08:33

Most regular work is good work! As Margot says, it gives you a good base to build from, experience, contacts, confidence, etc.

Although it seems you've learned a valuable lesson about your rates - see, you're learning from the experience already! grin

freelancenewbie Fri 07-Jun-13 10:03:12

Thanks. I'm so pleased I decided to go for it. Contracts signed & I'm now really excited! I have bits of work coming in from various small companies but this will be my first formal client. Feel like I've really launched now! Thanks for the positive vibes.

TracyK Fri 21-Jun-13 12:30:28

well done FN!
Just keep an eye on your rates. I have to try and keep all my rates for all clients the same - otherwise if I have a conflict/shortage of time - I would be tempted to do the more lucrative work first... iykwim.

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