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Going out on your own.

By sjohnson175 ·
Who's done it? I'd love any advice you can give.

In addition to my "regular" job I've picked up some side work maintaining and modifying a VB6 app for a small one-main network services business.

He says he loves my work and has several contacts also needing similar services.

Since I'm quite new at going it alone I'm working dirt cheap ($25/hr) and that way I don't feel quite so guilty when my consulting work has to take a backseat to the rest of my life.

But, if I extrapolate from this one word-of-mouth gig and what I hear from him about other opportunities tell me there might be a market here to grow a business of my own. Paricularly since VB6 isn't my only skill, just my strongest.

So, how does one go about learning to move beyond being an IT geek to running the whole show yourself? How do I figure out what a more realistic rate is?

Any good books worth reading besides "Consulting for Dummies"?

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a very good secretary

by avid In reply to Going out on your own.

i have recently been thrust into a position of running a business in the place of my boss who was in a horrible motorcycle accident. although she was the boss, she also did all of the paper work such as billing, scheduling, ordering, and so on. now that i am doing this myself, i am just about going crazy. my suggestion is, if you can afford it, hire a good secretary to assit you with these chores. it is a much bigger job than most people think. it will free you to do the job you are best at and it will save you from future headaches over taxes, billing and the like. i think the actual consulting portion will pretty much take care of it self after 3 or 4 good contracts.

good luck

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I told my wife that's in the marriage vows :)

by sjohnson175 In reply to a very good secretary

Seriously, she's good and willing to help.

What I'm seeking advice on is making the transition from employee to business owner.

Due to some financial stupidity on my part I need at least 2 more years (5 would be better) of regular paychecks the size I get from my "regular job".

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Well it really depends on what you are going to be doing.

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to Going out on your own.

But there are a few basic things that you'll need to consider.

Insurance for any damage that you may do while on-site or injury you may cause.

You'll also need to look at the current rules & regulations for Self Employed people where you live as these vary from place to place you may be required to register the business and pay fees to various Government departments.

You'll need a very good accountant as well so you do not find yourself in a position of going broke when you are required to pay tax the first time.

But the most important thing you can do is sit down and write out a Business Plan and stick to it. Most places who fail have not done this and think that they will have a ready made market and it doesn't exist so you'll need to do your homework and make sure that there is a market for what it is that you wish to do, what you will need to charge for this work, how many customers you'll need to have a steady cash flow and so on.

You can try the following URL for a starting point in constructing your Business Plan.

http://www.planware.org/

Col

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You need yiour current customer

by Tony Hopkinson In reply to Going out on your own.

to recomend you to his peers. You need to find out waht else you could usefully do for those customers.
I've hgone back to full permanent employment for job satisfaction reasons recently but I kept my self in work as a software engineering consultant for about six years.
Start small build carefully and never take on a job you aren't confident about is my best advice.

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if you want

by korgmeister In reply to Going out on your own.

i suggest you could set up a website and start advertise it! you should tell people what skills you have, qualification, charges rate, location, etc etc.. print out your business card and so and so..
since you have the skills and knowledge, you just need to let people know what you can do for them,
now you have your own business.

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I'm going to work on a website

by sjohnson175 In reply to if you want

It should also demostrate some of what I can do. Perhaps even have some downloadable demo apps.

It's going to be a slow process since it'll be in my "spare time" for now.

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