New to contracting - Freelancer to Contractor New to contracting - Freelancer to Contractor
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  1. #1

    Nervous Newbie

    docscot has no reputation

    Join Date
    Sep 2019

    Default New to contracting - Freelancer to Contractor

    Hi all,

    I'm new to the forum and contracting in general. I've tried searching for advice on this specific situation but came up short. I would love to hear your thoughts.

    Long story short, I have been freelancing/running a small company for the past five years. I mainly work in the domain of websites and platform integrations as a consultant/project manager. I usually work with ~10 clients at a time and do the lions share of the work (from meeting with clients, determining their needs, and running strategy workshops, through to drawing up project plans, and managing a team to deliver the project if requested). The best description of what I do is a mix between a product manager and a consultant.

    I've had a lot of success, won awards, and love some aspects of what I do. Most of my clients have been small/medium businesses, but I have worked on a fair few projects for major international organisations. When things have been really busy, I have hired in and managed a team of seven devs (contractors themselves funnily enough), but I mostly keep things tight around my own skillset.

    My situation now:
    Despite this, I am looking for a bit of a change. Being fully self-employed has its ups, but also a lot of downs. The working hours have taken a significant toll on my marriage and personal life, and I don't always get to do the "fun" part of my job (working with clients) because I need to worry about sales/marketing/HR.

    Enter contracting. Hopefully, it's a combination of the parts I like (working with a client quite intensively) and less of the parts I don't like. Plus, even though I bill £80/hr right now, only a portion of it is billable, so contracting potentially has big financial ups (even after factoring in IR35 changes).

    Guidance needed:
    1) Most of my experience is with medium-sized businesses, but contracts are generally with much larger organisations. Is making the jump going to be difficult?
    2) Moving from direct marketing/relationship building with clients to using recruiters is a bit daunting. Is there anything I need to look out for?
    3) I'm used to working from my own office with my own team, with few on-sites. Is this type of experience going to make it challenging to be hired or perform contract work?

    I've got excellent references and case studies of my work, so I know I can do a good job. It's whether or not those skills translate into larger organisations, and more importantly, into the type of contract roles people are looking to fill. Overall I think the potential change is really exciting, but I am apprehensive about the type of experience I have.

    Sorry about the wall of text. I've got too many questions for a single thread, and I don't expect full answers; even a small piece of advice is much appreciated.

    Thank you in advance.

  2. #2

    My post count is Majestic

    northernladuk is always on top

    northernladuk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009


    I think reading that I'd be looking at my business model again. 10 clients, big team if dwvs and you are only billing out at 80 per hour and only some of those hours?

    Something doesn't seem right there. Those numbers sound more like the start of a small consultancy which should be charging more than that. Maybe not with the first offering but once you are in and they want changes you should be fleecing them?

    I get the long hours as a small business owner but I would be hard pressed to give that up and become a bum on seat contractor on half the rate. I'd be looking back and seeing what you can do to make that work better for you rather than just becoming a glorified permie.

    In some cases you could be more but if you expect to be doing 9 to 5 on client site and you won't be disappointed. Anything else above that will be a bonus.

    We've a couple of guys that contract with a proper B2B model and have employees/subcontractors so hopefully they will help with their experience.
    'CUK forum personality of 2011 - Winner - Yes really!!!!

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