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General Chat Thread, Change of direction in General; Well, having moved from Schools IT into IT Course teaching/Networking I am now leaving my current post to take the ...
  1. #1

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    Change of direction

    Well, having moved from Schools IT into IT Course teaching/Networking I am now leaving my current post to take the brave steps of Self-Employment.

    As of Friday, I will be a self-employed IT Consultant/Contractor so if any of the schools in The Highlands, Moray or Aberdeenshire need an contractor for anything, feel free to give me a shout.

    Cheers,

    Rob Cowan
    Carrobes IT

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    DevilsAdvocate's Avatar
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    Best of luck to you!

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    contink's Avatar
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    Indeed... Having been self employed myself for 8 years now, I can well relate to the "eeek!"-ness of it all.

    Few tips:
    1. Get a decent accounts package and start using it from the get go
    2. Find a decent accountant and see if you can't get some quid pro quo
    3. Be realistic about your pricing... If you want a spreadsheet to help cost up a job let me know... An ex of mine helped me put it together and it makes you realise why £7 an hour is barely covering costs and where the money goes.

    Best of luck...

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    I'd be interested in this speadsheet contink.

    Cheers!

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    contink's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by plock View Post
    I'd be interested in this speadsheet contink.
    Ok...

    I'll sanitise my version, check the notes on it and upload it as an attachment for anyone interested... Probably be tomorrow..

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    Michael's Avatar
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    Best of luck from me too! I'm also self employed entering my second year and have no regrets. I work with far more people, administer more networks and most importantly, I'm earning a lot more money!

    I agree with contink's comments. Be realistic about pricing and remember that once a school like you and your services, it's a regular source of income and soon word gets around...
    I recently turned a network around in 3 months which was in need of some attention. I enjoy the challenges and the results!

    I agree also that an accountant is essential. We're all perfectly capable of performing mathematical calculations, however my accountant knows the Inland Revenue like the back of his hand! It's also one less worry for when my accounts are due.

    As for keeping accounts, I created an MS Excel spreadsheet. I enter values and totals for each column change accordingly with formulas in place. It's not too difficult to setup to be honest.

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    Brill - thanks 'contink'!

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    contink's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael View Post
    As for keeping accounts, I created an MS Excel spreadsheet. I enter values and totals for each column change accordingly with formulas in place. It's not too difficult to setup to be honest.
    I've been using that system for a while now but because I was selling some services (PHP coding) to a USA client, as well as having Paypal and other income streams it's gotten to the point that my accountant provided some figures of her own. Time spent with my spreadsheet = X cost and time spent with a decent accounts package = Y cost...

    Funnily enough I saw her point when X was around 3 times more than Y... Can't think why

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    Marry an accountant. They earn good money so you don't have to worry so much and you get your accounts done FOC.

    They're a b*gger to live with though. Mind you, she just said to me "Don't speak to me like I'm one of the kids at school!!!"

    Best of luck with the new venture.

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    Thanks for your support everyone

    Contink, I would be interested in seeing the spreadsheet. I await its arrival with baited breath... :P And as for your advice, spot on. I've got my accounts/crm stuff sorted - Microsoft Office Accounts Pro (blagged a genuine free version) and Business Contact Manager, both integrated together. I've also got a decent accountant, recommended by the IT company I'm going to be contracting for.

    Mostly, I'm looking at contracting for local IT companies (I have one main client that I'll be doing a lot of work for) but I still keep in touch with my old school employers so I may get some work from there too.

    Regards,

    Rob.

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    contink's Avatar
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    Right... for all those interested I've cleaned up the worksheet a little and removed the US$ conversion side of things as that's a bit hinky.

    Quick guide on use:
    1. The input boxes are coloured so you know which ones you can edit (everything else is locked so you can't fubar the formulae)
    2. You'll want to set your rates (there are 3 possible) in the yellow boxes
    3. Change your markup in the box provided (To use a discount just set a negative value)... This will add/remove a percentage to all your expenses and labour
    4. The main area to spend time on is the "Costs" area... Work out what you spend (or intend to spend) on things like paper, software, training, etc... and put the relevant values in the appropriate boxes
    5. You'll also want to work out input your intended working hours so the system knows how to split your costs properly.


    Overall, all the system does is provide you with a way to include all the fixed and variable costs you incur, running your business along with the direct costs you incur as part of a specific job/task. Your labour soon becomes a much smaller part of this but gets thrown in and of course there's a profit margin to include because you have to make a profit and actually live off something!


    You'll probably be shocked, surprised and horrified when you first use the sheet but it soon show why you need to be charging £20+ an hour and not £7!

    Cheers..
    Attached Files Attached Files

  12. Thanks to contink from:

    plock (20th March 2008)

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    i wish i had the balls to do something like that
    but the missus took em off me and won't let me have em back

    but seriously, i hope it all goes to plan
    i'll be the one turning green with envy

    neb

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    contink's Avatar
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    There is one small problem with working from home as Oscar (pictured) has just reminded me...
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Change of direction-img_0205.jpg   Change of direction-img_0206.jpg  

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    Sirbendy's Avatar
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    Hah, yes..Hex does the same to me. Usually the laptops though, as they're toasty.

    Jem want's to adopt a ginger one as well now.

    Could be worse..ever had a blue screen of death caused by this?


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    thats one way of sorting out a mouse problem

    neb
    i'll get my coat

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