Image anything before you touch it.
I am going to start advertising my 'services' for private jobs outside of my normal working hours to earn a few more pennies. I have thought up prices, done a few leaflets to push through letterboxes. Ive got different tools for the jobs already.
Is there anything else I need to do before I 'take the plunge'? Im sure other people here do the same and I would like your thoughts about this.
one thing I am a bit unsure of is do I need insurance? or is it a bit overkill? What if something went t*ts up? Do you get customers to sign anything before work is started?
Image anything before you touch it.
To do it properly you should have liability insurance (incase things go boobies up), go self-employed and then you just need to keep around 30% for tax and the other 70% can be owners drawers (e.g, you can take the money out).
Make sure you agree prices, agree work to be done - then people can't be upset if they get something different.
Insurance isn't that expensive, best to get some - pretty sure it's public liability insurance you need.
Last edited by dwhyte85; 7th October 2010 at 06:05 PM.
Another vote here for imaging the hard drive before you start.
You have to let HM Revenue and customs know as well, they'll want £31.20 a quarter from you for National Insurance.
Ensure the contract work / moonlighting doesn't interfere with the day job. If you've been up until 4am restoring a fscked server, $day_job isn't really getting their money's worth.
Set your prices at a level that will deter cheapskates.
They haven't backed it up. Ever. Even if they tell you they have. Act accordingly until you have test restored a known good backup.
This goes double if they're an SME:
"Your array on that *points to server* is toast due to the recent tea incident - I've brought Sage up on $other_server until the new parts arrive, can you dig out the backup tapes so I can restore the data?"
"What backup tapes?"
"The ones for that *points to tape drive in tea-drenched server*"
"Oh, we've never used that......"
If they're a business:
Make sure they understand the implications of work done/agreed before you do it.
Make sure they understand you're still going to charge them for an hour minimum if they call you out "because nothing's working" when they've just managed to kick the powerstrip out of the wall socket / UPS.
Document your work, give them a copy and get it signed.
If you take down $foo at 7pm to fix something, make sure they've told you about anything (like scheduled batch jobs) that needs to run beforehand.
Carry round cards/details of a decent data recovery firm.
Last edited by pete; 7th October 2010 at 06:28 PM.
@dwhyte85 Not sure what you're asking, but i'm going from personal experience. I rang HM revenue, informed them i worked in a school and informed them i wanted to work for myself at the same time. They send me an invoice for my NI every quarter.
Did they tell you what band you're on difinity? I wondered whether your job + self-employed work defines the band or is it just for the self employed work, I haven't yet paid mine so it's extra interesting to me... I may have more money left after paying NI than I had thought
No they didn't tell me and i didn't ask, i have recently questioned my tax code with the business manager here at the school. It seems that my code here has changed and my tax allowance is now on my self employment. It should mean i get a nice cheque back when i do my annual tax return. When speaking to the HM revenue lady i asked if i had to inform the school, and they said no it is completely seperate.
I don't know what my tax allowance is but i'm hoping if i pay a small amount of tax, i might even get a refund.
I only registered in January so haven't done a full years trading yet.
@dwhyte85 - There are no bands for Class 2 NIs. You pay £31.20 no matter what as a self employed person, however if your earnings are below the threshold (£5,075) then you can apply for an SEE certificate to exempt you from paying Class 2 NIs.
I think you're getting confused with income tax. Yes your PAYE income and self employed income are added together. Speak to an accountant they may be able to save you even more tax on your self employed earnings.
Thanks everyone. Im defo looking into public liability. To be honest, the jobs that im gonna do arent going to be major rebuilds of servers, I am aiming at the small jobs in peoples homes.
i have done a bit of this over the last 10 years or so , biggest problem with doing home computers is the "my computer is going slow" Two seconds and you find out Limewire or another such service is on there usssually the teenage kids the things full of spyware and other nasties. 2times when in a teachers home i found porn and its difficult to bring it up ( no pun intended) they might want it there you never know . In one of these was in a real dilema as it was illegal and teacher worked in bording school so felt i had to report it to to the Head teacher. Got very serious ( in the end was not them but virus ) but made me very wary of who i did this work for.
Admiral208 (8th October 2010)
Has anyone ever had anything go wrong whilst doing a private job? Does it happen often? What were the repercussions? How did it get sorted?
Depends on how much you earn extra through the job as to whether you pay additional NI, if you earn under 3k a year from your 'extra curricular' you will be able to complete a self-exemption form by sending a letter to HM Rev declaring your earnings and how you do not meet the threshold. Wise if you are starting up and do not have a huge customer base, as of yet.
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