Received a freelancing offer.Any advice what to be aware of?

not_my_usual_nicknot_my_usual_nick Posts: 2Member
edited 2012-03-16 in General Chat
Sorry, this is something I can't discuss under my usual nick for obvious reasons...

NAV Gold Partner in a European country with a generally good economic growth and business culture offering to pay me 60% of what they charge for a day, on a daily basis - that would easily double my salary (I'm working as a NAV consultant as an employee now), plus they don't require me to live there, rather 1-2 weeks there (accomodation provided), 2-3 weeks at home. Sounds really incredible. All this through a UK-based recruiting agency. They even provide an umbrella firm that does the billing for me so I don't have to start my own company. Sounds too good to be true. Note: I speak the local language fairly fluently but not perfectly: for end-user training OK, for discussing strategic stuff etc. maybe not. Plus, there is a strong local accent/dialect I would find hard to understand.

How do such things work? Is there be anything to be aware, can there be any trap? I mean if someone offers you twice your salary plus the opportunity to work from your own living room half of the time there must be a catch to it, what do you think? Please give some advice. Note: I don't have a mortgage nor a family to support so if the money turns out to be less, that's not a problem. What would be a problem if the whole experience would turn out to be nasty, uncomfortable, a bad experience etc. etc.

So what could go wrong? Stuff I can think of:

a) Perhaps it is not guaranteed they can sell me 22 days a month. No problem. I can make a living of 10 day a month and then had a nice stress-free year.

b) The opposite: they can afford to pay so much money only because it is really really hard work, overtime, weekends. No problem - if it is paid. Do you think I could charge on an hourly basis and with extra for overtime and weekends?

c) If I charge on a daily basis will I be expected to work absolutely lightning fast and 200% focused like never log on to mibuso during the day? Or will it probably be accepted that I will simply record these minutes as unchargable and that's OK?

d) Anything else? Any contractual trap possible? Can they not pay me if the customer doesn't pay or can they force me to work fixed-price and thus many days unchargeable if they too have a fixed-price project? Or really what to be aware of, what could be a trap?

e) I'm like most NAV consultants a good developer but just-coding bores me. I like to do at least 50% consulting, preferably more. With less than native local language skills plus an opportunity to work from home, do you think I will be forced into a just-coding position, doing boring stuff like developing interfaces all day and none of the exciting consulting like analyzing a business problem and finding out how to resolve it with minimum amount of customization?

f) Am I supposed to get a good laptop for myself and use my laptop for work as a freelancer at a NAV partner? I only have a desktop PC at the moment.

g) Anything else?

Comments

  • Alex_ChowAlex_Chow Posts: 5,035Member
    Recruiters usually will promise a lot more than they can deliver. Get everything in writing and get some guarantees before you take that leap of faith.
  • DenSterDenSter Posts: 8,045Member
    Personally I would never do a 'daily' rate, I would always go for hourly, nobody gets shafted that way. I was offered a daily rate once and after asking some more questions they had an unrealistic expectation, which they choose to call "work ethic". What they wanted basically came down to a 40% discount based on my hourly rate, because they expected to get at least 50 hours of focused work from me, plus conference calls and meetings were not billable. They want a freelancer then an hourly rate is the best way to go, plus every second that you spend on the job has to be billable, including analysis/design/meeting/phone time.

    If daily is the only way they want to play then you have to set the right expectations for both sides and come to an agreement as to what is reasonable to expect as far as number of hours goes. If they want to cap the amount of money they want to spend per day then it is only reasonable that you can cap the amount of time that you spend for them. If working 10-12 hour days is acceptable for you then no problem of course, but I'd then look for a second assignment to work on.

    Of course you have to be reasonable, you have to provide value for the money. A passing thought while in the shower is not really working, but if you are watching tv at night and you pause the movie to write down a thought you have about your customer's design is definately billable. Travel time itself is probably not really billable, but writing up functional requirements on the plane is definately work and should be billed.

    Browsing mibuso should of course not be done while you are on the clock, unless you are researching something for the job.
  • DenSterDenSter Posts: 8,045Member
    Oh and as long as you are freelancing, NEVER ask for overtime, sick days, health insurance, tax issues. Freelancers are independent contractors, hassle free. You provide a service for a rate, and that is all that is usually part of the deal. The only thing you can ask for is a rate (x amount of money per time unit) and expense reimbursement. If you want overtime and stuff like that, you better find a regular job.
  • rhpntrhpnt Posts: 688Member
    Freelancing means you are a one man company and as such taking over ALL responsibilities that come with the job. Everything you asked here you should ask or clarify with you agency or even better directly with the customer. Having the job terms in written is good but contacting the customer directly and make a decision based on a personal meeting is better. There is always a chance that the job turns out bad but it will allways turn out the way YOU present/sell yourself!
  • matttraxmatttrax Posts: 2,309Member
    Just remember, being a contractor you can be terminated at any time. I guess it's not really any different than a normal job, but you do have to think about it. With a partner, you hopefully always have a steady stream of work coming in from a lot of different customers. With an end user (like I work for) you have to think about what happens when that customer doesn't need any more modifications. You have to make sure that the company really needs a person on staff and that they aren't just trying to get cheaper labor for a little while.
  • andreeais22andreeais22 Posts: 1Member
    DenSter wrote:
    Oh and as long as you are freelancing, NEVER ask for overtime, sick days, health insurance, tax issues. Freelancers are independent contractors, hassle free. You provide a service for a rate, and that is all that is usually part of the deal. The only thing you can ask for is a rate (x amount of money per time unit) and expense reimbursement. If you want overtime and stuff like that, you better find a regular job.

    I want to work as freelancer to because I think it's more profitable to work per project than to work full time at a company. You have to be caureful that the company is credibile and you'll get your money in time because otherwise you'll loose both your time and money with working there.
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