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Venturing into contracting*Advice appreciated*

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    Venturing into contracting*Advice appreciated*

    I’m going through a crossroad in my career at the moment which is the reason I’ve signed up to this board having lurked on it for a while.

    I work within the Project Management world and have been working in this field for more than five years. My current role is as a Portfolio Manager and I’ve been in my current role for close to a year and half. I’m wanting to move and feel it is a good time to leave soon (3 months notice) as there is a restructure in progress and my boss is due to be made redundant and the general feel is something I don’t want and kind of cements the reasons I want to start working on a contracting basis.

    My plan is to hand in my notice at the end of May which will mean my ability to take a contract will happen during start – mid September when the HR slumber lifts, I recruit contractors and know how the HR department works in / out. The ideal situation for me would be that my interim manager puts me down on Garden Leave and I get paid without necessarily having to come in which is a possibility.

    The contracts I see within my skillset (and for the ones I’ve recruited for) come in at around £400-500.

    I’ve consulted through SJD Accountancy who have steered me down the route of opening up my company just before September hits to avoid any fees/charges of leaving a company dormant which is the advice I’ve received from others. They also hold a package (most expensive one) which incorporates a lot of great Accounting services which includes IPSE membership and having done the napkin math, works out as a very comprehensive deal.

    I would greatly appreciate if you foresee any gaping holes in my decision and anything I should be considering which I have not.

    #2
    Personally, I only set up my limited company and engaged an accountancy firm once I had a contract agreed. Doesn't take long - the most protracted parts for me were getting the company bank account created (a couple of days) and getting VAT registered (a few weeks). Don't think there's any reason to pay an accountant until you need to.
    I'd also compare lower cost offerings, both those from SJD and from other accountancy firms. SJD aren't a bad option but are not cheap, and it's perfectly possible to run effectively with one of the cheaper options.

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by Lambert Simnel View Post
      I'd also compare lower cost offerings, both those from SJD and from other accountancy firms. SJD aren't a bad option but are not cheap, and it's perfectly possible to run effectively with one of the cheaper options.
      Do you have any cheaper options to hand? Happy to take a DM if confidential...

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by Lambert Simnel View Post
        Personally, I only set up my limited company and engaged an accountancy firm once I had a contract agreed. Doesn't take long - the most protracted parts for me were getting the company bank account created (a couple of days) and getting VAT registered (a few weeks). Don't think there's any reason to pay an accountant until you need to.
        I'd also compare lower cost offerings, both those from SJD and from other accountancy firms. SJD aren't a bad option but are not cheap, and it's perfectly possible to run effectively with one of the cheaper options.
        ERmmm...

        SJD are a bad option. Look elsewhere, such as the regular contributors on here. And price isn't a consideration really; good accountants save you money, bad ones don't (my last one cost me several k's of overpaid taxes after I'd left them having got fed up with their ever deteriorating service).

        VAT registration isn't an immediate concern either; you can do that retrospectively in the first year.

        And can we assume you've read the guides on this site and downloaded IPSE's Guide to Freelancing? There is an awful lot you don't know you don't know.
        Blog? What blog...?

        Comment


          #5
          What exactly are you going to sell yourself as? 5 years in the PM world with only 1.5 years as a Portfolio Manager seems very much on the slim side experience wise to say the least. You are going to get trumped by many many other more experienced people.

          Is this experience straight from Uni which negates a couple of years as well?

          I'd say the gaping hole is in your skills you plan on selling.
          Last edited by northernladuk; 11 April 2018, 12:59.
          'CUK forum personality of 2011 - Winner - Yes really!!!!

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by northernladuk View Post
            What exactly are you going to sell yourself as? 5 years in the PM world with only 1.5 years as a Portfolio Manager seems very much on the slim side experience wise to say the least. You are going to get trumped by many many other more experienced people.

            Is this experience straight from Uni which negates a couple of years as well?

            I'd say the gaping hole is in your skills you plan on selling.
            The OP said more than 5 years.

            Yes for many PM roles you are up against established contractors.
            At the same time it can depend on specific sector experience / knowledge which plays a big part and also depends on rate expectations.

            PM contract rates can vary and it maybe that you cant fight for the mid or bigger PM rates until you have had a couple of successful contracts under your belt. So I wouldn't focus on the rate so much - just getting that first contract.

            Keep checking the jobsites and speak to a couple of agents in advance of handing in your notice.

            Good Luck Dhrucku..... and welcome.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by northernladuk View Post
              What exactly are you going to sell yourself as? 5 years in the PM world with only 1.5 years as a Portfolio Manager seems very much on the slim side experience wise to say the least. You are going to get trumped by many many other more experienced people.

              Is this experience straight from Uni which negates a couple of years as well?

              I'd say the gaping hole is in your skills you plan on selling.
              This!

              It will also depend on the kind of background you are from as well. For example: A Project Manager in Banking will have a bit more opportunities however you are also up against all the other experienced PM's as well. Another thing to consider if it is banking is the Market.

              At the current time Deutsche Bank have released Contractors and Consultants. MiFID II contractors were dumped in the Market in Janaury and GPRD is also about to flush more contractors on to the Market. Demographics is another consideration. Setting up the company is the easy part but as other contractors will tell you, getting the contract (especially the first one) is the hard part.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by saptastic View Post
                The OP said more than 5 years.
                Well yes but people don't tend to undersell themselves so you'd assume 5 years plus is 5 years and some months. Not quite 6 years else he would have put 6. If I've got this wrong then his gaping hole is his selling skills.

                Yes for many PM roles you are up against established contractors.
                Normally I'd take PM as Project Manager which I think others have assumed. He didn't say anything about Project Manager. He said in the PM world. Were you thinking about PM meaning Portfolio Manager which he did mention. All the Portfolio Managers I've seen recently have been pretty senior and competent people with much more than 5 years in the industry. Something doesn't seem right here.
                Anyway, to get to Portfolio in the PM worl it could mean a number of changes starting from the bottom. He mentions 1.5 years as Portfolio Manager so leaving 3.5 years doing everything else. Absolutely nothing in that is sellable, particularly in the current market and even more so at the rates he's looking at.

                I also mentioned Uni so if he's come straight from that the first year or two can be forgotten as solid experience as it's just a learning curve.

                So it could possibly be he's had all his very limited experience at only one company and in the times scales quoted probably hasn't seen the end to end process more than a couple of time. Not exactly 500 quid industry specialist material is it.

                If he's going to be serious about contracting he needs to sort out all the above to see what he is and what actual skills he's got to sell.
                'CUK forum personality of 2011 - Winner - Yes really!!!!

                Comment


                  #9
                  3 months notice

                  Originally posted by northernladuk View Post
                  Well yes but people don't tend to undersell themselves so you'd assume 5 years plus is 5 years and some months. Not quite 6 years else he would have put 6. If I've got this wrong then his gaping hole is his selling skills.



                  Normally I'd take PM as Project Manager which I think others have assumed. He didn't say anything about Project Manager. He said in the PM world. Were you thinking about PM meaning Portfolio Manager which he did mention. All the Portfolio Managers I've seen recently have been pretty senior and competent people with much more than 5 years in the industry. Something doesn't seem right here.
                  Anyway, to get to Portfolio in the PM worl it could mean a number of changes starting from the bottom. He mentions 1.5 years as Portfolio Manager so leaving 3.5 years doing everything else. Absolutely nothing in that is sellable, particularly in the current market and even more so at the rates he's looking at.

                  I also mentioned Uni so if he's come straight from that the first year or two can be forgotten as solid experience as it's just a learning curve.

                  So it could possibly be he's had all his very limited experience at only one company and in the times scales quoted probably hasn't seen the end to end process more than a couple of time. Not exactly 500 quid industry specialist material is it.

                  If he's going to be serious about contracting he needs to sort out all the above to see what he is and what actual skills he's got to sell.
                  3 months notice What is the penalty?? None I thought not

                  Find Contract (say it starts in 2 weeks to do vetting etc)

                  Inform existing Client you are leaving in 2 weeks

                  Leave (give Existing client a tissue if they are crying about it)

                  Start new Contract

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by tarbera View Post
                    3 months notice What is the penalty?? None I thought not

                    Find Contract (say it starts in 2 weeks to do vetting etc)

                    Inform existing Client you are leaving in 2 weeks

                    Leave (give Existing client a tissue if they are crying about it)

                    Start new Contract
                    Not often we have to point out that a poster means employer not client. Normally the other way around but I guess it's easily done by hard core contractors
                    'CUK forum personality of 2011 - Winner - Yes really!!!!

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