When it all started…
Summer 2004 – spate of redundancies
October 2004 – relocation not an option
Children had left home – space in house
No mortgage – so less financial pressure
Already had basic equipment
November 2004 – Clearly Stated was born
… the start of an adventure!
Did I do a business plan?
A very basic one, yes
No borrowing required
Minimal capital outlay
Free marketing (existing network)
Average earnings required to maintain standard
How long till first job before panicking
Was that enough?
What happens if you
don‟t find work?
The client goes bust?
Where do you want to be…
… next year?
… in 5 years?
… in 10 years?
There will be detours
along the way…
but don‟t get lost!
I‟ve had an enquiry!
Do I have the skill-set?
Do I have the capacity?
Do I have the software?
Is it interesting work?
Have I worked with them before?
How did they hear of me?
What do they want?
Are they looking for another pair of hands?
A fully managed project (consultancy)?
And does everyone know!
What are they going to get?
What am I going to have to do to produce it?
Sole trader or limited company?
Terms and conditions… yours or theirs?
If you don‟t like something, say so
Be precise in your quote!
Who pays for re-work?
Under what circumstances?
What about expenses?
Fixed price – my „internal‟ hourly rate
Range with a cap – security for both sides
Big issues for me…
What is this going to cost me…
Time with my family
Do I want this work?
Big issues for the client…
Are they ready for me?
Are they giving me „make work‟ tasks?
Do they know what their priorities are?
How realistic are the timescales?
Would they be better with a contractor?
More expensive – paid when not needed
Readily available – not doing anything else
What are the implications?
Many concurrent clients
More than one project/product per client
Can work flexibly, switching between projects –
usually more economical
Changes and delays cause clashes not on the
client‟s project plan!
Can we minimise the risk?
Have incremental deadlines (drip-feed)
Share when something is time-critical
Don‟t assume that people are doing nothing else
Co-ordinate/collate review comments when
Ask what would help if deadlines are tight
Who’s in charge?
Named point of contact
Responsibility can be delegated
… but not too far down the chain
If it‟s obviously „wrong‟, question it
Why use freelances?
Fill short-term need (skillgap, capacity)
May not be aware of
history with project
Wide range of experience
Initially not aware of
Fresh pair of eyes, new
Unsure of boundaries or
status within project
Enthusiastic – not jaded
Out-of-sight can equal
Delegate when it makes sense
Learning curve can be steep
Became an employer on 9 July 2012
This has changed a lot:
Type of projects we can undertake
Capacity (not doubled, but increased)
Complementary business skills
Future of the business
What would I do differently?
Set a more realistic rate for my services (need to
keep working on this one!)
Have a clear direction for my business from the
Always find out who has decision-making
authority for my client
Say “no” more often