SIGIA-L Mail Archives: Re: [Sigia-l] Freelance IA consulting: D
Re: [Sigia-l] Freelance IA consulting: Discovering the cost of doing business
From: Eric Scheid (eric.scheid_at_ironclad.net.au)
Date: Sat Jun 08 2002 - 00:12:59 EDT
From: David R. Austen <dausten_at_hoosier.net> (8/6/02 6:11 AM)
>Do the IAs on this list have any interest in a thread on the cost of
>doing business -- what it is an IA needs to bill out each week (for 50
>weeks) just to keep ones head above water?
Firstly, don't go freelancing with the expectation that you'll be billing
50 weeks of the year. You won't be that lucky. Remember, as a freelance
you only get paid when you issue billings, you don't get paid just
because you show up at the office.
* Take a close look at an calendar and add up all the public holidays ...
sure you could work those but it's better to keep them in reserve. In
Australia, we have about 15 days of public holidays (christmas, new
years, easter, queens birthday, anzac, picnic, etc etc). Fifteen days =
three weeks of billings you don't get.
* Decide on how many weeks of vacation you want. In the US you might be
happy with 2 weeks, elsewhere saner heads rule and we prefer 4 weeks.
* Realise that the time you spend attending seminars and summits is time
you won't be billing anyone. Set aside a number of days for training.
* Allow for some economic down cycle time. Clients aren't always lining
up to spend money. When other businesses close down because it's quiet so
.... and so on. The short answer, taken from other freelance consulting
industries, is to figure out how much you want to take home, assume
you'll only be billing 20 hours a week for 40 weeks of the year. You
might stretch that to 25 hours. If in fact you do better than that then
you're in the gravy, which is where you should be if "things are going
well", as distinct from going gangbusters but still only breaking even.
Only 25 hours per week? Remember that you're the one doing the
secretarial work, you won't be billing for basic local travel time, you
won't be billing for pre-sales time, you won't be billing for
sales-negotiation time, you won't be billing for bookkeeping time. It all
adds up, and even when it doesn't you'll still find days where you've got
spare time on your hands (maybe a client cancelled, or a project finished
early) and you don't have any work lined up.
Adjust those hours up or down depending on whether you want to take it
easy or be a maniac.
eric_at_ironclad.net.au i r o n c l a d n e t w o r k s
information architect http://www.ironclad.net.au/
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: Sun Nov 23 2003 - 22:55:18 EST