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Registered since : 4 February 2008

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Forum : General Forum
Replies: 4
Like  : 0
Views: 1587

Posted reply 4 July 2016 20:30

If the client introduced you to the supplier I'd be tempted to decline it anyway. However, if you think it makes life easier perhaps 3 months is reasonable.
Forum : General Forum
Replies: 3
Like  : 0
Views: 1848

Posted reply 15 June 2016 19:36

Get out and contact people. Who will need a proofreader? What types of businesses generate significant amounts of text that needs checking over? Start contacting them. Not all will need you so don't be disheartened - just get your name out. Get along to some networking events.

You've actually got a huge advantage - many new businesses struggle because, whilst skilled at what they do, they don't have the sales skills to sell it. You may have to adapt them to your new industry, but you have the chance to make the most of those skills.
Replies: 7
Like  : 0
Views: 2438

Posted reply 15 June 2016 19:30

I wouldn't touch those sites with a bargepole, personally. Easy way to be taken for a mug. Get out there and network. Find lots of ways of finding clients - don't just rely on one source of work.
Forum : General Forum
Replies: 3
Like  : 0
Views: 1895

Posted reply 6 September 2015 13:23

Seems a reasonable idea. However, I did almost stop reading at the first mention of 'solopreneur' or whatever it was. Seriously, everyone classing themselves entrepreneurs is pretentious enough with out all the derivative names. Mumpreneur, Solopreneur and any others that people choose to weld together.
Forum : General Forum
Replies: 2
Like  : 0
Views: 1302

Posted reply 6 September 2015 13:08

It'll be in your contract with the recruitment company. There'll almost certainly be a specified period that you wouldn't be able to work for that client before you could then return there to work direct. It's a good few years since I did that type of work so I'm struggling to remember, but at a guess it was something like 12 weeks with the recruiter I was working through.
Replies: 10
Like: 1
Views: 1203

Posted reply 2 July 2015 10:14

I suspect that some freelance designers will only be earning a few thousand pounds a year. Others will be earning far more than the amount you've researched - it depends how good they are, not only at design but also at all the other aspects of running a successful (design) business.

Teaching yourself the software is the easy bit but software doesn't create the designs. It's the design skills that are harder to acquire - working the designs up in Adobe Illustrator or whatever is only a small part of it.

Good luck if you decide to go for it. It's possible to be very successful but don't assume it's as simple as learning a couple of software packages.
Forum : General Forum
Reply: 1
Like  : 0
Views: 1089

Posted reply 15 June 2015 14:38

I'd always prefer to flag a potential issue rather than let it go through unchallenged, even if it's subsequently decided to stick as it is. Surely though it's got to be all or nothing in those cases? It's a bit half chips, half rice as it is.
Forum : General Forum
Replies: 2
Like  : 0
Views: 1402

Posted reply 9 June 2015 08:12

Depends how much of the work they're doing! I'd imagine they'll have an hourly rate for freelance work that they'll either want to work to or will provide a quote for the job based on it.

Are they doing the design and you're doing the development (or similar), ie. are you each bringing separate skills to the job? Or are you subbing out tasks that you might normally do if you had capacity? If the former you'll likely be each quoting your part of the job and then combining them. If the latter, it's more a case that you're marking up their rate (up to you how much you reckon is an appropriate percentage).

However you do it, make sure you have a sufficient margin to make a worthwhile profit and make sure you leave some meat on the bone for the person you're subbing the work to. Fail to do either of those and it can come back to bite you.
Forum : General Forum
Reply: 1
Like  : 0
Views: 1413

Posted reply 13 May 2015 09:13

Hard to do it any differently. There are times we'll all try to accommodate quick turnaround jobs but if you're going to mess up other jobs as a result of taking that extra one on you sometimes have to say no. A decent client will respect that. Sometimes you may be able to take it on and sub out some of your workload without a client needing to know - it depends what type of work you're doing I suppose.

This client sounds like she thinks you're her employee who should just be available as and when required. Three choices with that type of client - put up with them dictating your schedule and then complaining if you can't do something; decide not to work for them; or take control and state your timescales. Sometimes this type of client will actually back off if you choose that last option and stand firm - they respect that. She clearly rates you or she'd just ask someone else, so you hold at least some of the cards. You almost need to get to a point where you manage her - you dictate the timescales (or decline that particular job) rather than allowing her to do it.
Forum : General Forum
Replies: 4
Like  : 0
Views: 1125

Posted reply 18 March 2015 09:48

Yeah, be proud of it - if your confidence comes across that will reflect well. If you're making an apology for having been freelance it will imply that you've been messing around or something.

The fact that you've had so much repeat business from those two agencies is a good thing. They've been sufficiently pleased with your work that they've continued to use you despite being under no obligation to do so. And the fact that their clients have seen you as an employee demonstrates that you've got the skills to slot straight into a team and that the agencies have trusted you to deal with those clients on their behalf.

The big concerns for an employer considering taking on someone who's been freelancing for the last however-many years will be whether they'll cope with the more rigid structure of employment, that they'll be happy having a boss again, and that in three months time they won't decide that actually they'd prefer to be back freelancing again. Some of the situation with your two agency clients will ease those concerns but just make sure you reassure your prospective employers that those concerns aren't an issue.
Forum : General Forum
Replies: 5
Like  : 0
Views: 816

Posted reply 7 March 2015 21:07

Get out there and speak to people. Lots of them. And if someone isn't interested don't be disheartened - just go and speak to two more.
Forum : General Forum
Reply: 1
Like  : 0
Views: 1259

Posted reply 27 February 2015 14:23

You've got to get in front of people and, if you're not happy with what's in your portfolio, you need to get some stuff in there that you are happy with before you do so. You're going to have to find the time to do something about it. Your choice - do you want to move on or not?

Contact agencies and ask and ask to speak to their creative director or whoever is high up in their structure. Find their name from the website or elsewhere. You may not get put straight through if you ring up but at least get their email address. Use LinkedIn and Twitter to connect. Once you've got some means of contacting them ask if they can give you 5 minutes of their time for you to come in, show them your portfolio and get some pointers on how to improve. Not all will respond but some will and you're not asking that much of them by just requesting 5 minutes. Of course, once you're in front of them that's your chance to impress and you'll often get more than 5 minutes - not least if they like what they see. You'll learn some stuff and you'll get some good contacts.

Your aim is to get in to speak to people face to face. Once you do that you're in a far better position than if you're just an anonymous person on the phone or a name on an email.
Forum : General Forum
Replies: 5
Like  : 0
Views: 1409

Posted reply 20 June 2014 08:23

I'd have thought the more informal route would do the job. You can have something more formal created but unless you're prepared to be going to the trouble of taking each other to court (should it all fall apart), it really wouldn't make much difference
Forum : General Forum
Replies: 4
Like  : 0
Views: 1818

Posted reply 6 June 2014 13:02

Sounds like a good plan. Keep the freelance clients going for the time being. You might find you can manage a couple alongside your job anyway and the other option (if you can't do the freelance work alongside your job) is to outsource some of that work and just manage it outside your employed hours. Get others to do the work but oversee it, taking a percentage for doing so.
Forum : General Forum
Replies: 4
Like  : 0
Views: 1818

Posted reply 2 June 2014 15:44

Tricky decision. I have to do my share of juggling school runs around work so I can appreciate some of the dilemma. When the needs of family and business collide you can end up pulled one way and the other. How do the nursery costs stack up? Will you be earning more doing the full time job or will you be coming out about the same as you would for working 3 days after you've paid the childcare fees? If you do go for the employment route, ask about childcare vouchers (or see if your husband's employer offers them).

If you were to stick with freelancing and decline the job I think you'd need to throw yourself in more deeply. Three clients sounds like a big risk with a lot of peaks and troughs - lose one through no fault of your own and a third of your work is gone. Perhaps get out networking to widen the client base and look for similar collaborations with other marketing agencies. You can never rely on the promise of more work in the pipeline - even if the intentions are genuine, the work may not materialise as they hope it will.

Whichever route you go, good luck!
Forum : General Forum
Replies: 9
Like: 1
Views: 5786

Posted reply 2 June 2014 15:30

nitim, post: 23489, member: 28369 a écrit : Thanks for feedback guys....it's really appreciated!

Have you ever asked (or considering asking) your clients to pay upfront, as a retainer, or in an escrow?

If so, how did it go?
A number of years ago most of my work was freelancing on site for more established agencies. There was no chance they'd pay upfront. Now though almost all my work is for direct clients - in those cases I often ask for a percentage in advance. If they don't respect that it's a warning that they're not going to be a good payer anyway.

Overall though, have clear terms for payment agreed, invoice promptly, confirm that they've received the invoice and then chase payment if it is overdue. You won't be frowned on for chasing overdue payments (unless you go off on one!) - you'll be respected for being organised. In fact, if a client knows that you'll be phoning up to chase it'll often prompt them to make sure the payment is made before you do so. Get to know the people in the accounts department - if they feel they know you and you treat them well, you'll increase the chance of them looking after you. I've known companies where the policy has been to hold off paying until they receive a call requesting payment. They aren't acting properly, but play the game if necessary. Whose invoice will be on the top of the pile - the one that they gets chased up or the one where the supplier seemingly doesn't care?

I've been burned once or twice by being too trusting of people. Most people are honest, but you can weed out some of the problems by demonstrating that you have clear procedures in place for ensuring that you will be paid.
Forum : General Forum
Reply: 1
Like: 1
Views: 1235

Posted reply 23 April 2014 20:57

I can't see it being an issue. They'll know your situation and many people work in that way.

Be honest though - being a 'one man band' isn't something to be ashamed of. Dealing with the same person throughout will appeal to some. Clients will be put off if you're not what you promise though.

Client A might be taken in by the appearance of you being a big company. When they find out the truth (as they inevitably will) they may go cold, worried that you can't fulfill the job. Meanwhile, Client B may have never made contact, imagining that the work they require would be far too insignificant and would not have sufficient budget for a big agency such as your own.
Topic : logo crit
Replies: 12
Like  : 0
Views: 6741

Posted reply 23 April 2014 20:29

Im guessing that, one way or another, this job has probably been completed by now!
Replies: 5
Like  : 0
Views: 11273

Posted reply 23 April 2014 20:27

If you were freelancing in house for a larger design agency you're probably about right saying £20 to £30 per hour (it's a good few years since I've done that type of work so but I don't think it's changed too much. I was working mainly in Manchester/Cheshire - there may be regional variation).

If you're working with the end client directly you may well be charging significantly more - that rate depends on all those factors you mentioned. I'm not sure on averages but I think £40 / £50 per hour or so is not uncommon. £63 may not be unreasonable depending on the quality of your work and the amount of time you'd allow. VAT would be on top of that but everything else would be part of your calculation.

Quote based on a rate that is profitable for you. If you lose the client because it is expensive compared to UK based designers then so be it. It wouldn't do you any good to be doing work at a loss.

I'd be tempted to quote the project fee rather than the hourly rate though - that way everyone knows where they stand. State what you'd be doing and the amount you'd charge for it. If the spec changes, so does the fee, but it's clearer than an hourly rate where the client may have no idea about the length of time a job will take.

I'm not sure what the VAT rules are given that you're based abroad. VAT registration is not compulsory in the UK (below a £81k annual turnover I think) and I'm assuming that you wouldn't be registering for UK VAT anyway - I suggest you look into it or seek advice.
Forum : General Forum
Replies: 2
Like  : 0
Views: 3419

Posted reply 20 August 2013 12:39

No idea on that or other similar sites - I've avoided having to use them. There are better ways to bring work in although they may serve a purpose in the early days.
Forum : General Forum
Reply: 1
Like  : 0
Views: 2077

Posted reply 30 July 2013 19:28

Sounds to me like you're working as what many would call a Virtual Assistant. Some under that banner will do similar to what you do, some will have different skills. I have a couple of clients that refer to themselves as VAs but they both do quite different things. Because of that many will network together and collaborate to refer work to each other to suit what they each do. Connect with others on Twitter and join some of the groups on LinkedIn. Perhaps attend some networking meetings such as 4Networking.
Forum : General Forum
Replies: 3
Like  : 0
Views: 4334

Posted reply 24 May 2013 15:07

I did a fair bit of work freelancing for a MedComms company a few years ago but never came up against anything like this. However, it seems it's just them being very tight on confidentiality.

It's a while since I've had to be concerned about the IR35 stuff so I'm a bit rusty on it and the implications. If you offered that you, as an employee of your company, would be prepared to sign the confidentiality agreement and that you agreed that you would not use any other employee or freelancer on the task unless they too had submitted the necessary details, been approved by the client, and signed the confidentiality agreement, would this satisfy the client whilst also avoiding any IR35 issues? You may have no intention of ever putting anyone else on the task anyway but if I recall correctly, one of the points in the IR35 contracts is that you have the right to do so.

Hopefully someone will correct me if I'm talking a load of rubbish!
Forum : General Forum
Reply: 1
Like  : 0
Views: 1864

Posted reply 7 March 2013 09:14

Speak to whoever pays the bills, explain why it's causing you problems and see if a mutually acceptable way forward can be agreed. Befriend the accounts department if you can.

I think that companies can sometimes forget or be unaware of the impact of this sort of thing on a sole trader or micro business. They are often more sympathetic to freelancers than they are to other larger companies, especially if you've spoken to them and they understand why you're hassling over what, in comparison to other invoices in and out, may be a relatively small amount. Late payment is wrong but it's extremely common - you can at least try to get your invoices to the top of the pile.
Replies: 2
Like  : 0
Views: 4546

Posted reply 19 February 2013 15:11

Feel free to put me right if I've misunderstood this, but you've said in another thread that you're a graphic designer. Why would you therefore be looking for ready made templates to create your company logo?

I wouldn't advise that any business goes that route, but if a graphic designer can't create their own logo you may as well pack up and go home now.
Forum : General Forum
Reply: 1
Like  : 0
Views: 909

Posted reply 16 August 2012 10:51

I had this occasionally when I used to do more freelancing in agencies. Often it would be when I was in with a design agency that was a direct client rather than through another recruitment agency. Either way, they were just fishing for potential leads, dressed up under the excuse of wanting to avoid contractual conflicts.

There's no need for them to know - you can deal with any contractual conflicts if they arise, but you certainly shouldn't be obliged to be effectively giving them information about their competitors' clients. Just avoid the question or tell them you're working for your own non-agency clients if need be.
Forum : General Forum
Replies: 3
Like  : 0
Views: 2325

Posted reply 19 June 2012 11:45

I started out as a limited company so have never been in the situation that I've had to make the transition.

When you say your accountant is 'pleading with you not to become Limited' is that an accurate description, or is it more that they are advising against the switch? It implies different things. A competent accountant will weigh up the pros and cons of each route with you (as mine did when I first set up) and come to a conclusion over which way is best, explaining the reasons for that as they work through it. Obviously though, accountants tend to look at the figures and the bottom line - they can sometimes overlook the issues of how you will be perceived and whether one route or other will be a help or hinderance to getting work in the first place.

Have a full conversation with your accountant and take their advice on board - that's why you pay them after all. If still in doubt speak to a different accountant and see what they say - a second opinion costs nothing.
Reply: 1
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Views: 3973

Posted reply 29 April 2012 12:36

I've had a couple of HP inkjets that I've been very happy with. They've both been running a good while (the A3 one for about 8 or 9 years I think!) so they've lasted well. I'm not that up to speed on what the current best models are, but look into the costs of ink when you're weighing up running costs. What looks good value for buying the printer can actually turn out to be least costs effective once you've taken replacement cartridges into account.
Forum : General Forum
Replies: 6
Like  : 0
Views: 2880

Posted reply 25 February 2012 14:28

It's a tricky balance, but ultimately you have to get the cash in for the work done as a priority over future work. Be sympathetic to a point, but don't be taken for a pushover. I also have more sympathy for a client who is experiencing temporary cashflow issues if they've always paid on time in the past and if they're open and willing to communicate.

I'm actually in the process of pursuing a client for non-payment. It's the first time I've had to go this route, but I've ended up outsourcing it to a company that specialises in credit control and debt recovery. While I have sympathy for the situation that this client has got to I'd be a lot more understanding if they would communicate openly and if they'd even just apologised in the first place. Ultimately it may even get to the stage of going to court and petitioning for insolvency. Hopefully that won't be the case - I'm still very much open to negotiating an acceptable payment plan if they wish to do so.

One thing that can help is to differentiate the sales process from the invoicing one. Ideally you'd have someone else chasing payment than dealing with the day to day client relationship. That way it's your 'accounts department' sending the payment demands and everyone else doesn't need to worry about harming the personal relationships. If you're a one man band that's tricky! Even having a separate email address can help though - setting up 'accounts@xyz.co.uk' for all the invoicing and payment chasing can allow you to distance that side of things from the process of getting the orders in and producing the work.
Forum : General Forum
Replies: 7
Like  : 0
Views: 2856

Posted reply 6 February 2012 12:47

Time to consider whether the hassle and lack of integrity is worth the pay you're receiving
Replies: 4
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Views: 4576

Posted reply 6 February 2012 12:42

If you look on the general forum on this site you'll see the question has come up a number of times before. Others here are far better qualified to answer than I am, but I believe that the basic answer is that yes, you have to register as self employed and do a self assessment at the end of the tax year.

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