[nycbug-talk] Getting started in Consulting

Francisco Reyes lists
Thu Jun 9 09:50:49 EDT 2005

On Wed, 8 Jun 2005, swygue wrote:

> Did you run an add in the paper or did you contact any head-hunters.

Currently doing mostly referrals and Craigslist (although so far only one 
job came from Craigslist)

> 2.) Networking meetings and small business talks.

So far those have not worked for me.

> Where do you find out about these meetings ?

The web.. check the Manhattan chamber of commerce. They have a nice 
schedule page with many events of possible interest to a small business 

> 3.) Once you have a chance to meet someone face to face, what do you say to
> them ? How do you sell yourself ?

You present your skills and why it would be to their advantage to use your 

> How do you determine how much to charge?

I recommend you think of what you want to get paid an hour and what is the 
minimun you would consider working for. Those are very personal.. in that 
they are probably unique to everyone..

Also a client that has the potential to be a repeat business and you have 
nice people to deal with... I may charge less to retain them...

>Do you require a minum amount of
>hours even if you know you can get the job done in one hour?

Some people do that. I have never done it. Up to you.
Basically you want to see how much the job is worth to the client.. Never 
mind it's simple/complex it's all about what the customer is willing to 

> 5.) Health Insurance

None so far.

> What is availble to a Freelance computer guy ?

For a single person I think you can find something under $200. I need 
family coverage (just me and my wife) and that starts around $350.

> 6.) Taxes

I let that up to my accountant.

> What resources have you find to help when tax time come? How did you keep
> track of expenses ?

Get an American Express for your business.. they give the cards 
considerably more freely than others... but that means you can only spend 
what you have.. Amex is a debit card. You have to pay at the end of the 

> what tax tips you have to offer ?

Search for new customers 7 days a week.. That's probably the hardest part 
if you are competent. Try to keep your good customers happy.

I had a customer call me after 5 years AND he pays almost inmediately 
after I finish the work. It was a pleasant surprise. He has never 
been a repeat customer in that even when I was helping him more 
regularly it was just a few times/year. Still it's nice that he 
would seek me out after so many years.

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