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Topic # 95341 31-Dec-2011 12:44
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I am looking at becoming a contractor and starting my I.T service business if I cannot find employment. The thing that I wondered was how do you guys get contracts? and Clients? also what are the pros and cons of this.

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Master Geek
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  Reply # 563212 31-Dec-2011 13:13
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Hi,

As far as contracting goes, Hays recruitment are looking for contractors most of the time. I've done a couple of jobs for them. You should call Molly@Hays on 093779244. It'll be a start anyway. Not sure about starting your own independant thing though.
Do you have any international certs apart from your degree? CCNA, MSCE or whatever?







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  Reply # 563283 31-Dec-2011 16:36
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Put up a sign, we have more work than we can handle, been going less than a year and now have staff....

its all about contacts and networking (not the computer type, the person networking)

xpd

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  Reply # 563457 1-Jan-2012 12:17
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Do you mean contract as in a "fixed" term for work or just work for yourself in IT ?

I worked for myself as a mobile IT tech, had one contract which looked great on paper but in reality wasnt worth it (basically Id get forwarded jobs when needed and get paid a great rate for it but hardly any jobs came my way) and the rest of the time just did one off jobs for home users etc gained via word of mouth and advertising in the local paper etc.

It was VERY tough (to the point we were looking at selling the house) as theres so many people out there doing it now - even dropping my rates to the floor did not help because people were finding tech students willing to do the work for $10 an hour - consumers seemed to prefer pricing over the quality of the work done.

If you can find a some regular customers who will call on you reasonably often, then you'll probably be ok, especially if you can get them into a signed contract.....

I gave up working fulltime for myself approx 4 years ago now and work fulltime with an education provider, sure the pay isnt as nice as contract payments looked, and I dont get the free time I did when working for myself, but Id rather keep my house and stress less about where money was coming from week to week....

My company officialyl still runs and I still get the odd job via it, but its nothing something I push.




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  Reply # 563468 1-Jan-2012 12:53
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There's a book floating around titled "From Serf to Surfer", about exactly that topic - how to strike out on your own working for yourself, which I found very helpful.

Basically try and get "Maintenance contracts" with firms, they pay you money each month whether they need service or not, and if they do require service you agree to respond and have it repaired within certain timeframes. This will provide a much more even cashflow, as relying on one-off small "cash jobs" can be ... well, unreliable. 

It will not be easy, especially in the early stages, but worth it if you can get through. Good luck.

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  Reply # 563623 1-Jan-2012 23:24
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One thing you could try is to become a channel partner with say a hosting/collocation company. There are a number of data centers and VPS providers who have customers which need professional services.

Typically the relationship would be symbiotic, where work is passed onto the contractor, and in return any leads regarding hosting would be passed back.

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  Reply # 563650 2-Jan-2012 08:15
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It's really important that you do this with a clear vision of why; many people think contracting is the road to more money than permanent jobs.

For a select few it can have higher reward - the $2k/day folks - but even then you will be running as a small business with all the obligations therein around compliance with nz laws, plus the need to constantly hustle for business so you can keep going. It's definitely a mindset, but once you get into it, can work out well. Expect it to take you 2-3 years to settle down.






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  Reply # 563676 2-Jan-2012 10:37
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What I've gathered from observations and comments others have made, ideally you want to find a niche in your market - less competition, do one thing and do it well - all the successful small / self employed businesses and people I can think of are doing something just outside the mainstream & focused on a specific market or technology.



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  Reply # 563748 2-Jan-2012 14:24
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insane: One thing you could try is to become a channel partner with say a hosting/collocation company. There are a number of data centers and VPS providers who have customers which need professional services.

Typically the relationship would be symbiotic, where work is passed onto the contractor, and in return any leads regarding hosting would be passed back.


how do i get partnerships like that?

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  Reply # 564911 5-Jan-2012 16:54
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Look for contracts on seek.co.nz and apply for them. Most are through recruitment companies, even if the job isn't right they'll keep you on the books and some get in touch if they have a contract that suits you.

You need to be reasonably experienced to be a contractor. You'll be self employed, so you need to do your own tax. Register for GST with IRD, charge your rate plus GST, and PUT YOUR GST and 25-30% of revenue ASIDE FOR TAX. DO NOT SPEND IT or you'll have problems when it comes to tax time.

I use xero.com for my accounting, but it's $50 a month, I think they have a cheaper tier. With that you probably wouldn't need an accountant, it can generate tax returns for you, but an accountant may be able to do stuff like home office and expense claims.




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