Have you done it?

Have you done it? Have you decided whether you should become a consultant? Are you still thinking about consulting but not sure where to go?

Let me know whether you’ve taken the leap — or not. If you’re still thinking about consulting, let me know what would help you take the next step.

Ancient Brit says:

I had no real choice but to become an independent consultant.

I’d been working as a scientific technical writer (agency contractor (W2)) with a US client for about 18 months. I didn’t realize the client had a “rule” that after a year all consultants/contractors had to leave for a minimum 60 days before the contract could continue.

Finally the client’s HR department drew the line and said “Leave! Or become an independent consultant…”

So I had no real choice – I live paycheck to paycheck (even at $50/hour – I live and work in LA) so I had to do some quick thinking to determine an acceptable 1099 rate.

After consulting several sources (including the IRS) the general consensus seemed to be to take the equivalent W2 rate and add about 50% (or to put it another way, multiply the rate by about 1.5).

The client did have some sticker shock (they figured they’d be paying less than the agency rate, but they forgot about the extra tax burden I have to shoulder, as I reminded them – gently and politely) and agreed to $80/hour. However, they put a 6 month/$83,200 cap on the contract instead of making it open-ended.

They figure they’ll find a cheaper alternative after that.

While the client dithered over whether to accept my rate, they also put some feelers out with a bunch of agencies. I’m registered with scores of agencies, and my skills are pretty select, so guess who the agencies called to see about availability?

It was nice to find that I was pretty much the only game in town…

Chad Kellers says:

Still thinking, not sure what to do. I want to start my own consulting business. I think its a good way to build up a side income for myself so I can eventually have multiple streams of income. I like the idea of making $100 an hour instead of spending my time watching TV or surfing the web at night. Even if i just bill 2 hours a week I’d make an extra $10,000 a year. Start my own consulting business sounds like a good way to save for my retirement since I should probably be putting that much away every year anyway and if I earn more I could go on more trips and pay down my mortgage and perhaps get a nicer car. I guess thats not what you asked about tho. What do I need to make me be start a consulting business….maybe something on how to spend your first 30 days or something.

Karen Coopers says:

I’m still thinking about it. I’m really struggling with what I should be doing. It’s hard to see myself as an expert when I’ve always worked for someone else. And I’m thinking about becoming a personal chef — which you say is a consulting job — but it’s hard to think of what else I could be doing. How do i figure out what kind of consulting business I should start? I mean I could do any of several things.