Hi, I am Emma J. Charles and welcome to my blog series! My mission is to provide online information and resources to guide small business owners in Trinidad and Tobago.
Do you have a speciality service you can offer? Are you tired of working a 9 to 5 job?
Is it time for you to be your own boss by becoming an independent consultant?
A consultant is essentially a person who provides expert skills professionally. Persons with speciality knowledge such as; sales, marketing, procurement, accounting, web design, advertising, video editing, can all become independent consultants to organisations and companies.
A consultant is different to an employee; while both are hired by employers and often at times work side by side, even doing the same or similar work, the contractual nature of the relationship is different. Some of the key differences include:
|Usually works for only one employer.||Generally, provides consulting services to more than one company.|
|Works the hours set by the employer.||Sets his or her own hours.|
|Usually works at the employer’s place of business.||Works out of his or her own office or home.|
|Often receives employment benefits, such as health and disability insurance.||Does not receive employment benefits from the employer.|
|Works under the control and direction of the employer.||Works relatively independently.|
If you are considering starting your own consultancy here is some vital information you should know about working as a consultant and how to set up a consultancy.
- Work with More Than One Business
Since you are selling your knowledge and services to businesses, you can work with as many businesses that you can fit into your work week. This helps keep your job as a consultant varied.
- Set Your Own Hours
Consultants make their own hours since they are running their own small businesses. Depending on the type of work that you do as a consultant means that you can work from either your home or an office.
- Freedom to Act on Tasks
Since you are working as a consultant, and not as an employee of the company, you can decide on the best methods for accomplishing tasks. This means that a consultant can act without needing to get the employer’s approval or input for most tasks.
Many consultants get paid by terms agreed upon in a contract. This means that you should always state the amount you want to be paid for your work in the contract. Specify whether the price will be paid in one payment, in instalments or upon completion of specific milestones. It is also good to include a deposit that will be payable upfront. For example; you can receive all or some of your money up front or with 3 instalments of 40-40-20; 40% upfront, 40% when you send the first draft and the final 20% when you send over the finished copy.
- End of the Job
Unless you have specified terms in your contract, the employer can end the contract at any time. Many consultants will charge a fee for ending the contract early. This acts as protection for the consultant.
Working for yourself can be extremely rewarding, this is one of the major reasons why many small businesses and start-ups are created. If you want to continue working in your field, but want to work for yourself, becoming a consultant is a great option.
Stay tuned for my SPECIAL GIVEAWAYS in my upcoming blogs, where I will be sharing key information you should put in your consultant contract to protection your business and to also ensure on-time payment!
And yes I will also be providing a FREE Freelancer/Consultant Template Agreement to help you get started on your journey to becoming a successful independent contractor.
My quote for today: You don’t need a new year to make a change….All you need is a new day!