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Thinking of becoming a contract engineer....

Thinking of becoming a contract engineer....

Thinking of becoming a contract engineer....

I've been working in IT for about 6-7 years, i took a year off to travel and now im back im thinking id like to go out on my own.

I have a meeting with a guy that's going to talk me through getting out on your own, he has nothing to do with IT he just advises people who want to set up their own company or be a sole trader.

Has anyone here done this? any advice? did it take long to build up a customer base? did you start by charging the going rate? do you stock your own parts or buy as they were needed? etc


RE: Thinking of becoming a contract engineer....


You might want to read the post - "Consulting 101" in this same area - it is about 4-5 posts down right now.

The advice and information listed is basicly the same as what you would encounter.

All I can say is that my brother was in the same area of consulting for a bunch of years BEFORE he went on his own AND he had a paying client lined up (he only deals with 1 LARGE client at a time for multi month even years at a time).

What would you do for income while you are "looking" for clients?  Are you talking PC repair? With the rapid change in prices and technology, I wouldn't think you would want to stock much ...... depending on business.

Read the other post, I think it will help - A LOT TO CONSIDER !!!!!!!

Hope this helps!


RE: Thinking of becoming a contract engineer....

the other post helped alright, thanks

a company i used to work for will hopefully use me on a part time basis to keep me going till i build up a customer base, im going to talk to the manager in a few days

i live at home since i got back so having no bills should help me to get off my feet as well

thanks again dood, world dominance here i come

RE: Thinking of becoming a contract engineer....


If you are working for someone, just make sure you UNDERSTAND any non-compete clauses you have with your current job!!

Good luck!!

E.A. Broda
CCNA, CCDA, CCAI, Network +

RE: Thinking of becoming a contract engineer....

Been there, done that.  From day one (fired on my birthday at age 37) it took about 3 years to reach the same income level I had before being fired. In the meantime the savings account dwindled down to nearly zero.

I had been preparing to go out on my own for 7 years and had clients lined up and equipment in the warehouse waiting. (This was a hardware lease and service business)

You can't afford to charge the going rate unless you already have a client who knows your abilities, and your abilities exceed those of the competition.

You also can't afford to stock everything you'll need. The worth of your investment will shrink for starters, and technology will change and leave you with outdated stock you can't sell. OTOH, you can't afford to not stock some minimal level of stuff. I would assume that you are experienced enough to make the right choices there.  

Ed Fair
Give the wrong symptoms, get the wrong solutions.

RE: Thinking of becoming a contract engineer....

Depends on which country you're in.  In the UK, you have to contend with IR35, IR660 and the inland revenue.  US might be different.

You also need an accountant otherwise you'll be absolutely swamped.

RE: Thinking of becoming a contract engineer....

You really need to look at 2 questions...how good are you (be realistic) and are you a salesperson.

Without the salesperson persona, you won't have much luck in getting or keeping clients and if you are putting out work that they can get somewhere else cheaper, they will get it somewhere else.

Personally, i would build up a reputation for doing good work while working at a company for a little while longer, study more during this time to become great, get your name out there, do side projects for people.  Soon enough you will have enough people passing your name around to sustain a career on your own.

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