A question we are often asked by skilled professionals in the EPM, Business Analytics and ERP world is “should I go freelancing?” and “what is the market like for contracting?”
The demand for technical skills, particularly around specialist finance IT tools such as SAP, Oracle, Oracle Hyperion, TM1, SAP BPC and emerging SaaS tools, e.g. Anaplan, Workday and FinancialForce is hotting up, so there are pluses to working as a contractor. There are certainly financial benefits to contracting but we like to offer a balanced view. Here are a few things to consider before deciding whether becoming a contractor is for you:
You may get lucky, with a 12 month contract 5 minutes from your house, but most contractors aren’t so fortunate. The higher salary sometimes commanded by going freelance is offset by irregularity of work. Most IT freelancers we know aim to be actively working for at least 80% of the year so that they can maintain a consistent income. To achieve that, you may need to work away from home for extended periods.
Limited company or payroll umbrella?
Operating through your own limited company does offer some tax benefits, but you will be responsible for your own tax return and will need to keep money back for your tax liability. Some contractors prefer to avoid the administrative stress by working through a payroll company, which will deduct your tax at source and sort out all your returns. We can put you in touch with reputable payroll bureaus.
Invest in your personal development
When a client engages a contractor they are purchasing a specific skill to meet a specific business need. When they hire a permanent employee they are investing in an individual. Contractors rarely receive any training and development from the clients they work for, so it’s an extremely good idea to keep money aside for your own training and development. The finance systems ecosystem is constantly developing with new and updated versions released all the time. Take the Cloud as an example, 12 months ago few were really talking about EPM or ERP as SaaS, but now most predict that to boom. You need to be sure your skills are kept up to date and as marketable as possible and that may involve self learning and investing in your own training.
Are you an entrepreneur?
When you are a freelancer and considering EPM contracting you are actually running your own business. You must become an entrepreneur and networker to maintain a solid pipeline of leads, opportunities, projects and employment. Make sure you are comfortable with that side of things and consider whether you are prepared to promote, market and sell your business and personal brand wherever possible
We have helped numerous professionals in this specialist EPM, Business Analytics market negotiate the challenges of getting into contracting, so please do get in touch if you would discuss any part of the process on 020 7534 9840 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org for help and advice. If you would like to peruse our current jobs please click here
Useful link: The Association of Independent Professionals & Self Employed www.ipse.co.uk