My first year as an independent consultant, over my own company was completed one month ago. A first milestone achieved, and to be honest, last year, I wasn’t sure at 100% that it will be possible to success at it, but I did it, because I wanted a real new challenge.
Preparation was the key to succeed. Your work is about writing software and sell any or your technical computer skills, then working with legal issue and/or accountant things about corporation isn’t the same of personal accounting. You need to delegate, why ? Cause you need to sell your time for you expertise… Without time to sell, your expertise worth nothing.
In order, it’s how I started to become owner of my incorporated company:
- Registration in a Professional Organisation ( AQIII )
- Invalidity Insurance ( Jean Duranleau via AQIII membership )
- Medical & Dental Insurance ( MedicAssurance via AQIII membership )
- Corporation Registration – ( I pass via a Notary, it’s not cheaper, but you will be sure that everything is really done correctly / Chambre des notaires du Québec )
- Tax (TPS & TVQ) Registration – ( View with your government office / Province of Quebec )
- Contact a CPA Accountant to maintains financial ledger / GL accounting of your incorporated company ( Ordre des Comptables Professionnels agréés du Québec )
- Corporate Bank account ( Any banks have corporate service )
- Corporate Responsibility Insurance – ( Dale Parizeau Morris Mackenzie via AQIII Membership )
- LinkedIn Networking / Customer Pipeline. ( Some consulting firm and headhunter are waiting for giving you some subcontracting project, it’s your point of start for your own business )
- Use a timesheet / billing service – ( I use Paymo.biz )
The best advice, that I can give you, is to be incorporated instead being simply self employed. It’s a little bit complicated, in the process, but with the help from a Notary to register your new incorporated company, it will keep you away from some nightmare issue. They are very professional and will give you some advice about the many advantages around the kind of business you will do.
For my part, I also worked with a lawyer to write two kinds of contracts. One was for a direct customer contract, the other was for subcontracting contract. It also depends on your needs, because if you are a subcontractor, the consulting will sometimes provide them. You can also start with the version found via your AQIII membership.
On the day to day work with the clients, it wasn’t very different than my past job responsibilities, because I was already consultant for many years. Dealing with high constraints, expectation, emergency requests.
The reality about being self-employed or having is own company is about the other stuff outside working with your customers. You will need to stay up-to-date with the technologies. Of course, it’s always changing, but you will need to make the time, every week, to only stay up-to-date. It doesn’t mean to master any new features… But mainly understand what it is, and how to work with it. On my side, I had started a sample project during the first six months, only to be sure I keep my mind on the road. After a six months on this personal project, I started a newly kind of projects with all new technologies to maintain my thinking on the edge of all these new features and best practices. Only for that, since one year, I passed six to eight hours a week on personal projects, and another two or three hours a week to only discuss, chatting and reading about new things.
LinkedIn will be your best friend
This first year as owner of my own company, was a really great challenge, and I definitely never regret it. The start was stressful, and leaving my pass job was really hard, cause I was carrying a lot on my shoulder over my past customers, but it gives me the experience to be able to face with this new challenge. The good side, is in our field of work, it isn’t so hard to find work, and you can easily, if your are professional, well organized and prepared, find greats contracts over consulting firms with linkedin to be a subcontractor for three to twelve months. It’s a really great point of start…