Independent Consulting | The Ultimate List of Considerations

So you’re thinking of taking the leap to the world of independent consulting? You’ve come to the right place.

Here at Expert360, we are on a mission to make working for yourself work. We also believe that going independent doesn’t mean going it alone, so we have designed a simple guide for those curious to understand what is involved in the initial steps of independent consulting.

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Business Set Up:

  • Choose a business name and register your business
  • Choose a suitable business structure (sole trader, partnership or a company)
  • Depending on your selected business structure, you will need to register for an ABN (independent) or an ACN (company) and it is important to understand the difference

 TIP: Make sure you know the difference between Tax and GST which can sometimes be confused for the same thing

 

Insurance Considerations:

  • know exactly what you’re covered for. This helps to speed up hiring time and avoid confusion due to last minute on-costs or the risk you’re not covered.

 TIP: Some clients require you to have insurance, and others do not so it’s always best to find out at the start of the project.

 FACT: Expert360 offers insurance coverage for our community of consultants at zero cost to our Experts. Head to our partners page for more info on our partnership with CGU Insurance.

 

Superannuation Considerations:

  • Don’t be afraid to research and explore all superannuation funds to find the right one for you

  • Unlike full-time employment, the onus of contributing amounts to a superannuation fund falls back onto the freelancer.

  • In light of the previous consideration, it is best to set superannuation goals early on in your career

 TIP: Think about what type of lifestyle you want to have in 30 years time and what those financial goals might be

 FACT: Expert360 has partnered with Future Super and Grow Super to make superannuation easy to understand and navigate as an independent consultant

For more info,  head to our partners' page:

Expert360 Partners

 

We’ve prepared a checklist for you to test yourself  

 

Finances & Accounting:

  • How good am I at managing myself and my earnings (tax returns and statements)?
  • Am I comfortable with the thought of not knowing where or when my next project will land?

  • If I go freelance, can I afford to do it?

  • What do I need to earn per month to be able to live my life comfortably?

  • Do I have a clear understanding of my expenses - personal versus business?

  • What daily rate should I price myself at?

  • What tools/resources will I use for managing my accounts? Do I have a trusted accountant?

 

Tools & Equipment:

  • With the work I wish to do, where will it actually be delivered? On the client site or elsewhere?

  • Do I have a space that allows for great work to be done?

  • What equipment/hardware do I need to carry out my work?

  • Do I need to purchase or access any platforms, market research, tools to help deliver my work? E.g. IBIS Reports, presentation software, etc...

 FACT: We understand how much administration and bookkeeping eats into time that could be spent elsewhere. Expert360 takes care of the invoicing, contracting & insurance* (See our list of services covered by Expert360 if you are unsure, go.expert360.com/expert360-insurance-covered-services)

Now that you've thought through the setup, let's look at the fun part - the work you'll be doing

Industry Agnostic VS Specialist:

  • What is the work I wish to do as an independent consultant?

  • Do I prefer to specialize or be a generalist? There is no right or wrong answer to this question, rather it has been included because it’s integral in the way you brand yourself to clients.

 TIP: Your ideal projects or your “sweet spot” can take years to perfect and it can be a work in progress. When starting out, you should look at a starting point - what projects you have worked on, what industries have you worked in, and look for what is transferable in projects you are seeing in the market

 FACT: Whether you’re signed up on the platform to work or not, Expert360 has an online library of e-books, reports, blogs & whitepapers that are free to all. Read our whitepaper on ‘Rethinking the Specialist Versus Generalist’ today.

Access Content

 

Your Brand:

  • What do I want to be known for?

  • Who do I have in my network who could help me out?

  • What new relationships do I need in place?

  • Who in the network is a good relationship for me to nurture? Who can I reach out to now that I am independent?

 

Work Preferences:

  • What are your short term and long term goals for the work you wish to do?

  • Given the leap often means a lot more independent work than you are used to, it is important to be clear on what type of work/projects allow you to thrive

  • What kind of work are you passionate about?

  • When do you do your best work?

  • What markets, industries, environments, cultures help you do your best work?

  • What skills come naturally to you?

 

Your Pipeline:

  • Where will I find work? What are my avenues?

  • How will I build Business Development into my schedule and what does that look like?

  • Am I comfortable in “pitching” myself?

 TIP: Expert360 is one.

 

Support:

  • One of the biggest changes of the independent switch is the colleagues and connections you would normally be able to access. As an independent, what could my support network look like?

  • Who else is experiencing the same challenges I am?

  • Who and where can I learn from?

 

If you’ve gone through the above list and are feeling pretty confident about what is involved and believe Expert360 is the right community for you to be part of, we welcome you to submit an application to be an Expert360 Expert, where you can:

  1. Create a digital online presence.

  2. Find other like-minded professionals.

  3. Attend special events and support networks.

  4. Start browsing suitable project work and building your pipeline!

 

Get started today!

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Julia Bageski

Julia is Expert360's Consultant Experience Manager, and known as the 'Consultant Whisperer'.

A former Account Executive at Expert360, Julia advised Enterprise clients on contingent workforce management and the Expert360 solution. Prior to Expert360 Julia as with Drake International, heading up the Talent Management Solutions function, helping organisations understand and leverage their most important asset - their human capital.

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