The reasons for this article being written (or rather handbook) :
- To guide and recommend freelance consultants/trainer/developer (Hereinafter referred to as "FC") with proper code of practice/etiquettes of how to conduct freelance services appropriately .
- To close the gap of understanding between the 'interested parties' and FCs (interested parties - Client, Public At Large, Authorities, Professional Affiliation Organization and those having interest in this topic)
This article is not meant to be a catalyst or in support or in line to/with any existing law(s), regulation(s) or standard(s) issued/gazetted by any authorised party(ies)in any part(s) of the world. If any of the elements below found to be in common/similar with other sources, then the similarities should be considered purely coincidental.The author welcomes comments from readers especially other FCs from all around the globe.
RULE NO. 1
An FC is unlikely to be hired or earning a fixed income/wages/allowances with any specific organisation. He/she is basically operating under his own individual name or company. (START SMALL - END BIG, START BIG - SMALL!)
Note - likely to operate based on SOHO (either from house or small outlet rented with basic office automations especially a fully equipped personal/laptop/notebook computer - fully equipped PC/Laptop or Notebook computer means those with Wi-Fi-Wi-Max (x-max) /Broadband connection, Smart Office facilities such as Auto Answering, Responders, Fax on Demand, Network Connection readiness-VPN/Wireless LAN, perhaps a handheld device etc. etc.)
An FC also likely to form :
Smart Partnership/Association/Affiliation - Project Basis and/or Profit Sharing with established consulting firms - in other words - 'visiting basis/smart associates'. Depending on the agreed written terms and conditions, He/She may likely enjoy some perks/benefits on this kind of deal. He/She is not usually defined as 'Resident Consultant' unless otherwise, the terms and conditions set by the client are being reviewed or the project requirements are as such.
RULE NO. 2
In his/her quotation, professional charges/fees are usually based on the following (typical - depending on cases) calculation/formula :
Standard Market Price/person or hour/day X % Training Grants Rebate = Nett Charges (after less unclaimable training rebate due to hiring a freelance consultant)
Consider giving other discounts based on number of days or trainees. FC may also assist the client to claim any training grants or rebate if the client is a registered contributor and provided that the FC himself is an accredited/certified trainer.
Also, in his quotation/proposal, the fee is likely to exclude costs like f & b, incidental, accommodation etc. etc. to be borned by the Client.Upon agreement, an FC usually asks for a certain commitment fee on 'without prejudicial and TRUST basis' (to be minused with overall professional charges and balance to be paid upon completion of programme....SATISFACTORILY!)
All the professional charges usually goes to his own savings or current account or if he/she is on smart-partnership - it will go to the consulting firms and paid to his account accordingly (to the agreement between FC and the consulting firm)
Be prepared to pay tax if required to do so. Keep genuine and accurate documentation, records and datum (plural of data...not datas)- DO NOT AVOID TAX!! (Don't worry...since the freelance consulting market usually fluctuates, just be honest with the IRD in your declaration)
Note : The 'cake' is very big. Do not argue or underestimate or try to 'kick out' other fellow consultant(s). In not too many words, they are 'your brothers/sisters'...cooperate with them...remember no consultant can claim that 'he/she knows everything' or 'jack of all trades'. Do not spoil the market. Take a 'small slice of cake' and always remember - 'quality and quantity'.
Always 'sacrifice' a fraction of your knowledge to your client..it doesn't hurt a bit..in fact it helps a lot!
Most important, do not 'show off' (talk big or boast) in the presence of your client.
I've seen 'consultants' like these before...they talk big, act big, CHARGE BIG, but work SMALL, contribution SMALL and end SMALL!! - BE HUMBLE!!
must possess ICT and Technological-based knowledge (or technical - even if you have to be self-learned in engineering discipline) and 'a little bit of' skills (able to provide solution rather than hypothesis - for this you need to have an informative online portal to impress your client(s) must possess adequate hands-on experience in multiple management/industrial disciplines must possess eloquency, confidence and able to properly present himself/herself (be aware, alert, susceptible in confronting almost all types of situation) must update himself/herself with the latest knowledge and its rapid evolution must possess basic academical qualification (s) (advantage but lately not a prerequisite! - experience is more favourable)
An FC must provide a proper contact address and telephone nos., e-mail, website URL, plus detailed information about himself.
Note : The more 'transparent' you are...the betterAn FC must have the initiative to develop a vast network of communication/contacts with other consultant(s) or consulting firm (s), government agencies/authorities and clients. This network will assist him/her greatly in fields he or she unfamiliar with.
An FC shall provide his/her client (s) with many options in consulting/developing and training programmes/packages. Most economical - Client will send only one key personnel to be trained and disseminate the information to his/her organisation. In doing so, an FC must equip his training/developing/consulting package(s) with a proper and systematical chains of feedback, follow-up, surveillance, monitoring, supervision, service and verification systems. These elements shall facilitate:
- 3rd Party Follow-Up Assessment (s) if required by the client
- Genuine understanding by the client after being trained by his/her own officer
- Follow-up training/consulting/development if necessary
- LONG TERM business and professional relationship
Another type of training would be the in-house training at the client's premise or elsewhere determined by the client. Charges/fees should follow the aforesaid formula. Try to avoid 'public programmes except in the case of 'smart partnerships'
Note : You do not want a 'one time cash and carry' business and suffer the consequences such as disreputation in the market!!