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An Overview of My Freelance Business, SimDex

Posted by on Apr 19, 2012 in General Advice | 0 comments

Here’s a brief snapshot of my freelance business, SimDex LLC.

  • Services offered: IT consulting, training & support and
    website design, development & administration
  • Founded 2004, established as LLC in 2008
  • Client base in Minneapolis-Saint Paul (mostly)
  • 120+ clients, 20+ regulars, 15 clients = 75% revenue
  • Over 50 websites designed, developed & administered
  • 3  Apple Certifications (ACHDS / ACDT / ACPT)
  • Partnerships with two companies: Gogiro Minneapolis & The Nerd School – referrals & commissions
  • Subcontract / outsource web development (PHP & JavaScript) to India, Vietnam, Bangladesh, the Philippines, Russia, and others
  • Offered equity in 4 startup companies; declined all
  • Send invoices at end of each month
  • Payment policy: net 21, $50 late fee + 1.50% monthly interest

Learn More About SimDex

Pros & Cons of Being a Freelancer

Posted by on Apr 19, 2012 in General Advice | 0 comments

Advantages of Freelancing

  1. I’m my own boss – I can work when I want and with whom I want on projects I want
  2. I cannot “lose” my job or get fired – even if I lose a client, I still have work
  3. I can set my own rates/prices, adjusting them for particular clients as I see fit
  4. I can be fully independent, not relying on a single company for financial support
  5. I don’t have any company policies to follow besides my own
  6. I gain more and a larger variety of experiences associated with business ownership
  7. Pride and respect from other business owners, community, family, and friends

Disadvantages of Freelancing

  1. I do not have a reliable, constant supply of (predictable) work – not all the time
  2. I do not receive benefits (bonuses, stock, health care, retirement account, etc.)
  3. I have to spend time/energy running the “business” parts (bookkeeping, taxes, scheduling, advertising, etc.) – not actually bad though

What I’ve Learned as a Freelancer

Posted by on Apr 19, 2012 in General Advice | 1 comment

These are some of the most important lessons I have learned as a freelancer:

  • Understand the big picture and the little details (they’re both important)
  • Take risks, but have well-diversified income to limit risk
  • Customer service is key (communication skills = good)
  • Don’t be too specialized; have a broad knowledge base (you can always look up little details)
  • Be extremely resourceful (if you don’t know, find out)
  • Get good at creative problem solving (think outside the box)
  • Always overestimate time & costs (build in a buffer)
  • Sign a contract and/or require 50% upfront for ongoing projects with new clients
  • Get good at bullshitting*

* I will explain what I mean by this in an upcoming post…