RE: About 12% on post to tech-write list

Subject: RE: About 12% on post to tech-write list
From: "MM Deaton" <mmdeaton -at- mmdeaton -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 8 May 2001 16:04:25 -0700

I suspect, however, that he does not find jobs for these people, which is
what a good agency will do. And he does not provide benefits, or make sure
they are qualified. What he is doing, it sounds like, is simply acting as a
pass-through. In my state, however, it would take more than a couple of
hours a month, since you have to keep track of unemployment insurance,
workers compensation and lots of other things all employers are required to
provide for their employees. When I ran a consulting service with 35 people,
doing payroll took 40-50 hours a month. I think he is basically "doing
payroll" for these 200 people, so I am skeptical when he says it takes only
a couple hours a "month" to do this.

I do have access to WSJ, so I will be happy to hunt this down.

Mary Deaton
Deaton Information Design
Win a book at:

-----Original Message-----
From: bounce-techwr-l-67915 -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
[mailto:bounce-techwr-l-67915 -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com]On Behalf Of Berk/Devlin
Sent: Tuesday, May 08, 2001 3:56 PM
Subject: RE: About 12% on post to tech-write list

On Mon, 7 May 2001 16:09:32 -0700, "MM Deaton" <mmdeaton -at- mmdeaton -dot- com>
>... I think the decision to not go through an agency needs to be based on
>something other than how much per hour you can charge. When you work
>an agency, they are bearing all of the costs you will have to bear when you
>are your own business. They, in turn, are passing that along to the
>companies that hire the people they source and act as employer-of-record
>for. And they add a margin, from which their profit comes.

Librarian friend of mine was telling me she just read an article in the
Wall Street Journal about a guy who lives in Los Altos (pricey, pricey
area) who nets $200,000 per year as an "agency". He said it takes him a
couple of hours a MONTH to do this work for approximately 200 people. He's
never been on-site at any client and he's never met any of the people he
"represents". He said he had virtually NO overhead or expenses. (Sorry,
the page is only available on-line to subscribers so I couldn't access it
or get the URL.)

Any of you guys want me to be your agency, just let me know! For 12% of
your $50-or-more hourly, I'd gladly spend a few minutes of my time every
single month. Heck, act now and I might be willing to go down to 10%.

~ Emily Berk ~
On the web at *** Armadillo Associates, Inc. ~
~ Project management, developer relations and ~
extremely-technical technical documentation that developers find useful.~


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RE: About 12% on post to tech-write list: From: Berk/Devlin

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