Re: New Freelancer Tips

Subject: Re: New Freelancer Tips
From: Mark Ace <ace -at- EUROPA -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 6 Dec 1995 10:08:00 PST

I've seen some posts asking for freelancer tips, so I am going to offer a
few basics for beginners:

1. Understand and plan the business fundamentals. Talk to an accountant.
Know how much money you need to make. Of your gross billings, one third
will go to taxes, one third will go into business expenses, and whatever is
left goes into your pocket. Make sure you are billing enough. And start
keeping scrupulous records.

2. Understand the tax laws as they apply to the self-employed. Talk to
several contractor placement firms or temporary agencies to see what they
offer. There are tax implications in working as an independent contractor
on-site for a large corporation. Understand the IRS 20 questions on

3. Consider incorporating, or at least understand the trade-offs. Self
employment tax is about 15% of your net profit, and that can add up to a
big chunk of money. Know what you are getting into.

4. Get a business license. Print business cards and letterhead. Open a
business checking account.

5. Know what you are good at and sell that. Don't oversell. Find out who
uses your skill set and talk to them directly. Specialize, at least at
first, and avoid the temptation to say that you can do any job that comes

Those are some of the basics. I'm sure others can add more. I will post
some other ideas in another message.

Mark Ace
Ace Communications, Inc.
(503) 235-2966; fax: 235-3109

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