Today we discuss the benefits of being a freelance consultant. We look at latest research from Monash University which indicates that being a freelancer definitely has its benefits. We're a happy bunch. We love the lifestyle and advantages of being independent.
As its tax time we revisit the importance of keeping good financial records in order to reduce our tax and ensure proper compliance.
We will also take a look at dropbox.com, a file sharing service, which is very helpful in sharing and moving those big files which are typically too big for your email to send.
Lastly we have pleasure in introducing you to a free education service from the government aimed at helping you take advantage of the online world. 'Winning Business Online' provides a video presentation of everything you need to know.
Wishing you every success for the month ahead.
A recent Study by Monash University (Sponsored by Entity Solutions) found that the lifestyle offered Freelancers is a major advantage of working independently. The study also found that working as a freelancer provided a sustainable way of working. This confirms the well established literature linking the strong and positive relationship between being in a desired work arrangement, job satisfaction and superior performance.
The study found that the typical freelancer is someone who is highly competent and self aware and in the main is very comfortable with their choice of vocation. The research also highlights that the Freelancer feels valued, respected and trusted by their current employer and believes that they are making a significant contribution.
Being in control seems to be the major advantage to being a Freelancer with them being able to choose who they work for, avoid toxic environments, work on a variety of applications and problems. The varied work environment provides learning experiences and are able to avoid the company politics.
Most surprisingly, the majority of Freelancers have not experienced age discrimination of any sort whilst 41% said that if they won $10M they would continue to work. That's love! You can download a copy of the survey; just click here .
With 18% of Australian workers working as independent freelancers Shane Reardon Deputy Commissioner of Taxation says the biggest issue facing freelancers is that of record keeping. This matters for two reasons. Firstly because it's required by law that you retain proper records, but as importantly, you'll end up paying too much tax. You also run the risk of submitting an incorrect return which may result in fines etc. Peter Strong of the small business council agrees,' you must keep good records' he says, 'get help and advice from your industry association, from your colleagues in the field, and get an accountant who knows your sector. Don't try to economise by not using and accountant. But, equally, learn to keep your own records well. Accountants love shoe boxes – they can charge you heaps for sorting them. You don't have to get complicated software but get a system'. Software is not necessarily the magic bullet as you still have to feed it the details. So again it comes down to the inescapable fact that you must know how to keep and maintain records. Two excellent ATO seminars are Record Keeping and Tax Basics. Check with the tax office for a seminar near you.
Reardon also highlighted that the next most important thing for freelancers to be aware of, is good cash-flow management. 'If you are registered for GST you must pay these sums to the ATO, usually quarterly. If you don't, one quarter becomes two quarters, becomes three and by then finding the cash can be overwhelming. 'Talk to us, and talk early', he says. 'There are may ways in which the Tax Office can help you.including manageable repayment options, interest free in some cases.'
Managing and sharing those large files, as well as moving them from one computer to another, has always been a little frustrating. Dropbox.com.au provides a service where you can share files with anybody as well as synchronising your files across multiple computers.
It is now possible to send a link via email that will allow the receiver to download the file. You can also share the file if multiple people are working on it and can keep your files automatically synchronised across multiple computers, i.e. home and office. So you can make a change or add a file on your office computer and then have those changes reflected automatically on your laptop at home. Great stuff!
The amazing thing is that for those users using less than 2GB of space (which is a lot) the service is free. For those who require 100GB or more the service is remarkably inexpensive. I highly recommend this product and have found it very handy. Take a look for yourself at www.dropbox.com .
As freelancers we're in the business of winning business. This education service is free and is really something that everyone should take advantage of. It provides a series of short video lectures on how to leverage the online world to win more business (can't we all). David Koch does the presentations and covers a diverse range of topics that include; are you ready for ebusiness, developing an ebusiness plan, a guide to resources and much more.
The discussions are in plain English and avoids the 'jargon'. So even if you know nothing about the internet or how to use it can help you develop your business, do take advantage of this fabulous service. Click here to get started.
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Freelance-Market.com.au is a on-line contractor marketing portal for professional freelancers facilitating direct contracts between the contractor and client. Skills available include management consultants, security advisors, IT professionals, business analysts, marketing consultants, graphic artists and administration personnel.
Benefits for clients and contractors:
• No agency involved; direct contracts between the contractor and client.
• Client costs are reduced in that they are not paying the 10-40% agent fee.
• Contractors optimize their billing as there is no agent cutting in to their hourly rate.
• Searches and Introductions are free to the client
• Registration and online marketing is free to contractor
• Contractors incur only a small fee per introduction based on their hourly rate
• High quality contractor database to choose from
• Contractors have improved utilization rate
• Client and contractor are free to work together as often as they like at no cost
• Immediate notification of introduction by e-mail and SMS.
• Broad range of free documentation, including contracts, NDA and general interest articles.
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