Independent IT consultant

romandromand Member Posts: 21 ■□□□□□□□□□
Hi all,

I hold CCNA and no experience. To start my career I decided to become an independent IT consultant. Are there any juridical requirements in the U.S. to work as independent networking consultant?

Comments

  • sagewalkintheresagewalkinthere Member Posts: 99 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Working for yourself means taking care of your own taxes. You'll need to check into how you want your taxes structured - you could start a sole proprietorship, or a LLC, or several other types of businesses. It's a good idea to take some time and read up on these things because some of them have certain advantages and disadvantages. Some cost more to setup and maintain.

    Once you've decided on a structure for your business, you can file an "Assumed Name" or a "Doing Business As" name so that you can officially reserve that name for your business.

    After you get your taxes and name and everything taken care of, you just need to figure out how to get some customers and start working!

    P.S. I worked as a freelance web designer in Texas for 4 years.
    A.A.S. Multimedia Web Design, MCTS 70-623, MCTS 83-640, MCP 70-270, A+
    http://jasonereid.blogspot.com/
  • RobertKaucherRobertKaucher A cornfield in OhioMember Posts: 4,299 ■■■■■■■■■■
    Get Amazon.com: Small Business Kit for Dummies: Richard D. Harroch: Books

    Also, one thing you need to consider is that as a consultant working in networking what will you do if a customer decides YOU caused the outage/broke the server and sues you for lost business or property damage? If you are serious about going out on your own, get some sort of insurance.
  • sambuca69sambuca69 Member Posts: 262
    Also, one thing you need to consider is that as a consultant working in networking what will you do if a customer decides YOU caused the outage/broke the server and sues you for lost business or property damage? If you are serious about going out on your own, get some sort of insurance.

    ^^This is a biggie.

    You mentioned you just got your CCNA, but no experience, so I don't know if that means your new to the I.T. field, or you're "seasoned" and just new to the networking field, but you can consult through agencies (align, kforce, etc.), and not have to worry about being sued.
  • romandromand Member Posts: 21 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Thank you for replies, guys.

    Ye to cause a network failure that I worried about. So insurance is necessary. But now I have another question. As I understand now it is not common to be independent consultant, right?

    I am not so new to IT field. I have MS degree in networking and telecommunications, but it was back 2002 in Ukraine. But again lack of experience.

    Originaly I planned to start consulting like self intership by private web site. But I was advised to do it like independent consultant.
  • AshenweltAshenwelt FIP, CDPSE, CIPP/E, CIPT, CISM, PSM I, MCSE x3, MCITP x3, MCTS x16 Member Posts: 266 ■■■■□□□□□□
    romand wrote: »
    Thank you for replies, guys.

    Ye to cause a network failure that I worried about. So insurance is necessary. But now I have another question. As I understand now it is not common to be independent consultant, right?

    I am not so new to IT field. I have MS degree in networking and telecommunications, but it was back 2002 in Ukraine. But again lack of experience.

    Originaly I planned to start consulting like self intership by private web site. But I was advised to do it like independent consultant.


    First, make sure the insurance you get is Errors and Ommissions. Although, you could also simply require a signed waiver (not as good a choice).

    Second, no it is not uncomon to be a consultant. Although, sometimes you might do better using the term contractor, or contract "job title". I will warn you though, that once you go consultant, it can be hard to come back to standard industry.

    Third, that lack of experience is going to hit you several ways. You are going to find jobs you cannot do; I would get contact info for a more senior cisco guy in your area and make a deal with him for support calls for you. Some consultants will be a little frustrated to be working with you on projects as you run into the; just stay calm and in a few years that should go away. Just my thoughts.

    As for starting with a website, that makes sense. And I wish you good luck.
    Ashenwelt
    -Always working on something...
    -The RepAdmin Active Directory Blog
  • apd123apd123 Member Posts: 171
    I like the last posters point about not being able to go back. I guess I would say its like gambling or smoking just don't start.
  • AshenweltAshenwelt FIP, CDPSE, CIPP/E, CIPT, CISM, PSM I, MCSE x3, MCITP x3, MCTS x16 Member Posts: 266 ■■■■□□□□□□
    apd123 wrote: »
    I like the last posters point about not being able to go back. I guess I would say its like gambling or smoking just don't start.


    For some of us it is too lateicon_lol.gif
    Ashenwelt
    -Always working on something...
    -The RepAdmin Active Directory Blog
  • romandromand Member Posts: 21 ■□□□□□□□□□
    After some search I think that a contract agreement would be better idea for beginner independent consultant. I mean agreement which states that in case of network failure I am not liable for any lost. Sure this would afraid a lot of clients:), but definitely has to protect against sues.

    Insurance for Errors and Omissions just would cost too much for beginner network engineer. And there is no guarantee that a whole idea would work. Simply I just will not find any client.
  • TurgonTurgon Banned Posts: 6,308 ■■■■■■■■■□
    I have been 'independent' for 5 years now. To be honest just about everyone in IT has to think seriously about this. For me, it was an ambition. From 1997 - 2003 I got as much permanent experience as I could so I could make it as a consultant. Today, anyone working permanent in IT is only one meeting away from a bad pie chart and the axe. Outsourcing or offshoring is *so much* more cost effective than keeping permies on. Pension. I have seen the axe fall everywhere, and it will keep falling. In my latest gig, morale is rock bottom with the guys I work with because this has just happened. So. Even if going it on your own isn't your ambition, as it was mine, I would seriously advise anyone working in IT to look into what is involved. Like it or lump it, if the MBA cost benefit analysis is against you, expect to be offered voluntary redundancy. Then you will be punting for the same work I do.
  • joey74055joey74055 Member Posts: 216
    apd123 wrote: »
    I like the last posters point about not being able to go back. I guess I would say its like gambling or smoking just don't start.

    What do you all mean by this? I have never been a consultant but what is wrong with it if you don't mind me asking. Until I read this post, my goal was to becoma a consultant. Are you all suggesting that consulting is not the way to go? Just curious........
  • joey74055joey74055 Member Posts: 216
    joey74055 wrote: »
    What do you all mean by this? I have never been a consultant but what is wrong with it if you don't mind me asking. Until I read this post, my goal was to becoma a consultant. Are you all suggesting that consulting is not the way to go? Just curious........

    or........do you mean that it is so great noone would ever want to go back to the corporate grind?
  • eMeSeMeS Member Posts: 1,875
    romand wrote: »
    After some search I think that a contract agreement would be better idea for beginner independent consultant. I mean agreement which states that in case of network failure I am not liable for any lost. Sure this would afraid a lot of clients:), but definitely has to protect against sues.

    Stating such in a contract does not mean you won't be sued. Don't write your own contracts and service agreements. Have an attorney that knows what he's doing write these for you. Pass those costs onto your customers.
    romand wrote: »
    Insurance for Errors and Omissions just would cost too much for beginner network engineer.

    How do you know? Have you received price quotes. Typically E&O insurance is one of the most affordable types of insurance products out there.

    Would it cost you more to be sued and lose than the insurance will cost? (The answer to this is "yes"; as a consultant you theoretically have unlimited liability).

    If I'm a potential customer, and you don't have enough money and forethought to properly insure yourself, then I don't want to do business with you. There are too many risks to being an independent consultant; transferring that risk is not an option, it's a prerequisite.

    Having proper insurance allows you to compete on a different plane. There are about a million amateurs out there that call themselves "consultants". But they're truly amateurs and they haven't thought things through like having appropriate contracts and appropriate insurance. IMO, insurance comes just after you've legally established your business, and before things like nice web sites. There are just some simple things that have to be done early in the formation of a business....in the US get an Employer Identifier Number, and establish a D&B record for your business, etc...

    Just to be clear, I am no shill for the insurance companies. Some things in life are must haves; insurance is one of those things. A better strategy is to establish a business strategy that allows you to recoup the money that you spend on must haves like insurance. I love when I can get insurance company business to help defer the money I spend each month on the several different types of insurance policies that I have.
    romand wrote: »
    And there is no guarantee that a whole idea would work. Simply I just will not find any client.

    There is not a guarantee that anything will work. This is not the right frame of mind to have when starting a business.

    MS
  • romandromand Member Posts: 21 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Thank you eMeS, very good advise!
  • AshenweltAshenwelt FIP, CDPSE, CIPP/E, CIPT, CISM, PSM I, MCSE x3, MCITP x3, MCTS x16 Member Posts: 266 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Ok, sometimes you think about being a consultant. Now, as a consultant, I can’t really say don’t do it. However, you do need to know what you are getting into.

    First off, a consultant owns their own business, so you get all the benefits (like sometimes more money) and deficits (like sometimes no money) that come with it. But beyond that there is a lot of baggage that consultants deal with. Some examples are:

    1. A lot of bad consultants are out there. Mainly kids trying to make a buck, or people who consider IT their get rich quick scheme. They mess with their billing, and they try billing absurd hours, or offering absurd estimates versus their bills. An example is a guy who competed with me. He bid 4 hours a month to manage a terminal cluster I managed (and takes over 20 hours a month), and then billed, not quoted, 16 hours to setup a single 1701 router with a single WIC, for a single T1. His kind give the rest of us bad names. So, we deal with the fallout from them.

    2. Many companies, when you go back, if you go back, to main stream employment, do not look kindly on consulting experience. Some have run into too many bad apples. Some just think consultant means you cannot get a real job. Some think consultant means rinky dink. So, this experience that you gain as a consultant, while in my book more valuable hour for hour than nearly any standard job style employment, is not always valued anywhere near as valuable by employers.

    3. When it comes to money, the first response by many recruiters is: well in industry employment doesn’t pay as much, what would you really take? Hmm. You know when I say a price, I might have maneuver room, but I don’t kibitz. That drives me crazy, and it us utterly wrong. Industry jobs pay about the same as most semi-sucessful consultants make. Often more. The entire argument is used to devalue a consultant returning to the main stream employment field.

    4. Time is precious, but when you work on your own, you tend to learn to use your time in different ways than you would in an office, so you actually will sometimes have an issue getting back into main stream employment work styles.

    Ok, enough for now I think. But you should get the picture: it isn’t all roses.
    Ashenwelt
    -Always working on something...
    -The RepAdmin Active Directory Blog
  • darkerosxxdarkerosxx Banned Posts: 1,343
    Very good stuff in this thread. Good job guys. icon_thumright.gif

    Also, read http://unixwiz.net/techtips/be-consultant.html
  • romandromand Member Posts: 21 ■□□□□□□□□□
    After more than two weeks working on a concept of being an independent consultant(contractor) I realize that I am willing to cooperate with folk who also wants to do consulting.

    Not everything is so simple as it seemed from beginning. So, if you want to be a consultant, welcome to the club:)
  • techgofertechgofer Member Posts: 1 ■□□□□□□□□□
    I think an independent IT consultant is a good thing because they are independent of doing their work. I'm also a technology consultant and working in a firm. I also enjoy my work but I think independent consulting is a good thing.


  • cyberguyprcyberguypr Senior Member Mod Posts: 6,926 Mod
    The best thread respawn I've seen here was 11 years. You sir, just won.
  • JDMurrayJDMurray MSIT InfoSec CISSP SSCP GSEC EnCE C|EH Cloud+ CySA+ CASP+ PenTest+ Security+ Surf City, USAAdmin Posts: 12,437 Admin
    We need a "Necro-thread Resurrection" member badge. >:)
  • Johnhe0414Johnhe0414 A+, Network+, Security+, Project+ USA, CARegistered Users Posts: 174 ■■■■□□□□□□
    WOW...that's just incredible...2009 :o
    Current:  A+ | Network+ | Project+ |Security+
    Working on: PMP
  • JDMurrayJDMurray MSIT InfoSec CISSP SSCP GSEC EnCE C|EH Cloud+ CySA+ CASP+ PenTest+ Security+ Surf City, USAAdmin Posts: 12,437 Admin
    We really need a Post Comment pop-up window that informs the user the thread they are about to reply to is very old and their comment is likely irrelevant and will be deleted.
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