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Old 03-27-2011, 05:04 AM
j288gto j288gto is offline
 
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Default Can I accept payment

Hi my name is James and I am an IT grad from N. Ireland. Since my degree ended I have been working Admin in a Bank. Also during this time I have repaired many friends and colleague's PCs and Laptops. Repairs vary from removing virus's and spyware/malware to simply speeding up systems and general maintenance (plus one laptop screen replacement, never again!).

I do not have any certification yet and as such have been unwilling to request payment for these jobs. I mean to take a MCITP or CompTIA course in September (haven’t decided which yet) and have began work on a web page for my business. My clients do not consist of businesses and I don't think I would ever go down that road even after certification. This is mainly as I think I am better suited to smaller, more manageable tasks.

I am starting to get clients wanting to pay me for my work and am unsure as to how to proceed. Can I take payment from customers even though I am not certified? How would I charge for my work? For instance do I just charge by time or for work completed?

Just to clarify I do not carry out work that is beyond my capabilities nor would I attempt to do so. My qualifications include an A-Level (grade B) in Computer Science and an 2:1 in ICT (BscHons). My "real world" experience does not extend beyond friends and colleagues systems (unfortunately).

After posting on intro forum I got a recommendation to read articles on main page which were great. I will download the Business kit depending on replies I guess!

Thanks
James
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Old 03-27-2011, 05:55 AM
Asrial Asrial is offline
 
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I think you should start accepting money, yes. Everyone has to start somewhere.
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Old 03-27-2011, 06:04 AM
j288gto j288gto is offline
 
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Thats nice to hear, sorry I know it was a bit of a stupid question(Should I take money?). I was just wondering was there a legal requirement or obligation to have a certification before making a business.
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Old 03-27-2011, 06:35 AM
Asrial Asrial is offline
 
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Here in the United States...

If you make ANY money.. the government wants a cut. Also, I do need to be registered in my county (a part of Texas for simplicities sake) to operate as an official business.

That said.. start taking payment and at the same time look into what you need to do to make your business official.

Baby steps first
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Old 03-27-2011, 06:39 AM
Asrial Asrial is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by j288gto View Post

How would I charge for my work? For instance do I just charge by time or for work completed?
I didn't notice this part on the first pass through.

That's completely up to you. Each method has its pro's and con's.

You charged me for 3 hours of work. How do I know it really took you 3 hours? What if that other guy could have done it in 2? What if you're so badass that stuff that would take most people 3 hours to do only takes you 1?

You charged me a flat rate for a data transfer. Sorry it took you two days of screwing around with my failing hard drive to get it all.

I prefer charging per service. Things usually balance out in the end (fast jobs vs slow jobs).
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Old 03-27-2011, 06:52 AM
NETWizz NETWizz is online now
 
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I don't know the specifics about your country. Here in the United States you can charge for anything. I can charge you $20 for a glass of water if I can get you to pay it.

They don't care here provided they get their cut of the taxes. That said, your customers care and they are the people with the money.

Therefore, always do your very best, be reasonable, and only charge for work you complete successfully and in a satisfactory manner... then you SHOULD charge. Do NOT give your time away free.
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Old 03-27-2011, 09:17 AM
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Painless Painless is offline
 
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In the UK you need to register with the Inland Revenue as self-employed. You also need to keep accurate records all your business income & expenditure. I would suggest you look at your local Gateway site and see what information / courses they have - the are a Gov site to help small businesses. ( sorry I'm doing this on my phone so can't give you a link at present )

The other thing you need to look at is insurance. I'm with Aviva but they don't seem to cover much unless I drop the customer's machine outside. I'm looking at Direct Line which looks better. I would be interested to know what other UK Technibblers do.

Good luck with the business.
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Old 03-27-2011, 10:43 AM
j288gto j288gto is offline
 
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Thanks to everyone for the replies, all have helped a lot - answered all of my queries and things I hadn't even considered like insurance. I think the link (if I have it correct) is hmrc.gov.uk/businesses/iwtregister-a-new-business.shtml for new businesses in case others need it. The info on charging is much appreciated so again thanks a lot..

(can't post proper links yet btw!)
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