Freelancing – are you doing it right?

So you are working as a freelance technician/designer. Do you have all of your business structure in place. You have all of the necessary skills, but do you have the right insurance, licenses etc in place to actually do your job. There does seem to be a few out there in this industry that are not doing the right thing. I have heard that some people do not even have public liability insurance to cover them if some thing were to go wrong. There is nothing wrong with being confident in your work, but supposing that something did fail? They are going to come after you first. It odes not matter it is was a bit of equipment that was supplied to you by another company, they are going to go for you. They know you installed it.

A really usually card to have is the “White Card” this shows that the holder has undertaken basic construction induction training – the course ‘CPCCOHS1001A – Work safely in the construction industry’.  People who enter construction sites in Australia must have undertaken construction induction or ‘White Card training’ and have evidence of their attendance from the course. Why would you need this? Well if you are doing installs there is a possibility that you are going to be on a building site and therefore you need to comply with all of the requirements of the site.

Occupational health and safety is also something that you have to think about. Do you have a written policy? Do you have your safework procedures in place? This is a great idea and one that is going to save hassles later on. More and more places will want to see these sort of documents before you enter a site or work place. This is a nice complement to have with your insurance. Another thing to think about is do you have the required safety gear to carry out your tasks in a safe manner. This may be as simple as Hi Vis gear, safety boots and a hard hat. There will be times that you require more such as fall arrest devices. And don’t forget a First Aid kit, you should always carry one with you on the job.

Also don’t forget to have a ABN number, you are trading as a business you need this to do your taxes etc. Your costumers will also require this on the tax invoices you present them for the work you do. Now if you use a name other than your own as a trading name, you need to register this business name. Another to remember is that if you have a cool business and you have not registered it, someone else can register and use that name.

A business plan is also a very useful document. It is the roadmap of what you intend for your business intends to do in the future. It can also be a great document to present to finaical institutions to get funding. Also get a good accountant and keep asll of your records. Make sure your invoice in a timely manner and follow up on late payers. Don’t leave invoicing for 6 months, this could put you in a finical hole that can be difficult for you to get out of.

Something that is really useful but neccessary is a National Police check. This is really handy when you are working on school sites. It helps to reassure the client that in theory you are a really good guy.

There are also things like tickets to operate various pieces of equipment like forklifts, lifters etc.

So there you have it in a nut shell. Have a look at what you are doing and see if there is anything missing. There are organisations in each state that can help you comply.

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