Reply to post: I found a way to beat IR35

What do we want? A proper review of IR35! When do we want it? Last year! Bunch of IT contractors protest outside UK Parliament


I found a way to beat IR35

I was a UK IT contractor, but I escaped the rat race and started a work from home IT consultancy.

What shocked me is how easy it is - the skills you built as a contractor are almost what you need to run your own business.

You know those contract interviews which used to intimidate you but which are now easy, familiar territory? Very similar to pitching to clients.

But how do you find the clients? That was the problem which stopped me all those years from trying to set out on my own.

My ex sales trainer wife gave me the answer - find local business meet-ups, pitch up in nice clothes, introduce yourself to everyone, ask about their business, ask what they think of mobile apps (or whatever service you plan to offer). If they say "I've been thinking of building an app...", bingo, new client.

Its that simple. You get a lot of knockbacks, but ask enough people and you'll find someone with money who's interested in spending that money on you.

Most of my clients are small startup businesses, not the kind of potential clients agents would normally target. Or they were small startup businesses - a few of them have grown. Their budgets have grown with them, and they stick with the IT person who helped them grow.

Don't try to target big businesses, at least not at first. Big businesses take months or even years to make a decision, and unless you have a lot of cash you can't wait that long, burning time and effort in endless meetings. In any case they won't want to deal with a one man show, unless you have an extraordinary rare skill. Small businesses make fast decisions and frankly they're usually a lot more fun to work with.

I no longer live in the UK, nowadays I live on a tropical beach in Australia. But if I was still based in the UK, this way of doing business is IR35 proof. You do part time piecework for multiple clients, at your own direction, in your own home / office. No different to a self employed plumber or decorator doing small jobs. Anyone who tries to say you're an employee with this method of business is barking.

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