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SME consulting on your own

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Why is it that more people don't provide subject matter consulting in their area of expertise, on their own? Is it the fear of working without a steady source of income? Is it the preference to have other people handle the selling and accounting and such?

Does anyone here work as an SME?

More and more it seems like a good idea to me.
post #2 of 4
I'm a mining geotechnical engineering consultant, however I work for a multi-national consultancy.

I am considering starting my own one man business in probably 10 years or so. In that time I should have the required expertise (20 years experience) and the contacts ready to go.

The key issue for me is to build my contact network so I don't have to go and actively market myself to mining companies. In my industry, once you are well known, clients follow you around so you won't have to worry about the work load.

Liability is also a huge issue in my industry. You need to be a registered professional engineer, and being a mining geotech engineer, my cock is on the block everytime I give advice. Insurance premiums are huge. The financial costs of defending yourself in case advice you give causes a mine collapse can be bankruptcy material.

The accounting and book keeping side of it isn't an issue, I know how to do it due to my current job and my fiance is an cpa accountant for one of the world's largest mining companies.

An attractive alternative which I have noticed recently are jobs advertised that are targeting those that are about to set up their own companies. Salaries are in the range of AU$300-350k pa (instead of the average single man consultancy turnover of $450-500k pa), but the workload is guaranteed and you have company backing in case something goes awry.
post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
The point about liability is the biggest concern of mine. It seems that is the biggest hurdle, aside from the up front costs it takes for me to get some of the equipment I'd like to have.
post #4 of 4

The insurance market has changed dramatically. There are a lot insurance companies hungry for premiums so it is a price war on coverages like Professional Liability for consultants. The more detail I provided as to exactly what my consulting role will be along with a sample of my client contract saved me money. Here is a good site to start;

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