Have you ever considered working for yourself as an Wi-Fi consultant?
François Vergès who started SemFio Networks in 2014 and has been working as an Independent Wi-Fi Consultant in Ontario, Canada shared what it is like to work as an independent consultant in the wireless LAN industry during one of our #WLPC ten talks. You can watch his full video HERE.
He shares some insights and tips you might find helpful on your own journey.
Whether you are called an “independent consultant”, “freelancer”, “contractor”, or “self-employed” it all comes down to an individual (you) providing professional services to the world.
According to Freelancers Union (2014), in the year 2014, 53 million Americans were engaged in freelance work – which is 34% of the national workforce. Also interesting to note, according to Intuit , by the year 2020, 40-50% of the workforce is expected to be freelancers.
As more and more individuals find it challenging to meet their financial goals with their 9-5 jobs and with the disappearance of full-time jobs, more individuals have turned to the “Gig Economy” to leverage their skills and earn more money.
2 Profiles to Consider as Independent Wi-Fi Consultants:
Safe profile: These are long term contracts with only a few clients. This is aa consultant working full-time hours for one dedicated client. This will be extended over a short-term to long term period such as a six months to 1 year contract. At the end of the contract, based on the working relationship between the client and the consultant, the contract will either be renewed or the consultant will move onto another client.
Flexible: The flexible profile will be short-term contracts with numerous clients. This allows you to build your client base and transition into long term contracts. It is important to note however with this profile revenue can be inconsistent and as such, you have to ensure that you manage your portfolio to provide enough revenue for times of little or no work. Can you say “feast or famine”?
Where do you start if you want to become an Independent Wi-Fi Consultant?
A great resource to help with getting your ideas into a structure format would be the book : “Business Model Generation“. This books provides a canvas that helps you with defining your business plan which helps you in:
- defining who your customer are going to be;
- what resources you will need;
- and a simple budget of your operating expenses.
Perform market and competitor analysis
Here you will want to understand:
- the trends that affect your industry
- who are the current companies in your industry
- location that might be able to provide the same or similar services.
Look out for public resources here in your area that might provide insights on your areas in terms of the competitors, size of the market and demographic statistics about your location.
Choose a name
This might appear to be the easiest step, but might not be. When choosing a name ensure that the domain name is also available to help with branding on the internet. This domain will be used to build your website to help clients find you and also learn about the service offerings.
Register the business
Once you have registered you business, you will receive your tax number and then you can use your tax number to bill your customers. When registering your business you can choose a sole trader or a limited liability company.
Wi-Fi and the Business Operations
The way a business operates is similar to the way a network protocol operates.
For a network protocol we have the payload (the good stuff), and the header which is what is needed for the protocol to operate properly. In business and as an independent Wi-Fi consultant, most of your time also has to be spent on billable hours and while still ensuring you do the necessary administrative work to ensure the business operates properly. Therefore similar to a network protocol the less overhead you have, the more efficient your business will operate.
Thanks again to François Vergès for some great insight into life as an independent Wi-Fi consultant. Have some thoughts or insights or even questions. Let us know in the comments or reach out directly to François Vergès via twitter.