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For a business to grow and expand their client base they need to have a successful marketing strategy. Without marketing, a business could offer the most fantastic products or services in the world, but potential customers wouldn’t know about them. Marketing is all about measuring figures, which prove whether a campaign or marketing activity has been a success. Testing different marketing activities must have quantifiable results to show that it has provided a strong return on investment.
Whether your expertise lies in digital, management, or direct marketing, working on a consultancy basis allows you to provide an expert, unbiased viewpoint on a company’s marketing activity; which is essential in implementing necessary improvements, that ultimately increases sales.
As a marketing consultant rather than working in a permanent role, you could work with multiple clients on a contract basis. This article will discuss the benefits of working as a marketing consultant, how to secure work, rates of pay and the best way to operate as a consultant.
From higher rates of pay to greater skill development, there are many reasons why marketing consultants prefer working on a contract basis. Some of the benefits of contracting as a marketing consultant include:
Here we have a few tips on finding a contract, and what you should do next.
First and foremost, research into contracts and firms in your local area. Once you have done this it will be easier to determine what contracts will be best suited to your skill set and interests. An introductory email can then be sent, informing them that you are available for contracted work within your respected field.
If there has been no reply, a follow-up call can be made a few days later, which is a lot better than initially cold calling. This is useful as sometimes emails can be lost or have been sent to the wrong person/department. Also by emailing the company they can decide whether they need your services and contact you accordingly.
Keeping notes on when who and what was said to the firms can keep you organised so you don’t mistake one for another when talking to a potential client. Also, keep notes on if a follow-up call or meeting is required and the date and times.
Daily rates for marketing consultants will depend on your skill level, reputation, qualifications, experience and the location of your contract. The average daily rate for marketing consultants in the UK is around £400 per day (October 2015).
For the higher-end contracts you should have:
Your daily rate will, of course, be subject to tax and national insurance, if you have already secured your contract you may want to use our contractor calculator for a better idea of how much you could be taking home from your contract.
A contract can last anytime and is dependant on your client’s requirements, the length of your assignment will be outlined within your contract. When working on a contract basis you should be aware of IR35, which is government legislation that was put in place to combat what HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) deem to be disguised employment. We would always recommend that you get your contract reviewed by a specialist to ensure that you comply with IR35. For more information, you may find the following pages useful.
Once you have decided that contracting is for you, the next step is deciding whether to operate under an umbrella company or form your own limited company. You can find out more in our comparison guide, however, most contractors decide that forming their own limited company is the most beneficial option for them.
Working with an umbrella company means they act as your employer and details such as expenses must be provided to them directly. The Umbrella Company will then collect payment from the client, take a percentage and pay you.
Working through an umbrella company can be viewed as an easier method and is ideal for temporary contractors expecting to work for less than three months, however, there are drawbacks such as, working in the least tax-efficient way and being subject to the same rules as a permanent employee.
A limited company is one of the best ways to operate in a tax-efficient way and means when you form your own business, you can select a name to operate under. Once you have a copy of your incorporation certificate, which Nixon Williams can help you with through our new business team, you can begin trading immediately.
Forming a limited company allows you to have more control over your day-to-day life and many more benefits such as:
If you’re still unsure or would like more information on how umbrella companies operate, our guide to umbrella companies can point you in the right direction.
Setting up a limited company isn’t as scary as it sounds. All you need to do is decide on your limited company name, company address, a minimum of one company director and we can set up your company within three to six working hours.
Clients of Nixon Williams are offered a free set up of their limited company, this includes registering for PAYE, VAT and Corporation Tax. We will also assist you with support in opening a business account with Metro Bank.
Once you have formed your limited company you may want to consider appointing an accountant to take care of your taxation requirements. When choosing an accountant you may want to consider appointing a firm that specialises in the contractor market and has experience dealing with the issues that affect contractors, like IR35.
Here at Nixon Williams, we can make the transition seamless. We’ll appoint one of our accountants who will provide advice on the most tax-efficient way to operate and claim on expenses, communicate with the relevant authorities on your behalf, take care of your bookkeeping, and complete your year-end accounts.
As a part of our Platinum and Professional packages, we offer a switching service so you can move to and from limited and umbrella, depending on your assignment. For more information on the services that Nixon Williams provides, please visit our services page.