Issue 7 - Freelancing. Finally the Facts

There are now over 1,000 bid and proposal contractors, consultants and freelancers delivering services in the UK. Having passed this milestone, it felt like an appropriate time to dig beneath the surface and find out exactly what life is like for those that made the transition – mostly from permanent employment.

The contract market has experienced significant growth in the past five years. Whilst there are more options than ever for clients, there has never been a greater need to audit the credentials of those engaged.

The advice provided in BQ7 is the most comprehensive we have ever pulled together. This is supplemented with the key findings from the largest ever contractor survey we completed over the summer.

Mel Mae Smith (UK APMP Chair) kindly agreed to be ‘In the Spotlight’. Having voiced my concerns about APMP International in BQ5, I was keen to listen to what she had to say on a wide range of subjects. She talks passionately about the benefits of joining APMP and the soon to be released ‘speciality’ certifications.

We also have fabulous articles from our regular BQ experts. Holger Garden presents three core questions that helped him develop a successful business. Jon Williams provides some great insight on succeeding outside of the ‘corporate’ world, whilst Andy Haigh talks openly about why redundancy can be a blessing in disguise.

Nigel Hudson – candid as always – talks about the importance of making hay while the sun shines and Pippa Birch provides a great list of ideas to keep contractors on their toes. Finally, Kathryn Potter talks about the importance of family and staying motivated.

Changes to IR35 legislation are just around the corner and feature heavily in much of our experts’ thinking. Whilst we attempt to get to grips with the basics of these changes, the question on most freelancers’ lips anxiously remains: “Will HMRC and my clients deem me a contractor OR an employee after April 2020?”

I really hope you enjoy this issue of Bidding Quarterly and that it helps you better understand your options should you be considering a move to contracting.

Martin Smith
Managing Director

In this issue

  • 2019 UK Contractor Survey

    Bid Solutions

    The survey, conducted by Bid Solutions, aimed to deliver the first meaningful research specifically focussed on the UK bid and proposal contractor market.

    Read more

  • Freelancers’ gremlins, you are terminated!

    Holger Garden

     Are you considering a role change to bid freelancing? If so, is it an easy decision or are you fighting gremlins saying how scary the new world will be?

    Read more

  • “At least we don’t carry lances”

    Jon Williams

    Jousting’s a dangerous sport. Picture your opponent galloping towards you on horseback at speed, a lance aimed at your chest. Best case, as a loser, you fall heavily. Worst case…

    Read more

  • Spotlight – Mel Mae Smith

    Martin Smith

    Mel is without doubt one of the busiest people in our profession right now, holding down a full-time job at Harmonic whilst leading the UK Chapter of APMP at a time of rapid growth and professional development. I was delighted when she said she’d find time to answer some of my questions. It’s a fascinating insight into Mel and her selfless commitment to our profession.

    Read more

  • Gimme the Cash!

    Nigel Hudson

    Can you keep a secret? I need to share something with you that might land me in a bit of bother with my employer. It is this: I’d like to be a consultant. Again.

    Read more

  • The Jump

    Andy Haigh

    I was happily working away, managing an increasing number of bids and proposals, when the call came. Our win rate had soared from about 1:12 to better than 1:3. Morale in the team was high. Other people in the company sought to join this high performing area of the business. The work was hard, but we were motivated and, in the main, having fun.

    Read more

  • How to keep your freelancer happy*

    Pippa Birch

    Yes! A whole issue of BQ devoted to freelancing and consulting! I have whinged and moaned for a long time about the fact that we are never considered in the bidding world and yet here we are, a dedicated survey and an issue of BQ lovingly devoted to us consultants – hurrah!

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  • Team Member to Pathfinder

    Kathryn Potter

    “What do you do?” It’s an interesting and intriguing question these days, considering where I started, where I am now and what happened in between.

    Read more

  • IR35 – Why does it matter?

    Bid Solutions

    IR35 is the name given to tax legislation, introduced back in April 2000, that is intended to identify individuals who could be paying less tax than they should be. Most contractors, by their own admission, have not fully understood its implications.

    Read more