Project Management

Topic Teasers Vol. 151: Contracts for a PM Contractor

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Due to my success as a project manager in the traditional marketplace, I have opened my own business as a contractor for unique projects. While the pay and hours are great, I’m having some trouble with the financial side of things. Most of my former projects for a Fortune 500 company didn’t involve me being on the contracting side of the business. How can I make sure I’m covering my own expenses and profit, while also protecting my customers from feeling uncertain about the cost for my services?

A. Most of us take the procurement processes in our organizations for granted. Someone else, or a specialized department, makes sure internal project managers have what they need when they need it—and makes sure the contracts with the customers are fair and appealing. A freelance PM needs to quickly learn those skills for themself.

B. The ordering, cost and delivery should be done for a self-employed project manager by a third-party service. The process is so complicated and the tax implications so scary that to try to do your own procurement is not a wise business model.

C. Once you are on your own with your own company, you have no need to obtain anything from any outside source. For the first five years, only accept …


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"The radical of one century is the conservative of the next. The radical invents the views. When he has worn them out, the conservative adopts them."

- Mark Twain

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