Balancing your personal working fund

If you are an independent contractor of specialist and you are beating the pavement to get picked up on a detail here and there you need to know something about what you need to survive on a detail.  There are times when you are on a detail where you will have to spend your own money for your meals. can fare, tips and even flights and lodging for some companies out there.  If you are a licensed company you should expect to have to do this most of the time.

Some of the pop up companies that I have mentioned in the past do not have the working capitol or credit to front the monies to make your financial situation easier while you are on the road.  That also goes for those 1 and 2 day details that include meals in the contract.  You will need to have some money readily available for yourself.  The company that is hiring you for the detail will allow you to expense everything back BUT you will be out of those funds until you are reimbursed.  This can be a major strain to any specialist that is just getting into the industry and even harder for those that are surviving from detail to detail.  There is an unwritten rule that most companies will turn your money around within 30 days so you’ll have to plan for that ahead of time.  You could work 3 to 4 separate details in a row and not see your return on the first detail until the end or near the end of your 4th detail.  Meanwhile your personal funds continue to deplete.  It’s a battle of survival and attrition at the same time.

If you land in the right network you may be afforded the opportunity where you lodging is reserved for you as well as a credit card authorization is done for your meals.  Ironically enough, I have found that even some of the more established service providers do not utilize the credit card authorization process.  This process makes it easier for billing in the end for the service provider as well as not having to wait for the specialist to produce and send an expense voucher.  For us – time is money and the longer it takes to submit invoicing to the client the longer it takes for all of us to get paid.

If you are that specialist that is on that working cycle of working detail after detail, using your own funds to survive and waiting to get paid, be wise with your funds because you may need those to make it day to day on those details.  This is the business you chose and the process has not changed in years.  To alleviate this strain, attach yourself to the right networks.

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