So, you’re thinking about becoming Maris resource? We receive inquiries from exceptional individuals who are already self-employed, independent professionals (1099 IRS status) in marketing and communications or are considering it. Following are the eleven most frequently asked questions. Call us with that twelfth question!
Q1: I have been successful as a consultant and independent contractor. What is the advantage of becoming a Maris resource?
A: You have been successful for a reason. You are confident, talented, and capable. As a Maris resource, you will benefit from exposure to new clients and an additional source of placement opportunities, challenging and engaging assignments and, of course, be freed of billing and collections.
Q2: What type of person seems to thrive as a Maris resource?
A: Those who are self-motivated, confident and skilled in their ability to perform quality work over a wide range of marketing and communications projects. Combined with this confidence and a strong career background, our best resources are flexible, independent people who adapt to the inconsistency of contract work. They are comfortable working solo, or with a close-knit team, either from home or at the client site. And they are already prepared in other ways to be independent professionals.
Q3: In addition to confidence and a broad-based marketing skill set, in what other ways are the best Maris resources prepared to be independent professionals?
A: Our resources have an up-to-date home office, complete with a computer running a recent version of Microsoft® Office. They also have internet access, email and voicemail. They have at least the equivalent of six months’ salary in cash reserves, an identified plan for individual health insurance, a keen understanding of the tax ramifications of going solo, and the insurance and financial experts to assist them. They also have an emotional support system in place and a strategy to build and sustain their own business. Placements through Maris should be considered “bonus” work.
Q4: What types of client organizations request Maris resources?
A: Our clients generally reflect the local marketplace and include telecommunications companies, high tech, cable, medical and e-commerce. We also have higher education, real estate, and utility clients.
Q5: How does Maris decide which resources are proposed in response to a client’s request?
A: The specific nature of the client’s request (ie. skill set, hours required, scope and location) and the availability of specific resources to fulfill that request generally dictate which resources are proposed for a particular project.
Q6: Is there any way to know when I might get my first project? How long might I have to wait?
A: There is no way to predict when you might get your first project. As mentioned, client requests truly dictate this, and the nature and timing of those can vary greatly.
Q7: At what rate does Maris bill clients and what percentage of that goes to the Maris resource?
A: The billing rate is determined in discussions with you and reflects the skills you bring to independent contracting and your desire for a certain level of compensation. From this, Maris negotiates a rate directly with the client for each particular project. Your rate may even vary from project to project, and client to client, depending on the skill set required, duration of the assignment, and other factors. Once Maris collects fees from the client, the resource is mailed a check for a percentage of the total negotiated in advance between Maris and the resource.
Q8: What about taxes, benefits, and retirement savings?
A: Before considering becoming a Maris resource, you are strongly encouraged to seek appropriate counsel on tax and retirement planning. You also must set up a business entity with the state of Colorado. As independent professionals, Maris resources are solely responsible for paying their state and federal taxes, understanding their 1099 status, securing adequate health care coverage, and planning for retirement.
Q9: How long do projects last? Are they ever extended?
A: Projects can last from two weeks to more than a year. The average for project work is generally three to four months. Clients do extend some projects, and the resource decides whether or not to continue on the project. Most do, as they tend to enjoy the work and the contracting experience.
Q10: Do I have to take every project that is offered to me?
A: No. We understand that one of the chief benefits of being an independent professional is the ability to control your own life. We contact you with an appropriate project. You consider the nature of the work, the length and hours and the hourly rate, location etc. then advise us whether you want to be proposed for a particular project. Several resources will likely be recommended for a project. The client ultimately decides whom to interview and retain.