All my eggs in one basket


Well-Known Member
I've been doing some web work for an old mate who runs an agency. He's been really successful over recent years but as his company focuses on branding, they outsource all of their digital work. On the back of a site I've been working on for him, he's offered me all of his future web work. He's said that the work is worth around £1000 a month and growing.

I've obviously bitten his hand off but after the initial elation of 'the big contract' I'm now wondering if it's actually feasible? I work full time and then have my other clients to service (total of about 55-60 hours a week at the moment). My first thought was that if I could find another £250-400 work each month I could give up the PAYE and do this full time, but is that putting too many of my eggs in one basket? If for some reason this mate goes under or packs in, I'll be stuffed. BUT if I can't free up at least some of the time I'm currently spending in paid employment, I can't see how I could find the time to meet all my obligations and canvas for new clients to fill the £250-400 gap.

Any advice greatly appreciated.
Is he exaggerating the amount per month? Possibly. I agree to not having eggs in one basket. If you are already spending more than a working week on servicing your other clients is it that you aren't charging enough (I know, I know!) At some point you have to bite the bullet and go full-time, or jog along nicely with a wage (and regular money) making a bit on the side. The call has to be yours - and does depend on your circumstances. We went 'self-employed' 'cos no-one would employ us (too old! and too stroppy after a lifetime of being 'the boss').
Kate is exactly right. I also went self-employed for that very same reason, I couldn't get proper employed work, so I thought enough is enough and went about finding my own work, making my own money and relying entirely on myself. My advice to you is do not follow suit. Don't throw away what you already have, work is so hard to come by, you have full time employment, you have a steady income, you know how much you are going to earn each month and that's minimum as you get more for the extra work you do yourself on the side. Do not ever put all your eggs in one basket unless you honestly feel the rewards will outweigh the risks. I don't know how much money I will make from one week to the next let alone month! I would love to be in your position. Plus you don't have the headache of always looking for more and more work to keep you covered for the following week/month. Unless you have someone like your mate to offer you a grand a month worth of work. But is that guaranteed? And for how long?
Thanks guys, at the moment I don't have that much freelance work on (maybe 2 or 3 regular clients, then the odd one-off job), its the PAYE job that takes up most of my life. This mate of mine might be exaggerating slightly as I cant imagine he's outsourcing £1k a month every month but knowing his client list, I'd imagine it could be close 4 out of 6 months of the year.

Something I keep coming back to is the possibility of reducing my PAYE hours to maybe 3 days a week (rather than 5 days plus 7 or 8 hours overtime) which would keep a post tax income of about £800 and allow me at least some of the time I'd need for other things. That's quite dependent on my boss being up for it but they've just ok'ed one of the editorial staff to do something similar so I can't see it being an issue.

Maybe I should just bide my time and see how much work is coming in regularly from this (and a couple of other potential sources), then make a decision in 6 months or so?

Oh and Kate,.. I know I don't charge enough, it's an area I know I need to address very soon. lol
I think in your circumstances I would hang on to the job and wait and see. This is one time when procrastination won't hurt!

I don't imagine that many of us are really charging enough! When I think of the good old days.... and I'm still probably charging the same for a business card design! I did tell one client that I would not do 4 quarter-page adverts for £3.50 each! (Which is what she wanted to pay me!!!)