While contracting comes with many benefits that include the freedom to own your time, it can be a dauntingly risky prospect when compared to leaving the comfort of a cushy job in either the private or public sector. That’s why we’re providing you with all the tips and support you’ll need via our helpful contractor guide, which is aimed at equipping you with the right knowledge and resources needed to build a long-lasting contracting career.
Be Confident in Your Skills
A lot of contractors feel insecure about their skills when starting out. The truth is that there is plenty of work available for contractors with different skill levels, and although you do find that some contractors are more experienced or have a depth to their skills than others, there is definitely a place and demand for new players with fresh skills as well.
Get a Wide Variety of Enjoyable Jobs
Unlike with the structure of formal employment, contracting is challenging in the most refreshing way, in that it presents you with interesting and wide-ranging work on a regular basis, and our contracting guide is here to help you make the most of that work.
Learn How to Find Work
One of the skills that you’ll have to learn when you become a contractor is how to find work, and this is by far the unifying trait of the most successful contractors. It is not necessarily their skill that sets them apart, but rather their ability to source and retain clients in the long term.
Adopt a Professional Sales Practice
Having the right sales approach can help you keep a steady flow of income and less openings in-between contracts. Your skillset when it comes to sales will also make it easier to negotiate better rates, and maintain your ability to attract customers even when the market demand is low.
Make Sure Your CV is Impactful:
Write an attention-grabbing CV that piques the interest of the reader, while making a permanent impact that makes you stand out. Tailor each CV to the particular contract to show the client that you took the time to study and understand their needs, and this will make for an exceptional first impression.
Improve Your Interview Skills
Use impactful sales techniques to sell yourself during interviews, making sure that you prepare for interviews beforehand so that you can get enough practice to weed out some of the mistakes that you might make if you go in unprepared. Luckily, our contractor guide has plenty of tips to help you prepare for your first contractor interview.
Determine Your Rates and Learn How to Negotiate
It’s important to know what your rates are going to be, and you can easily determine them by the level of market demand there is, as well as the skills, expertise, experience etc. that you bring to the job. While it’s important to determine your own rates, it’s equally essential to learn the art of negotiation, as it will be especially useful and beneficial to you in the beginning.
Choose the Best Payment Structure
No contractor guide would be complete without advising you on the need for a payment structure, whether it’s an umbrella company or your limited company. Each has its pros and cons and both are conveniently easy to do.
Understand the IR35 Tax
As an independent contractor with or without an umbrella company, you’ll have to deal with certain tax legislation such as the IR35, and it would be a good idea to consult with a lawyer when structuring your contracts so that they comply with this law.
Plan for Time Off While Managing Your Clients Efficiently
The best part about being a contractor is that you can take as much downtime as you like, but the important thing in this regard is to plan your holidays in advance so that you’re still able to cater to your clients even when you’re on vacation.