There’s much to love about being a contractor. You’re in charge of how many hours you work, and which projects you decide to work on.
You also have a lot more freedom when compared to a traditional employee; whereas they’re locked into one place and function, you can do as you please – there’s no-one over your shoulder giving commands. But of course, when the rewards are so high, it should be obvious that contracting isn’t the most straightforward way to make money – not everyone will be a success.
Yet while there are no guarantees, there are things you can do to improve your chances of success. We take a look at four tips below.
1. Get Networking
Some people think that contracting success comes down to how talented a person is at whatever it is they’re selling in the marketplace. And that’s true, to a degree — it tells half of the story. The other half is that a contractor won’t be successful unless they know how to talk to other people.
In the months leading up to launching your contractor lifestyle, you should be building contacts and making sure you have people to call upon for work. That really is the majority of the game: there’s an upper limit to how much success you have without the ability to network, and it’s not very high.
2. The Right Set-Up
You might have a vision of your contractor lifestyle, in which you’re simply jumping from one satisfying project to the next. However, unless you get the right set up, you’ll find that you’re spending much of your time doing all those small but plentiful admin tasks that’ll keep you on the right side of the law.
To minimise the amount of working time (and stress) this creates, it’s best to ensure you have the right set up with the help of the experts. You can use specialist IR35 accountants to ensure that you’re working compliantly. You can also have tax experts manage your finances, and IT companies ensure the tech side of the business is watertight.
3. Get Your Pricing Right
One of the more challenging aspects of being a contractor is making sure that you’re charging the right amount for your services. Sometimes, people worry that no-one is going to use them, so they play it safe by charging under market rates.
At others, people get too dazzled by the potential salary and charge too much. Before setting your prices, take a look at what others are charging, and compare their offerings with yours. Once you’ve got your rates, stand by them — it’ll show your professionalism and that you know your worth.
4. Take Breaks
People think that the more they work, the better, but this isn’t the case. You don’t want to face burnout! To ensure you’re always at the top of your game, you’ll need to have set cut-off points and take regular holidays, even if you have to force yourself. It’ll allow you to make the lifestyle a long-term option.