Contractor Do’s and Don’t’s

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When first making the leap to self-employment, there are often questions that are left unanswered. As well as taking everything in, there’s some steps to be aware of. Looking to achieve success? We’ve listed a few essential steps below.

DO consider your client base

Of course, you’ll want as many customers as possible on your list (it’s perfectly natural to!), but when that number gets out of control, it can become difficult to provide your services to the best of your ability. Knowing your limits and deciding when to say no is one of the best things you will learn as a contractor.

DON’T spend too much money at once

Splurging on the best office furniture and the latest technology can only do so much when it comes to your career. We understand that there are times where it’s necessary to spend your money, but you’ve also got to maintain a healthy bank balance. We offer complimentary wealth and mortgage reviews as part of our Executive package; this involves financial advice to plan for your current and future needs.

DO set a schedule

Are you a night owl? Are you an early bird? Whatever your schedule, one of the perks of contracting is the ability to choose when you work. There may be minor restrictions such as being engaged in a contract with a client that you need to meet with regularly, but apart from that, the choice is yours.

DON’T set unrealistic expectations

Although you’re responsible for determining your day rate, you can’t set unrealistic expectations. Contracts typically have a set budget and day rate; recruiters are on the hunt for contractors who fit within these numbers. It’s important to set your rate at one that’s competitive, but also a figure that represents the work you are carrying out.

DO hold your ground

This goes in tandem with the above, sometimes you will know exactly what the client should be paying and the recruiter advertising the contract might not fully understand the intricacies required. You’re the expert after all, so make sure you are firm and prepared to walk away if the contract price is not right.

DON’T leave everything until the last minute

We’ve all been there, hearing the phrase “I’ll do it tomorrow” is only too common. When you’re self-employed, there’s nobody to give you a gentle nudge when a deadline is coming up. Here’s our top three ways of keeping track of your deadlines:

  • Make a to-do list
  • Write down important dates in your diary, and stick to them
  • Colour-code tasks based on priority

DO choose a compliant contractor accountant

Choosing a reputable, compliant contractor accountant should be one of your main priorities. As well as looking after your finances, it’ll also free up a lot of your time, leaving you to focus on what you do best. At ClearSky, this is exactly what we do. Get in touch with our Best Advice team for more information.