A Word to the Wise – Essential Lessons for Contractors to Remember

Choosing to become self-employed or start working as a freelancer is often one of the most fulfilling decisions of a person’s life, and here at ICS we want to help ensure that the process goes as smoothly as possible, leaving you free to reap the rewards of your newfound freedom. Venturing out into the world of self-employment will take a lot of planning and foresight, but get it right at this early stage and you’ll feel the benefits later on.

Messy Office Desk with Ideas and Vision

Luckily, the path in front of you has already been followed by other risk-takers and innovators, and by learning from their successes and mistakes you can ensure that your new career lasts in the long-term. Here’s a few top tips from those that have gone before you…

Find an Angle that’s Fresh – and In Demand

In order to get people excited about your service – excited enough to actually pay for it – you need to offer something that they’re not already getting from somebody else. Whether you’re offering something that’s completely new, or that’s simply more streamlined or better value than your competitors, make sure that consumers recognise you as breathing fresh life into the industry.

This should be combined with some heavy-duty research to discover if what you’re offering is really in demand; be prepared to tweak the idea until it fills a genuine need.

Personal Perspective of a Person Planning for Work

Accept Irregular Hours as Part of Your Life

This is especially important for freelancers who work by accepting contracts from a range of businesses: you simply can’t afford to confine yourself to the hours of 9-5. If working into the early hours or over your weekend is what it takes to satisfy a crucial client, then it’s time to accept that those are your hours now.

However, you should also keep in mind that working irregular hours is not the same as working long hours. If you’re trying to launch yourself as an expert in your chosen field of self-employment then you may find some over-time necessary, but avoid burning out by taking breaks and time off as you would in any other job. As a freelancer, you can manage your own working hours.

Balance Rigorous Planning with Flexibility

Without a dedicated plan you’ll quickly find yourself falling behind schedule, as without a guideline for how to spend your time it’s easy to find essential tasks slipping under the radar. At the same time, you need to be flexible enough to fit in new clients or unforeseen work – to strike the perfect balance, simply ensure that your plan is adaptable, with time slots set aside for new jobs.

Time in business

Don’t Try to Do Everything Yourself

As a self-employed individual or a freelancer, there are certain roles that you will excel at. However, some things that are essential to your operations will be done better by other people. One area that can greatly benefit from outside support is accountancy; our contractor accountants are essential if you want to get it right, and leave yourself with the time and energy to focus on other areas of your operation. To discuss your options with a member of our experienced team, contact us online or give us a call on 0800 195 3750 today.