New Year, New Promise – Evaluating Your Contracting

New Year is here, and we’d like to wish all of you a very happy and healthy 2015. The start of one year is a great time to take stock of the last 12 months, and there’s definitely no harm in evaluating your career at this stage either. As a contractor or freelancer, it’s very possible to be operating for many years at a successful level, yet you can still miss numerous opportunities to be running your business as efficiently as possible. Here’s a New Year checklist that contains a few helpful thoughts…

Happy New Year

Overstretching

This is a common problem for relatively inexperienced freelancers. When you get started, it can be tempting to take on as many contracts as you can physically juggle at once, and maybe even a few more than just that. According to the Pareto Principle, pretty much all of your problems are going to be coming from a mere 20% of your clients and customers, so why not use the New Year to evaluate your existing contract list? If you’re overstretched or are struggling with an unrealistically demanding contract, then it could be time to refine the jobs that you’re taking on.

Structure

Always a common issue for contractors, your business structure is an essential thing to get right. Sure, you can function without the optimal structure in place, but you’ll not be reaping anything like the rewards that would be possible with the correct installations. Ask yourself whether you still feel like a ‘freelancer’ or whether you’re beginning to class yourself as a small business owner. This is an important question to answer. If you’re a sole trader, then you should also consider implementing the protective structure of either a limited company. Not only will your personal assets be kept safer, but you’ll take home more of your earnings too. If you consider nothing else going onwards into 2015, make sure you’ve got the right company structure in place.

House of cards

Bookkeeping

Bookkeeping for yourself isn’t impossible by any means, but most contractors do find it both dull and time-consuming. If you’re struggling with overstretching, then the last thing that you want is to be spending time on bookkeeping rather than actually doing your ‘real job’, so it may be time to consider the services of dedicated contractor accountants if this situation is sounding familiar to you.

At ICS, we specialise accountancy and payroll solutions for freelancers and contractors, so if you’re looking to make your New Year more efficient than the last one, we’re ideally placed to help. For more information, contact us now by calling 0800 195 3750 or speak to our friendly team online at www.icsuk.com.