Working on a contract basis is an appealing career choice for many skilled individuals to pursue. Whilst the path is certainly not without its drawbacks, the benefits are more than enough to ensure that it remains an appealing decision for many people to take. However, there are several areas that contractors can easily stumble over; especially when they are still inexperienced. Here are four pieces of advice to circumnavigate four of the most common pitfalls.
The Importance of Good Communication
Permanent employees enjoy a stability that contractors choose to forgo, and so many contractors find it good practice to keep in regular communication with their previous clients. The internet has made this sort of communication easier with the advent of networking, and can allow contractor openings to be filled before they ever reach the job boards.
The Importance of IR35
IR35 is a controversial, yet highly significant, piece of legislation within the life of any contractor. There are several ways to fall foul of IR35, including contracting positions that run for more than 6 months without adequate provision, and so it is integral to receive an IR35 review from a contractor specialist that can help you identify your status for that particular contract. You might not have to understand all of the nuances of this complex document yourself, but you undoubtedly need to be in contact with someone who does.
The Importance of Saving
It can be tempting, especially when the market for contractors is experiencing strong growth, to spend your contract earnings a little quicker than is wise. Many recent news stories have highlighted a potentially bright future for those working as contractors, yet it is not long since the forecast was far less promising. A weaker economy means that contractors tend to be in competition for positions on a far more regular basis, and so it never hurts to save some of your more lucrative earnings for those times when pickings may be leaner.
The Importance of Current Skills
Working as a contractor essentially means that you are your own boss, and this means that there is nobody else to encourage you to keep your skill-set up to date. All contractors possess a specific set of capabilities, and so there is no set way to ensure your expertise is current, but it is certainly highly advisable to keep up to date with any and all industry changes. Whilst online resources can go some way towards acting as a substitute for organised training regimes, it really doesn’t pay to cut corners in this area, as obsolete skills are a sure-fire way to lose custom.
Here at ICS, we help contractors maximise their contract earnings. We specialise in providing accountancy and payroll services as well as being there to offer expert advice designed to both help people avoid common errors whilst contracting, and also assist with the day to day requirements of a contractor position. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you would like more specific information about how we could help you to cope with life as a contractor.