Been Made Redundant and Decided to Go Contracting? What Now?
The job market is so precarious that it’s no wonder self-employment is becoming ever more sought after. Contracting is an attractive proposition for people who want a greater income for their skills, the freedom of choosing where to work, and the knowledge that time is as flexible as you want it to be. Unshackled from answering to a boss, the world is your oyster – but is it really? How does someone start a contracting career in a market where competition is rife?
Bright Ideas Accountancy has some expert tips to get you started. Take heed and think hard about the realities of contracting, and reap the dividends (literally) by getting it right first time.
Umbrella or Limited?
This is the first crucial choice to make: whether you want to operate as a limited company, or establish yourself under an umbrella. The latter means you’re classed as an employee under an umbrella company, which acts as an employer by paying your salary once you submit a timesheet. It’s a popular option for contractors who don’t feel comfortable dealing with invoices and paperwork.
Registering as a limited company is the most tax efficient option, giving you more wiggle room to claim expenses, and allowing you to pay yourself a certain amount of income as a dividend, to minimise your tax burden.
The option you choose will depend on your priorities, but we usually suggest company formation; keep in mind that you’ve just gotten away from relying on someone to manage your wages.
Spread the Word
Nowadays, it’s not good enough to be amazing at what you do; you also need to shout about it. LinkedIn and Twitter can do wonders for your contracting reputation. It’s baby steps until referrals and testimonials start to pile up, and by then you’ll be growing organically – doing great work that can only lead to more of the same. Networking is also vital for making new contacts and building relationships with potential clients.
Back to the Drawing Board
When applying for contracting roles, a watertight CV is essential. So it’s time to dust off that curriculum vitae and start writing the profound narrative of what you’ve accomplished. Be punchy, confident, and as multi-faceted as you can. Think of your future as an open book, and your CV as the first words on the page.
The same goes for your portfolio (if this is applicable), which needs to look sharp and comprehensive, with clear indications of how you delivered on the client’s needs and expectations on each job.
There’s so much to ruminate when making the transition into being an independent contractor. You’ll likely have the skill and courage to succeed, but establishing yourself as a contractor can be a challenge in those early months if you don’t have a little help over the first few hurdles.
That’s where we come in. Call Bright Ideas Accountancy on 0161 669 4221 or email us at Info@biaccountancy.com to get the ball rolling on your new career today.
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