As a contractor, you’ll know that finding new opportunities can be tough, especially if you work in a competitive market or suffer during an economic slump. The good news, though, is that there are ways to earn more, and we’ve rounded those up for you in a handy guide.
Outsource your accounting
With the upcoming IR35 changes, more and more contractors are turning to an umbrella contracting company to help them overcome the challenge and stay compliant. But there are additional benefits – you won’t have to submit a tax return or Self Assessment, as you’ll be treated as an employee of the umbrella company, meaning you’ll be paid via PAYE. It saves you time, money, and allows you to focus on delivering the best possible service to clients.
Up your rates
Let’s move onto an obvious one: if you’re looking to earn more for your work, consider upping your rates. You’ll need to be very sensitive here – if you act too quickly or during a time when there’s limited demand for your services in your area, clients will simply opt for the cheaper alternative. Know your worth, make sure you demonstrate that expertise to all of your clients and charge accordingly. You can even keep pricing flexible to maximise gigs.
Form a limited company
Rather than working as a self-employed contractor, consider forming a limited company and offering your services as a business rather than an individual. This can take away some of the magic of working with smaller clients who prefer one-on-one contractors, but it will allow you to reach new audiences and command a higher rate of pay for your work. And as you grow, you’ll be able to take on employees and build your own empire, off of the back of your expertise and passion for your industry. What’s more, some larger organisations prefer to work with companies rather than contractors, as they’re buying a service rather than renting a person and their skills; it also means you can outsource lower-paid gigs to your staffers.
Have your next gig lined up
One of the biggest challenges for freelancers and the self-employed is that you might be working on a high-paying contract one day, and then told you’re no longer needed the next. As well as signing proper contracts so you know how long your gig will last, always be on the lookout for your next project so that you don’t have to go too far between jobs. It’s advisable to work with a recruitment or contractor agency who can be working in the background to find your next role, but if you want to do it on your own, always send out CVs, use LinkedIn to find new opportunities and maintain a good relationship with your previous clients. If you are good at what you do, the chances are that you’ll always find a role to suit your needs.
Do you have any other tips and tricks on earning money as a contractor? Let us know over on social media and check back soon for more tips and tricks, right here every week.