Top Tips for First Time Contractors!Posted Wednesday, March 22, 2017
The contracting sector is continuing to evolve and grow as more and more professionals realise the benefits of flexible working. With the value of the contingent workforce gaining greater recognition, and many sectors expecting to increase their reliance on contingent staff over the coming years, there has never been a better time to become a contractor!
Beyond having more freedom over the work they decide to take on and the time they choose to take off, contractors also often earn significantly better rates of pay than their permanent counterparts. We discussed other benefits of contracting in a recent blog post.
If you’ve made the decision to leave the permanent workforce behind and make the leap into contracting, we have compiled a list below of some helpful tips that might be useful for you! Going it alone, does not mean you are alone! Our Solutions Team are always on hand to discuss your queries, so if you need further information on what’s involved, contact us today at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone 01 6110707. Contractors are typically highly proficient in their chosen field of expertise, so securing your first contract shouldn’t take too long. The following tips will give you a good indication of what you need to consider:
Make sure to double check your deadline dates for submitting timesheets with your agency and set up a handy reminder for yourself to stay on top of timesheets and expenses each week/month. Contracting PLUS Expenses App was specifically designed for Professional Contractors, and allows you to submit your expenses and timesheets on our online portal for efficient processing. All you need to do is take a picture with your phone of your timesheets or expenses, and upload it at any time, from any location.
As a contractor, there are a number of business expenses that can be offset against your earnings. Simply upload them at any time or on the go through the Contracting PLUS Expenses App! Our dedicated Expenses Team at Contracting PLUS can advise you on the allowable expenses you are entitled to claim.
Working from Home
If you are working remotely from home, you may be entitled to an e-worker allowance to the value of 3.20 per day, click here for more information. This is to cover costs associated with home working. Additionally, you may be able to offset the costs of office furniture, such as a desk, a chair, etc, so long as they are primarily used for business purposes. If you’re unsure about whether you can claim e-workers allowance, just give a member of our team a call to discuss on 01 6110707.
Small Claims Benefit
Something that self-employed contractors can avail of once a year is the Small Claims Benefit, which recently was increased to the value of 500. You can apply for this tax free voucher but note that it must be a once off annual payment! It is often associated with Christmas time, but they can be acquired all year round.
Plan for the Future
If you are operating through a limited company, and are self-employed, you may wish to consider setting up an Executive Pension Plan. Our in-house financial advisors CWM Wealth Management offer complimentary financial reviews for all of our contractors, and can also advise on Life Cover and Income Protection. If a financial review is something you wish to avail of contact us on 01 611 0707 or email email@example.com
Work on your personal brand
Show off your skills and begin to build your brand! As a Contractor, you are your trademark, and establishing a strong personal brand is essential to the growth and success of your business and indeed you! Branding is not just a logo, it is the emotive heart and identity of what you are about. In a series of articles, Contracting PLUS offers advice, tips and know-how as to how you can go about establishing and building your personal brand, on social media, specifically on LinkedIn. If you’re already on LinkedIn, ensure that your profile is optimised and up to date. You’ll also want to professionalise your Facebook and Twitter accounts.
The above are merely some considerations along the path of the Contracting journey. Don’t forget to consider another important resource – Contracting PLUS! If you do decide to become a member of exclusive Contractors club, we can handle your administrative business infrastructure. From company set-up, to tax, to retirement planning, and health care discounts, your dedicated Solutions Consultant will work with you so you have more time to focus on your passions, whatever they may be. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to learn more.