Contracting : The Fundamental Guide
Becoming self-employed is the goal of many but there is so much to take into consideration. The term ‘contracting’ is often used these days to describe those who are self-employed and hire their skills out to others on a short-term basis; it is also used to describe those working in the building trade.
However, a person can be considered to be a contractor if they offer other freelance skills such as administration, translation or IT services.
Why become a contractor?
It is important to do some marketing in order to find clients and this must be an ongoing process. Some contractors will be lucky enough to find a number of clients that need their services on a regular basis but this will not apply to all. Marketing does not have to cost a great deal and as social media is readily available getting the word out about a contractor is very easy. Pages on social networking sites such as Facebook are a must and an email marketing campaign is also easy to arrange. However, traditional methods of marketing such as advertising in the local newspaper and leafleting can also work very well.
Financial management for contractors
There are a number of options for those who want to stay in full control of their finances. The first is to enlist the services of an accountant to ensure that the books are always kept in order. The second is to sign up with an umbrella company. For those who are just starting out this is a way of becoming self-employed without the need to register for self-assessment. The contractor becomes an ‘employee’ of the umbrella company for the purposes of National Insurance and income tax. Even though the contractor is self-employed, PAYE is an option and it can take the pressure off while the business is being established. Getting tax right is essential as this can lead to other problems down the line so the best course of action is to place this issue in the hands of professionals.
So if you want to start a side hustle without the big set up burdens, try being a contractor. A large number of businesses are being set up by women as they look for a solution to the work/life balance. With so many resources available it is easy to ensure that the right amount of focus can be applied to the daily work of the new company without getting caught up in the administrative tasks that can be overwhelming for a new business owner.
Are you a contractor? What other key aspects of contracting should be considered by women who are interested in becoming self employed? Share your advice below or tweet us @mscareergirl!