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You may be deciding to take the dive from permanent working, to contracting, but before you do, it’s imperative to research your market.

If you’re looking for a starting point, the Gorilla Accounting blog is updated daily with top tips for Contractors and news updates.

We believe that it’s important to equip yourself with research, leaving no room for unexpected surprises or silly blunders.

1.The all-important job search

It’s important to see that you fit the criteria of the jobs that are on offer in your sector. Let’s be hypothetical- you want to be an IT contractor, so this means that it’s time to start narrowing your search to specialist websites. We’ve handpicked a few, IT Jobs Watch, CW Jobs, Dice, the list goes on.

2. Forums- what’s the topic of conversation?

Forums can be viewed as an obsolete portal of communication, but we’re putting a big cross over that statement. They may appear text heavy, biased and have a long-winded navigation process, but they contain raw conversations, straight from the mouths of contractors. Forums have been created for users to discuss the latest contracting issues, along with their thoughts, experiences, and daily struggles. Here are a few, Contractor UK, Reddit, and UK Business Forums.

3. Networking and Word of Mouth

You may prefer a proactive way of researching your market, what could be better than getting into a room with a group of contractors, willing to share their experiences and advice? There are a handful of websites dedicated to Contractor networking, LinkedIn, findnetworkingevents.com, and British Chambers of Commerce.

4. What’s trending?

Every market has a trend that changes over time, this may be occasionally, season to season, or it may adapt to reflect on the financial climate. Find out what contracts are available and where, what skills are in demand, and what’s popular. Then market yourself accordingly, this takes us to our next point.

5. Finding a recruitment agency

Look for a recruitment agency that specialises within your sector. It’s important that your agent knows the world of contracting well enough, as they will be scouting for contracts on your behalf.

6. Upcoming Legislation Changes

HMRC state that ’employment law doesn’t cover self-employed people in most cases because they are their own boss.’ IR35 or Intermediaries Regulation is a piece of tax legislation that is intended to prevent ‘disguised employment.’

HMRC details that IR35 is ‘a set of rules that affect your tax and National Insurance if you’re contracted to work for a client through an intermediary. You may need to follow IR35 if you work for a client through an intermediary.’

This piece of legislation is subject to reform, the new changes will come into force on April 6, 2017. If you are thinking of becoming a public-sector contractor, read our Simplified Guide to IR35 Public Sector Changes in 2017, to find out how your income may be affected.

7. Rates of Pay

It’s vital to set a competitive rate of pay as a contractor, scour the web to see how much income you should expect. Contractor UK have totted up the top ten IT Contracting skills by daily rate.

You can also calculate an approximate figure of your take home pay by entering your daily rate into the Gorilla calculator.

If you would like to speak to one of our dedicated accountants as part of our all inclusive package, call us on 0330 024 0406, or send an email to info@gorillaaccounting.com

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