Good news for contractors – it looks as though more companies than ever will be using contractors throughout 2023, rather than hiring permanent members of staff. It’s been reported that new LinkedIn data shows postings for contract roles, especially in the technology sector, have tripled in the last two years.

With a cost-of-living crisis ongoing and a recession imminent, many companies are trying to cut costs where they see fit to enable them to weather the storm throughout uncertain times.

Cutting costs for a business, no matter the size, can be done in a variety of ways. Some will decide to transfer those additional costs to the end customer, increasing the prices of products or services in line with inflation of materials.

Others, unfortunately, have to face the prospect of laying off staff members, making teams redundant, freezing recruitment and withdrawing any job offers that may have recently been made.

Because of this, many will choose to swap full-time, permanent hires with short-term contractors and choose this type of hire throughout the year.

In general, contractors do not receive company perks like full time hires do. This includes health benefits, paid holidays, shares, sick pay and other incentives that make certain people choose to be employed by someone rather than self-employed, helping companies cut costs in that area as inflation rates continue to rise.

The Benefits of Contracting

If you’re not already a contractor and think it’s something you’d like to switch to in 2023, Gorilla can help you navigate the areas that may be putting you off going self-employed – which is usually the financial complications, including working out how much tax is due and completing self-assessments.

There are so many benefits to contracting, the main sway usually being a better work/life balance, as you can choose when you take on work, and the fact you can take home more money than if you were employed.

You can set your own rates, as well as taking home more of your earnings if you operate through a limited company, which offers a greater opportunity to maximise your take home pay.

Determine your skills, specialty and pricing

The first step to getting a new contract is to develop exactly what you have to offer. Consider your skills, qualifications and tools, and explore what you can do with these.

From there, assign pricing to each of the services you can provide, by researching other contractors to see what they are charging, and deciding where to place yourself within that range.

Consider offering your services at a discount when you first start out, as you can then build a client base, then raise your prices as your reputation improves.

Search for projects that are right for you

Build a network of contacts that will have projects perfect for you and your skill set. It’s great networking with managers of huge companies planning multi-million pound projects, but you need to build your network smaller first, and know that people will recommend you should a big project come your way.

Company limitations can vary, from budgets to project scale, especially in industries like construction. Contractors can only work on jobs within their range of expertise and the resources that they can provide, which can limit the opportunities out there, but making smart choices means you can continue to grow.

Use Social Media

Social media can help you find new clients and contracts, as well as get your own name out there for when people are looking for a new contractor. Branding is so important, so make sure you include any social media handles on marketing materials and company cars too.

Know what clients are looking for

To win jobs, you need to meet a certain criteria. Even better – exceed it.

Many clients will have a distinct set of criteria that they need to adhere to when considering contractors for their projects. Being able to offer these attributes can make your company a contender for the projects.

Have multiple versions of your CV

As a contractor, you probably have many strings to your bow. This can help to keep your projects varied and allows you to develop your skill sets continuously. However, this may tempt you to keep things very general on your CV, rather than talking about different roles that you can do.

Having multiple versions of your CV for different, specific roles that you can offer, can help you send only relevant information for that job role, targeted to that specific opportunity.

Reduce the length of your CV

Following on from the previous point, having a CV with every contract and permanent role that you have worked in isn’t necessary.

As a rule of thumb, your CV should be no longer than 4 pages long, and should have the last 5 years of experience on it. If you have other projects that you think are worth highlighting, add these into a ‘Key Achievements’ or ‘Key Projects’ section.

Be careful with your wording

Using headings like ‘Employment history’ is a huge no-no. If you are a contractor, especially outside IR35 and operating as a business, you are not ‘employed’ and should use ‘Professional Experience’ instead.

What makes a good contractor?

Whether you’re just entering the world of contracting, or you’ve been doing it for years, it’s often worth taking a step back and looking at what skills you need to have to be able to be a successful contractor.

Working on areas that you think you can improve in, or enlisting help to support you, can ensure you thrive.

Organisation

As a contractor, you only have yourself to rely on to manage projects, tasks and clients. You have to be organised to be able to do everything necessary in your role and deliver a good job.

Persistence

You won’t get every contract that you want to work on, and sometimes it won’t be as easy as you’d like to find your next clients, but persistence will ensure you continue to succeed.

Originality

Offering a service or style that no one else does will help you stand out from the crowd. What are your USPs? What sets you apart from competitors? Answer this to elevate your offering.

Communication

Being able to communicate well with clients will ensure you continue to get more work and deliver a good job for any existing clients.

Self-Belief

Be confident in your own abilities as a contractor. You know you can deliver a good job, and you have multiple contracts behind you to prove that. Believe in yourself when you approach new clients and new opportunities.

Being a Contractor in 2023

Being a contractor can be hard work, especially when you don’t have the support around you that you should. Gorilla is a specialist contractor accountancy firm that can benefit you. Finding the perfect accountant for self-employed finances doesn’t have to be difficult.

We keep everything simple and straight-forward by offering one all-inclusive package which covers everything for you personally and your Limited Company.

Regardless of your profession, sector or turnover, you get the same package at the same price. Our all-inclusive limited company accountancy package is just £110 + VAT per month. This includes full access to FreeAgent.

You will work with your own dedicated accountant, who will ensure the needs of your limited company are met, giving you a personalised service. What makes us even better is our Client Service Guarantee. Contact us before 3pm and you’re guaranteed to be contacted by your accountant the very same day.

Join Gorilla by filling in our online form here, and speaking to a member of our team.

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