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Just as the British weather varies, so does the workload for professionals throughout the year. Certain industries have busier periods than others, but one that seems to be similar across the board, across different sectors, are the summer months.

Whether you run a small business or you’re a contractor who takes on different projects throughout the year, you will know that sometimes, it’s hard to assimilate just how busy you might be. But the summer seems to be a busy all-rounder.

For example, statistically, the most popular time that homeowners book contractors for home improvements is in the summer months between May and September. The summer period is known as the peak season for contractors and it is a popular choice because of the ideal weather conditions that allow work to run smoothly.

The Seasonal Fluctuations

Different sectors will see different times of the year be incredibly busy, but for many including the construction industry, the weather plays a huge part in what can and can’t be done outdoors. There are other factors too, resulting in distinct periods of high and low demand:

Spring and Summer Surge

As the weather turns warmer and daylight hours increase, the construction industry experiences a surge in activity. This is the peak time for outdoor projects, such as landscaping, roofing, and exterior renovations.

Real Estate Rhythms

The spring and early summer months coincide with the traditional home-buying season. This often leads to an increase in demand for home improvements, renovations, and repairs as homeowners prepare their properties for sale or enhance their new acquisitions.

As we enter the later summer, new homeowners decide that now is the time to make changes to their homes ready for Christmas and the new year, especially if they’re hosting.

Back to School and Work

September marks the start of the autumn term and back to school season. This can trigger a flurry of projects aimed at improving educational facilities, which contributes to a steady stream of work for contractors.

Pre-Winter Preparations

As the colder months approach, there’s a rush to complete projects that are sensitive to weather conditions, such as outdoor maintenance and energy-efficient upgrades.

Holidays

With staff taking time off to go away with their families during the summer holidays, you’ll see the workload for everyone else increase to pick up any slack.

Contracting in the Summer

Peak season comes with its challenges. The pace of work can become overwhelming but there are ways in which contractors can manage this period and navigate peak-season pressure.

Manage your contract well

Negotiate, create and manage your contracts to ensure they stick to the hours and time period agreed at the start of the contract. This way, you can manage your time throughout the busy period. Managing your contract correctly will also help you organise your payments and invoices.

But be flexible

Be flexible in your time and your rates if you’re looking to gain experience in a certain area or build a good relationship with a client that can lead to further work, especially if that work will take place in the quieter months.

Get ready for your next job

Most contractors tend to start looking for a new contract four weeks before their current one comes to an end. If you can, try looking even sooner than that to ensure you don’t disturb your take home pay and you’re not out of work for long.

Self-Employed Benefits & Disadvantages

Taking the plunge and becoming self-employed reaps a whole host of benefits. One notable reason why many choose to work in this manner is so they can work as many or as little hours as they wish. Getting to determine your own work/life balance is one of the biggest draws for becoming self-employed.

However, contractors have to be clever in the way they work to ensure they have access to funds all year round. Thankfully, one of the main reasons people work this way is because it is much easier to earn a higher income than if you were employed by a company, especially as you become more established in your field.

Alongside the list of benefits, you can find yourself working even longer hours than before, to ensure your business survives in tough economic times, and it can be difficult to know exactly how much money is coming in at the end of the month.

Being self-employed also means that the onus is on you should anything go wrong. If you employee people, you need to make sure that they are working safely for example. And if anything you or your staff does that affects the public is also a worry, so it’s important to protect yourself.

Can Business Insurance protect my Company, Clients & Employees?

Being a freelancer or a contractor carries a financial risk all year round, whether you’re busy for certain seasons or have a steady stream of work throughout the year. It also carries certain legal responsibilities alongside that too. But what can you do to protect yourself should things go wrong?

We partner with Qdos, providing award-winning protection for your limited company.

The level of insurance and the type of insurance usually depends on the client or agency and deciding what you need depends on many factors.

Qdos provide relevant business insurances including:

–        Protect your business

–        Professional Indemnity

–        Public Liability

–        Employers Liability

–        Jury Service & Legal Protection

–        Tax Enquiry Insurance

–        Tax Liability Cover

–        Contractors All Risk

–        Contractor Sickness Cover

–        Personal Accident Cover

–        Travel Insurance

Having certain insurance in place can protect you and provide you with peace of mind, and the vast majority of clients will legally require you to be covered.

Professional Indemnity

This protects your business against loss or damage if a client was to make a claim against you. This could be due to negligent services or an error in the services provided by your business. It is designed to safeguard you and cover the cost of putting things right, including any legal fees.

It is not a legal requirement to have professional indemnity insurance, however if your profession is deemed as high risk, then it may be requested.

(From £13.50 per month)

Public Liability

This is a type of business insurance that is in place to cover any compensation or legal costs needed if a third party (customers or members of the public) claims they are injured or have had property damaged as a result of your company’s services.

(From £4.58 per month)

Employers Liability

This covers the cost if an employee makes a compensation claim regarding injury, illness or accidental death through working for your company.

If you are an employer, you are legally obliged to have it in place and can be fined every day that you do not have the appropriate insurance. There are only 2 scenarios in which you are not required liability insurance – if you have no employees, or if you are a family business who only employs family members.

(From £4.58 per month)

Personal Accident

If you or an employee cannot work due to an injury following an accident, personal accident cover provides a lump sum payment. It provides 24-hour protection, so the injury can happen at work or outside work in their own time.

(From £4.68 per month)

Contractor Sickness Cover

Designed specifically for contractors, this cover provides a monthly benefit if disease, sickness, or bodily injury prevents them from undertaking their normal occupation.

It also provides a lump sum payment in the event of accidental death.

(From £26.31 per month)

Insuring a Limited Company

When you’re a contractor or run a small business, you have to be ready for whatever is thrown your way. A lot of the time, every day is a school day as you continue to learn, no matter how long you’ve been in the business.

When you set up a limited company, looking into the different types of insurance for your business should be high on your priority list. When you join Gorilla Accounting, we can look into your options and Qdos can help to ensure your business and its employees are protected.

You can learn more about our partnership with Qdos here.

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