Businessman using laptop computer and digital tablet while working

There are many benefits to becoming an IT contractor, such as the possibility of earning more money and complete control over your career and schedule. If you’re considering it, whether as a sole trader or by setting up a limited company, you’re not alone – there were 6 million businesses in the UK at the start of 2020, with 5.94 million of them being SMEs.

As IT contractor accountants, we believe this is a good time for individuals to take the leap, and in this article, we’re looking at some of the main reasons.

More Investments in Technology

Manchester is now second-only to London when it comes to tech investment, according to The Business Desk. In a recent article, they mention how Manchester has cemented a reputation as the fastest-growing tech city in Europe, having overtaken Cambridge for the first time ever.

The city has a strong connection to manufacturing, a sector that helped eCommerce thrive. The presence of fast-growing tech companies, like Auto Trader UK, ensures the digital market continues to grow – there are now over 100,000 people employed in Manchester in this industry.

Many believe Manchester can grow even more, with the likelihood of more technology investments. According to the piece, there are 3,690 IT vacancies in the city and 4,235 across Greater Manchester.

This means IT contractors could benefit from plenty of work from both small and larger businesses. There is an effort to discuss the challenges that the IT sector faces, as well as how to create jobs, which could further help those interested in striking out on their own.

As mentioned, one of the main perks of being a contractor is being able to make more money; according to Adzuna, an employment site for job ads, the average IT salary in Manchester is £49,765, while the average salary across the city is £37,197.

As limited company accountants, we can help you set up a business and manage your accounts, so speak to us if you’d like to learn more.

Contractors in Demand

Despite concerns over Brexit and IR35, contractors will likely see a rise in demand for their services. This might be especially true in the IT sector, considering the importance technology plays in our lives and jobs. This has become even more apparent since the start of the pandemic, which saw digital-based businesses (or businesses with a digital presence and offering) thrive.

It’s likely that we’ll continue to see IT contractors in high demand because of what they bring to the table:

  • They specialise in certain skills, like cloud computing.

  • Companies don’t have to spend time and money training contractors.

  • Companies can hire a contractor to fill a vacancy quickly or to complete a project without having to hire additional personnel.

Government Help

It’s also worth mentioning that the UK government is helping business owners with grants and loans because of the coronavirus pandemic. If you’re on the fence about becoming an IT contractor because you fear a lack of support, then this may help you to make a decision.

From the furlough scheme and the business rates relief to the VAT payments’ deferment and the bounce back loan, you may find it’s not as challenging as you think to build and grow an IT business at the moment.

IT contractor working with program code

What About Job Security?

This has always been one of the main concerns for contractors, no matter which sector they work in. And, when you’re permanently employed, you also get benefits such as holiday leave, sick pay and maternity leave from your employer, which doesn’t automatically happen when you’re your own boss.

However, as we’ve seen with the COVID-19 pandemic, being permanently employed is not a guarantee of job security. Many people were made redundant when companies started to struggle.

There are also downsides to setting up a business – you must find work yourself, so you have to continually promote your business and your skills and look for new gigs.

On the other hand, becoming an IT contractor means that you’re in control of everything. You can’t get fired and can progress your career the way you see fit. You can also accept only the contracts you like, as opposed to doing what’s been asked of you by an employer.

For those who worry that there may be periods where they have a lot of work and others where they have less, it’s crucial to diversify your sources of revenue. So, if you work with several clients at once, you won’t run out of work when you finish a gig.

If you’re considering IT contracting, now’s the time, especially with the growing demand for contractors and increased investment in technology. And, as contractor accountants, we can handle the financial side of your business while you focus on running your day-to-day operations.

Our FreeAgent accounting software also allows you to access your accounts and transactions in real-time, help you to make fast business decisions and to keep yourself organised. So, contact us today on 0330 024 0406 if you want to know more about becoming an IT contractor and how we can help.