Why a home office spring clean can be essential for contractors and freelancers

Spring Cleaning

Despite appearances (until recently, at least) spring really is here and that means one thing: spring cleaning.

You’ve probably already given a thought to spring cleaning your home, getting your garden into order and perhaps even giving your car a thorough scrub inside and out. But have you really given any thought to your home office? Obviously, you’ve probably considered giving it a dust and a vacuum, but what about a proper, honest-to-goodness spring clean where you clean, tidy, organise, throw out stuff you don’t need and replace things that require replacing?

We’ve put together a list of reasons why you should bother.

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GDPR – What does it Mean for Contractors?

GDPR Contractors

Cyber-attacks have become more prevalent than ever in the last 12 months. A recent report from the National Cyber Security Centre noted that there had been over 1,100 attacks in the UK last year, of which over half (590) were deemed significant. 30 of those attacks, a number of which were in the Financial Services Sector, required assistance from government bodies.

To put it in even starker terms, the UK deals with more than 10 significant cyber-attacks every week – and that’s only taking into account those which were reported. Unfortunately, such attacks must now be considered par for the course when it comes to business, and we need to ensure that we are all prepared to deal with them.

With the much-discussed General Data Protection Regulation (better known by its acronym GDPR) coming into force on 25th May 2018 we’re taking a look at what exactly the implications will be for contractors and freelancers. How can you make sure you’re GDPR-ready?

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Practical tips for contractors and freelancers preparing for the end of the tax year

Practical Tips for Contractors

We know it doesn’t seem like much time has passed between the end of the last tax year and the end of this one, but we’re almost there already.

While there’s no need for you to submit your tax return immediately on 6 April, many contractors and freelancers don’t like to hang around. After all, there’s not much sense in waiting until the October and January deadlines to rush everything in.

Furthermore, if you operate on a cash in, cash out basis then your books are probably more or less good to go. So, what can contractors and freelancers do to prep for the end of the tax year and ensure submitting their 2017/2018 Self-Assessment is a breeze?

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Things every contractor and freelancer should consider at the start of 2018

Contracting Plans 2018

You should be well into your new year’s resolutions now. But as you continue to get fit, quit biting your nails, as well as reading a new book every week, have you given much thought to your business?

Obviously, you’ve thought about it, but have you thought about the things you could do throughout 2018 to make your business better and your life easier? No? Read on below for a list we’ve put together with some of the top things contractors and freelancers may want to have in their sights over the next 12 months.

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How to market yourself in 2018

Marketing Yourself

For most contractors and freelancers, marketing their business is a task that falls to themselves. At the end of the day, you have to let people know you’re out there and get yourself seen by the right people.

If you’re new to contracting or freelancing, you may still need to set up your marketing channels. If you’ve been contracting a long time, you may of course be able to rely on word of mouth, but surely it can’t hurt to add increase your visibility a little more? We’ve put down some of the essential ways contractors and freelancers should be marketing themselves in 2018.

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Great organisational apps for contractors and freelancers

Apps for Contractors

If organising yourself better is something you want to work on as a contractor or freelancer in 2018, it’s not something you have to do alone.

There are loads of apps out there to keep you on the straight-and-narrow. Of course, they can only help you — you still have to do the hard work yourself! But having an app to remind you of tasks, keep track of time or simply keep everything in one place can really help. We’ve compiled some of our favourites to help you streamline 2018.

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How do you know you’re ready to go it alone?

Moving from Employment to Contracting

The start of the year is often the time when employees begin to think of throwing in the towel and becoming a contractor or freelancer. Quite often this is just a way of processing the January Blues, and many simply think about it for a bit before deciding they’re happy enough where they are and continuing with their employment.

But what if that thought keeps niggling away at you? What if every day you find yourself longing to set up on your own? How do you know you’re ready? We’ve put together some common signs that have told the contractors and freelancers we’ve worked with over the years that they were ready to go it alone.

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It’s time to get that Self-Assessment in!

Self-Assessment

It’s a job nobody wants to tackle, but if you’re a contractor who submits your Self-Assessment online, then the deadline of 31 January 2018 is fast approaching. This is the deadline for the 2016/2017 tax year.

If you’re new to the contracting game, or just need a reminder, we’ve put together all of the info you need to know about meeting the deadline, what will happen if you don’t, and some tips on making it easier next time.

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The differences between freelancers and contractors

Contractors

Categorising yourself correctly can help you in many ways, from appearing in the search engines for relevant search terms to tagging your skills on job platforms. In order to do so, however, you need to understand the differences between a freelancer and a contractor. We’ve decided to explore a few below (along with a few pros and cons for each to help you decide!)

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