When you start working for yourself you can start to feel overwhelmed when it comes to managing your productivity throughout the day. It feels like you’ve got so much to do you don’t know where to even begin. That’s why we’ve come up with 11 productivity hacks every contractor and freelancer should know.
Are you thinking about a job change? It might be slightly better pay, but will you feel truly satisfied? If the answer is a straightforward ‘no’, then why not think about becoming a freelancer? With instant access to hundreds of thousands of jobs online, the world really is your oyster!
Amidst the clamour surrounding last year’s divisive (and final) Autumn Statement, you might have missed the news that the standard rate of Insurance Premium Tax (often abbreviated to IPT) was increased from 10% to 12%, effective from 1st June 2017.
As is often the case, time seems to have moved rather quickly since then. With the increase less than a month away it’s worth considering completing any insurance purchase you may have been putting off. Of course, if you already have insurance in place then you have nothing to worry about (although you might want to warn a friend or two!)
Becoming a first-time contractor is exciting. A new venture, a chance to make your own money, and to set your own working rules. So if you’re just starting out on your own the following four mistakes are ones you can take steps to avoid.
Take note, and happy contracting!
If you had a “normal” nine-to-five, you’d be joyously gearing up now for the spring Bank Holiday “season”. Easter is rapidly approaching with Good Friday and Easter Monday as days off for most employees (we even know some people who get a half-day on the Thursday), followed by the Early May Bank Holiday on 1 May and the Spring Bank Holiday on 29 May. That’s four extra paid days off within roughly six weeks of each other.
However, you don’t have a “normal” nine-to-five. You’re a contractor or a freelancer, which means there are four days coming up where it seems you either have to work when everyone else is off (including your partner and kids), or take the time off and just not get paid.
When you’re an employee, the company you work for usually takes responsibility for environmental commitments and policies, but as a contractor, you need to set your own green agenda if you want to do your bit for the planet.
Obviously, various clients will have their own green initiatives within their premises for you to adhere to, but what to do the rest of the time? We’ve put together some practical ideas you could implement if you want to be a green contractor.
Most contractors will agree that bookkeeping is their least favourite part of the job. The one bonus of being an employee was that someone else sorted out expenses, tax, National Insurance and everything else but now the onus is firmly on you.
With the 2016/2017 tax year coming to an end it’s a little late to start improving your books this time around, but we’re here to help you be better for 2017/2018, since it’s just around the corner. Read on below for our tips on how to improve your bookkeeping (whatever your budget).
The beginning of the year is always a good time to take a look at your CV and see if anything needs changing or updating. It’s a great way of starting as you mean to go on, as well as ensuring that your prospects for finding clients to work with in 2017 are top notch.
So, what do you need to do to give your CV a thorough once over? It’s actually less of a chore than you think, and can be a strong incentive to keep the document up to date throughout the year.
At Kingsbridge, we have a long history of working with contractors and agencies, so we’ve put together some steps you should take to tidy up your CV for the year ahead.
Whether you choose to drive or use public transport, one thing you can’t ignore is the havoc caused by engineering works and industrial action on the railways. If you normally use the train to get from A to B, then you really will be bearing the brunt of this as you join the incredibly slow rail replacement bus service, or you switch to an alternative mode of transport.
Rail problems have a habit of affecting contractors and freelancers (and everyone else, for that matter) even if you don’t normally catch the train, so what are the solutions? Well, the easiest way to tackle the problem is remote working. It’s not possible for everyone, of course, but if it’s a viable solution for you, then it’s worth considering.
So what are your options?
The deadline for your online self-assessment tax return is coming up fast – 31 January 2017 to be exact. If you have an accountant who handles this on your behalf, it’s likely to already be neatly in hand. But if, like a lot of contractors, you handle your tax return yourself, make sure you have it submitted on time.
What happens if I miss the deadline?
If you miss the 31 January 2017 deadline, you will ultimately have to pay more. This is the same if you submit your paper tax return before 31 January 2017, but after 31 October 2016 (the deadline for paper tax returns). If you have missed the paper deadline, make sure you complete an online tax return before 31 January to avoid a fine.