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!
Not standing your ground
You’ve become your own boss to get away from the nine to five days and you probably, almost certainly, want to get away from the boss/employee dynamic. Although you are working for your clients, this doesn’t mean they should have the upper hand. Not standing your ground is a common mistake made by many new contractors. Just because you’re new it doesn’t mean you should let them take advantage.
Building yourself a contract template for your new client can help you lay the groundwork on which you can build your client relationship going forward. It’s important you stand your ground; after all, they’re paying you for your expertise. You’re providing them with a valuable service, so don’t be afraid to raise points you feel strongly about, make sure you outline exactly what they can expect from you and what you expect from them in your contract – easy!
Charging less and working more
Although you might need to put in a little extra work when it comes to building your brand and marketing your own website, this should not be the case for your client work. Charging less might be a strategy you want to employ to initially build your client base, but don’t burn yourself out by working additional hours for free. Remember, they’re paying for your time, so why aren’t you charging for it?
Going above and beyond might have been something you were used to in permanent employment but when you rely solely on yourself for income, don’t sell yourself short – believe in yourself and your expertise. You can do it!
Networking is essential to building relationships with other contractors and growing potential new business opportunities. By networking we don’t just mean using the digital space – you should make use of physical networking too.
Whilst LinkedIn is a great platform for professional networking, it’s important to attend physical networking forums; after all, people buy from people! Making a lasting impression on both your peers and potential clients can offer an essential helping hand in the early stages of your business. Building solid relationships with your competition is important. They could be working on big projects in the future and might need a helping hand – who are they going to call? You, hopefully!
Not taking out contractor insurance
Starting out on your own can be overwhelming at times. Who can you trust? Who should you be listening to? Our policy offers the modern contractor five insurance products in one package. Why not swing by our ‘Why Us?’ page for more information about our one package with full cover – you won’t regret it.