Making the switch from a secure, permanent position to the world of contracting is a big step, and one that shouldn’t be made lightly. We know it can be a stressful time if you’re considering making the move, and that’s where we come in. After all, it’s not only about securing new client contracts. It’s about maintaining a sustainable business.
Don’t make the move straight away
As soon as you realise you want to pursue a contracting career, it’s best to refrain from handing in your notice immediately (no matter how tempting that might be.) Lay some foundations first. You might want to build up a small financial cushion for the initial months where you’re finding your feet with your new business. This can help eliminate unnecessary money worries as you build your client list.
Many contractors will even start setting their website up and build out some new business strategies to get clients on board before they leave the comfort of their full-time position. It all depends on your personal circumstances. If you can afford to leave your job immediately, or you have some irons in the fire as far as contracting work goes, then go for it!
Make sure you’re covered from the very beginning
Before you set foot in your first client’s premises, you need to make sure you’re covered for any legal costs. When working on the client’s site, or even if clients are coming to you, you need to ensure you have the correct contractor insurance in place.
Contracting can leave you open to unexpected legal costs. Take a look at our all-in-one insurance package here. We explain the need for insurance and what kinds of costs you could be exposed to as a contractor.
Find a niche and maintain it
You can’t be everything to everyone. Although it seems like you’d be cutting out a large proportion of your potential client market, finding a niche is the key to success within your contracting career. Becoming known as an expert in a specific field will help you secure specific projects.
Once you’ve honed your skillset, you need to maintain it. Industries move fast – there’s always a new technique or piece of software to get your head around. Regardless of sector, it’s important to keep your skillset topped up. You can’t offer the best service if you’re not aware of the most recent trends in your sector.
Continued professional development plays a big role when it comes to growing and developing your services. Check out online course sites such as Lynda.com or Alison.com and see if there’s a course related to your sector.
Still not sure whether you’re ready for the switch? Check out our post ‘4 must-know tips from seasoned freelancers’ - read the piece here.