How should I set my daily rate as a contractor?

daily rate

As we hurtle towards another new year, people everywhere start thinking about pay rises, and contractors are no exception.

 

You might be an employee thinking about becoming a contractor in 2020 and working out what your daily rate should be for the first time. You might be a seasoned contractor, giving yourself a pay increase. Either way there are things you need to consider to ensure you set the correct rate for yourself.

 

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A self-employed Christmas

 

self-employed Christmas2

Before you became self-employed, Christmas at work was probably either the most fun you had all year, or a horror you’d prefer to forget. Office Christmases can be wildly hit or miss and, if we’re being honest, can be often more of a miss (except here at Kingsbridge HQ, obviously).

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How to be assertive as a contractor

How to be more direct at work

Here at Kingsbridge Contractor Insurance, we recently had a conversation with an IT contractor that gave us insight into a scenario that we think may be fairly commonplace. How to be assertive when contracting.

The contractor told us that a couple of projects she had recently worked on had overrun past their deadline due to her clients holding things up internally. This was due to things like long turnaround times on sign-offs, delays in providing information and other hold-ups. She said she felt as if she should have pushed back to her clients, reminding them of the deadlines and asking them to speed things up. However, she didn’t feel confident to do this as she is a contractor and didn’t feel she had the same influence as a permanent employee.

So, we’re here to tell you what we told her: never be afraid to be assertive.

 

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Think cyber criminals don’t bother with small businesses? Think again.

Cyber Crime

It seems to be a regular news fixture: large, well-known companies suffer massive data breaches where personal data is obtained by hackers. The type of business and nature of the data often changes, but the stories are always connected through how instantly recognisable the businesses involved are.

So, you’d be forgiven for thinking that as a small business you’d be safe from the interest of hackers. However, the truth is very different. According to the Verizon 2019 Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR), 43% of cyber-attacks target small businesses. In fact, attacks on small businesses make up the largest share of attacks in the report.

This suggests that small business owners are lacking in the resources and knowledge required to prevent such attacks, especially when we consider that 21% of the breaches were caused by error, while 15% were caused by misuse.

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The biggest unexpected costs of self-employment

Costs

Self-employment as a contractor can seem like an easy way to keep your costs down: low overheads, no wage bill, perhaps a home office to save on commuting costs. However, the reality is that even experienced contractors can get caught out by all sorts of unexpected expenses. Here’s our list of the top unanticipated spends that contractors and freelancers face – and some tips on how to prepare for them.

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What if I get injured at work?

Injured

For any contractor who has previously been in traditional employment, you probably didn’t think that much about what would happen if you got injured at work. Or, if you did, you’d have found that your employer would have significant responsibilities towards you in the event of an accident in the workplace. As a bare minimum employees are guaranteed £92.05 per week Statutory Sick Pay, payable for up to 28 weeks, if they are too ill to work. Many employment contracts offer enhanced sickness benefits on top of this. And, of course, while at work, your employer is liable for your safety, so if they have been negligent you may be able to make a claim for personal injury compensation against them. Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit also exists to support those employees who become ill or are disabled because of an accident or disease at work.

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Baby, it’s cold outside – running a home office

Home Office

It’s January, so the heating’s cranked up full blast and you’re having to work with the lights on. Most contractors and freelancers are aware that they can deduct expenses for running a home office from the profits of their business, but what exactly are allowable costs? This blog gives a quick rundown of the main things to consider and how to work out the numbers ahead of filling in your self-assessment return.

Exactly what you can claim depends on your business, your bills and how much and how often you work from home. We’d always recommend sitting down with a qualified accountant to help you crunch these numbers. But here’s an idea of some of the expenses that you might be incurring in the course of running a home office.

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