11 Contracting Tips to Survive 2021
1. Make a list and schedule everything
Working in an office can be super-productive – especially when there is a supervisor constantly looking over your shoulder and micro-managing your workflow.
Working at home is an entirely different story. While there is a lot of freedom in working independently, it’s super easy to get sidetracked. Stay organized by scheduling everything (including meals and breaks) so all your assignments are completed on time.
2. Set goals
All random paths lead to the same place called “nowhere”. Setting goals gives you a target for where you want to be, who you want to work with and how much money you want to make. Each goal should follow the S.M.A.R.T. formula as follows:
This works well for financial, fitness as well as career goals. Try setting at least three goals to start and put them in a text note on your computer or phone to review each morning. This quick practice can do wonders for keeping you on track in multiple areas of life.
3. Find a mentor or role model
Individuals that have reached a high level of success present themselves throughout our journey as entrepreneurs, thought leaders and industry experts. Whether you know them personally or not, it helps to find someone that has achieved your desired level of success and to study the path they took to get there.
4. Eat well and exercise regularly
Personal trainers and health professionals know the importance of good nutrition and movement. Supplying our body with quality food and increasing oxygen through movement will translate to better health, higher work productivity, and an overall superior quality of life.
5. Never stop learning
Learning new things increases neuroplasticity – the ability of the brain to take in and process information. This is especially important as we get older so it pays to stay on top of your field by taking seminars and courses. Competition is tougher than ever, and continuing education provides an edge that pays dividends in the long run.
6. Join an umbrella company
Taxes can be complex and will take up valuable time that can be better spent working on assignments or upgrading your skills. Consider employing the services of an umbrella company that takes care of everything for you with less paperwork and zero administration hassle.
7. Join a professional group or association
There’s a reason why rent is so high in hubs like London, Manchester and Edinburgh: ambitious professionals with great ideas like to be around people with similar energy.
Groups on social media networks can fill that gap if you prefer to work remotely in a rural or an island setting. Besides trading ideas and learning new tips, a group of like-minded professionals can support each other during difficult times and give advice when help is needed.
8. Take time to rest and recuperate
Our nervous system has two sides: the sympathetic side that is dominant during times of activity and the parasympathetic side that is involved with rest and repair.
Finding balance between these two sides is critical to your work performance and is central to managing stress. That is why it’s important to ensure that you work reasonable hours and get adequate, quality sleep.
9. Try to avoid giving discounts
In most cases, it’s not a good idea to price down your services to the lowest bidder because these types of clients continuously price-shop and will drain your energy over time.
Instead of declining their offer, try adding extra services to increase the value of your proposal. Prospects that consider you replaceable will look elsewhere while the most ideal clients will accept your offer because they recognize your unique skill set.
10. Always stay compliant
Along with tax obligations, make sure you are compliant with insurance and employment protection issues. Government regulations can get complex, especially in today’s cross-border economic environment. Seeking the advice of a professional is always a good idea. Another option is to enlist the services of an umbrella company.
Umbrella companies help relieve contractors from compliance concerns with solutions that provide an excellent balance of freedom and compliance.
11. Pretend you are the best in your field
No one started out at the top and everyone that’s reached success remembers the grunt work they did at the beginning. That’s because it was exactly that sort of experience that gave them the skills they needed to keep moving up.
Pretend that you are already at the top. If you make £20 an hour, pretend it’s £200 and give that level of service to each and every client. That’s precisely the mindset required to gain client loyalty and move to the top of your field for increased financial and professional success.
To Wrap Up
It’s no secret that 2020 was difficult. This year may be a turning point for many of us as we’re called to new challenges. These tips can form part of the strategy you need to survive this economic recession and thrive in the future.
Cool Company is here to help you reach higher levels of contracting freedom. Get started with our easy 5-step process and let us take care of the administration, taxes and insurance obligations so you can focus on your clients for success this year and beyond.