Independence, self-reliance, and profitability – if you are thinking of becoming a construction contractor, then these three key advantages will have crossed your mind. Contracting is a highly lucrative pursuit for individuals who are skilled in various trades and professions, and in the current economic climate, with an increased demand for highly qualified trade and labour, it is one of the most sought-after.
Though construction and labour are the most common types of contracting, it also pertains to other professions – and this also means that big corporations, as well as individual clients, can make use of a valuable skill set from time to time. There are many benefits to this, including:
- Flexible hours, which are more accommodating to the client.
- Services that can be used throughout the whole project, or at different stages.
- Access to a wide range of skills that could be useful in various areas.
- An affordable and self-reliant worker (companies do not need to provide National Insurance, sick pay, holiday pay and redundancy pay, etc.).
A beneficial career move
Being your own boss is an obvious advantage, and with this comes big responsibility. The chances are you are not only completing the actual work but also performing the role of leader (if you have more than one person working with you), and you may be single-handedly taking care of finances, administration, marketing and PR, health and safety, etc. This means that you determine the work you accept and the negotiations you make, have some control over the conditions you work in, and when you work. You will enjoy a higher pay rate than employees working on the same project, as well as reduced tax, and the diversity of your role will lead to a varied range of opportunities that will build up your CV and life experience.
You must be driven to seek out work opportunities and market yourself, and you need to find the balance between having regular work coming in while leaving yourself open for other opportunities. You must be prepared to be accountable for all the tax and insurance that applies to your company and anyone else assisting you. Given that contractors perform many roles at once, it can be beneficial to use the services of an umbrella company, which specifically addresses the needs of contractors relating to the issues above and offers additional consulting to help you maximise your business potential. This can also help take a load of pressure off your shoulders as you get started on your venture, and it can be a useful service for established contractors to utilise.
Before making the big jump into the exciting world of contracting, however, make sure you do your research and identify the demand within the market for someone with your skills. Maintain a steady income with your current job and gradually build up a list of clients with smaller jobs before making the switch so that you land on your feet. Most importantly, remember that your customer is the most important component of your endeavour and that word of mouth rules – be reliable, accommodating and fair, and you will earn yourself a promising future in the profession.