The start of January is always a great period for reflection on accomplishments from the previous year and for making plans to shape the potential accomplishments of the next. This process is more often than not carried out in the form of making unrealistic New Year Resolutions which are ultimately broken by the end of January. The key to success is making targets realistic and relevant to your circumstances.
The life of a contractor can be distinctly different to that of a permanent worker therefore we have put together a list of great contractor focused resolution ideas for the coming year. Take a look through our list and see if any of these can help make your 2018 the best contracting year yet.
Work Life Balance
Getting the right balance between work and the rest of your life is an elusive goal for most workers. Whilst contracting allows for the very freedom which should make getting this balance easier compared to permanent workers, it often not fully utilised. It can be all too easy to use flexibility to maximise work in pursuit of the best possible annual returns rather than maximising down time. However if finances allow, it may be worth considering making better use of contracting’s enhanced flexibility to give yourself a well-earned break.
Whilst contracting, it is extremely important to build and nurture a brand for yourself in order to maximise your ability to sell your skills and expertise to new end clients. There are a few relatively easy ways in which contractors can start to enhance their own personal brand. Attending more networking events, building on your skill set, starting to more proactively use social media channels for business purposes and potentially even setting up your own simple website are a few good examples.
Achieve Peace of Mind
Some payroll operators are using turmoil of recent legislative reforms such as the off-payroll IR35 changes to capitalise by marketing non-compliant solutions to contractors feeling the financial strain. Given the circumstances it’s not difficult to understand why some are being tempted by offers of 80 to 90% take home pay. However you need to beware that short term gain will almost certainly come at the expense of long term pain. If you are contracting and using a non-compliant payroll solution, the New Year might be a good opportunity to rid yourself of the future uncertainty and risk by moving to a fully compliant provider.
Make Your Money Go Further
As you may be aware, a range of different legislative changes over the last few years have effectively made the contracting landscape a less financially attractive one in many cases. Many Umbrella payroll providers have recognised this extra financial pressure. As a consequence many have made moves to lower their administration fees and add in extra value to their service offering in the form of retail or shopping discounts. That being said there are still many who have not made such changes. Therefore the best way for savvy umbrella contractors to now maximise their income in a compliant manner is to choose umbrella providers with the most favourable competitive fees and value adding extras.