With 2018 in full swing many contractors will be in the midst of planning for the coming 12 months. For contractors, planning strategically and effectively for 2018 could result in further opportunities, greater work life balance, better career prospects and ultimately a more profitable year. Here we explore our five top tips for contractors to successfully plan for a lucrative 2018.
Re-evaluate your current position
If you feel that your contracting has hit a plateau, it may be time to re-evaluate the current career position that you are in. For many contractors working under an umbrella scheme, there comes a time when their hourly rate reaches a stage in which it is no longer tax efficient to work as an umbrella contractor. It is at this stage that many contractors choose to establish their own limited company, allowing them to contract in a more tax efficient way, with significantly more control over their finances. If you are unsure that this is the right step, an experienced umbrella company will be able to provide their expert opinion and guidance.
Make time to research potential contracts
In terms of opportunities, 2018 is looking to be a fantastic year for the contracting industry; for those working in the construction sector, there are a number of projects commencing such as HS2 and new government housing initiatives. We also expect there to be a significant number of IT and digital contracts available in 2018, as businesses throughout the UK tackle skills shortages in these areas and cyber security becomes an even more prominent issue to resolve. Using this knowledge to your advantage, and researching further potential opportunities, will provide you with a fantastic starting point for gaining more prospects for yourself. From this, you are in an enviable position to approach the appropriate person or persons, in order to highlight both your skills and knowledge of the project.
Gain new skills and qualifications
As mentioned, a skills shortage within the UK may provide a great opportunity for contractors working within the digital and IT sectors to gain further prospects. For contractors, this may mean refining or gaining new skills and qualifications in order to be considered for these contracts. Whilst carrying out further training may seem like quite an expense in the short term, the long term benefits that this could bring far outweigh the costs.
Plan for time off
Whilst it is important to plan for your working life, it is also vital to ensure that you take time out of your busy schedule to relax. For many umbrella contractors, they are entitled to holiday allowance and pay, therefore taking time out for a family holiday can be easily arranged. For contractors that have opted for rolled up holiday pay or those operating a limited company, planning for time off can be trickier, however, we would always recommend setting aside some money each month that can be used towards taking vital time off.
Get expert advice
If you are unsure of where your contracting should be heading or are considering taking the next step into limited, we would highly recommend you seek expert advice that can guide you through the pros and cons of any option and help you to plan your next steps. In seeking advice, you can ensure that the coming 12 months are not only profitable but compliant with HMRC regulations.