How do I find contractor jobs?

Chris Andreou

April 21, 2021

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Contractors

There are various ways to land a contractor job.

You may work through an umbrella company or recruitment agency, use a contractor job board or consulting platform, build up your social media profile (creating a top 1% LinkedIn profile can increase your chances of getting approached for contracting opportunities), generate leads through your own website and more.

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How to Start Contracting Guide

  • What is a contractor
  • Types of contractors
  • Contractor business structures
  • Contractor accounting
  • Understanding IR35
  • Contractor insurance
  • Banking for contractors
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What is a contractor?

A contractor is a professional that provides skills and services to a specific client under set terms. The terms can be for a set number of hours, a certain time frame or duration of a project.

A contractor is responsible for their own dealings and has discretion over the work they carry out.

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Contractor Business Services UK

Firstly, we'll start with the services that we provide which covers the critical things you'll need to start and operate your contracting business.

For those just getting started, we provide free company registration on Companies House. This is typically done within 24 hours of submitting your details to Forma. It can take under 5 minutes to provide all your details and we'll just need a proof of ID and proof of address for each of the company directors.

We cover all of your key company filing requirements like annual accounts, confirmation statements, corporation tax and ensuring you meet all filing deadlines.

We also help with your annual Self Assessment which is a requirement for all company directors.

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What are the disadvantages of contracting?

The disadvantages of contracting are:

  • Uncertainty: Due to the flexible nature of their working relationships, contractors aren't guaranteed work after the end of assignment or project.
  • Responsibility: Not only is it the responsibility of the contractor to find work, they are also responsible for their own finances.
  • Employment rights: As a contractor, you generally wouldn't find yourself holding employment rights that permanent employees benefit from.
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What is an independent contractor?

An independent contractor is an individual who is engaged in a work agreement with a company or entity as a non-employee.

Factors that identify an independent contractor are:

  • They have a greater degree of control over their work
  • They offer a special skill set
  • They are able to get a replacement
  • They aren't entitled to employment benefits
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Guide to employing or hiring contractors

You have an important project at hand, and you require a contractor's specialist knowledge to fill in the skill gap in your team. You're ready to hire-except that you're unfamiliar with the hiring process.

If this is your first time hiring a contractor, our article will guide you through the essentials.

We'll cover the following:

  • Sourcing for contractors
  • Assessing contractor CVs
  • Interviewing a contractor
  • Payments
  • Contract terms
  • Terminating a contract
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How do I become a contractor?

To become a contractor, you need to:

  • Do your research: The first step you'll need to do is to conduct in-depth research, and think through various important factors-from finances and tax implications, to lifestyle and business opportunities-to ascertain if becoming a contractor is the right decision for you.
  • Decide on how you'll operate: As a contractor, you may operate as a sole trader, through your own limited company, or work with an umbrella company or recruitment agency.
  • Develop a business strategy: Strategic planning isn't set in stone-but working out a plan is still helpful, as it is a way for you to consider multiple perspectives, identify potential opportunities and pitfalls and conceptualise back up plans you could fall back on.
  • Get your business finances and insurance sorted out: Setting up a business bank account, registering a company, determining the level of accounting support you need and investing in business insurance are important aspects you need to sort out before you begin contracting.
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Employing contractors

There are a few steps you'll need to consider with hiring contractors. These include:

  • Sourcing for contractors
  • Assessing contractor CVs
  • Interviewing a contractor
  • Payments
  • Contract terms
  • Terminating a contract
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Is a contractor an employee?

Contractors can be self-employed, a worker or an employee. Those who are employed through an umbrella company or an agency could be considered a worker or an employee.

If a contractor is a sole trader or runs a limited company, he or she will then be considered a self-employed person.

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What are the advantages of contracting?

The advantages of contracting are:

  • Flexibility: Contractors have a lot more control over their work life often deciding when they work, where they work and how they work
  • Increased earnings: Contractors are often paid more due to their skillset and the flexible nature of their working relationships. Additionally, contractors who operate through their own limited company can benefit from tax efficiencies.
  • Greater development: Often working with multiple clients throughout their career, contractors are exposed to a lot of opportunities to develop their skills and build on their experience in their area of expertise.
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What is subcontracting?

As an independent contractor, there may come a point in time where you need to consider subcontracting-you might decide to take on work as a subcontractor, or hire a subcontractor for your projects.

Whichever option you're exploring, how do you decide if the benefits truly outweigh the cons? And are there important tips you need to keep in mind?

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Top 6 freelance job sites that get you work

Okay, you've done it. You've decided to quit your job to become self-employed. Or, you're about to.

Clients are just going to come rushing at you‚ right?

If you've decided to jump into freelance, or are considering it, one of your first questions will be: how do I find work or generate business as a freelancer? Finding work when you are just starting out isn't always easy.

The good news is that there are many popular sites where you can create a profile and start to regularly find freelance work.

Most freelance job sites are what you would call a marketplace. In them, you'll find both buyers and sellers of services. The services can include anything from finance consulting to graphic design to transcription to web development to data analysis.

Some of sites specialise in certain areas, but the best are wide-ranging and you can find work doing literally anything, often with jobs from around the world.

Freelance work that you find online can include one-off contracts, part-time gigs, or even temporary full-time engagements that you can fulfil as someone running your own business. Most often they are project-based so you should likely expect a variety of clients over time.

I did a systematic review of the top 6 freelance job sites by analysing four factors:

  • Communication, and how easy it is to use the platform
  • Buyers, and what it costs people who hire freelancers
  • Freelancers, and how much they can earn
  • Monthly traffic i.e. how many people visit the site every month in the UK

I have summarised the top 6 freelance job sites below.

Ultimately, you'll likely want to make your mark and create a really strong profile on one or two of these sites, rather than going after all of them. That way you can build a good reputation and set of reviews and have all or the majority of your clients in one place.

Let's dive in so you can get started.

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How to Become a Contractor

So, you're thinking of becoming a contractor.

There's probably one of three reasons driving this:

You've received a Job Offer

You've just received a job offer, and now need to decide on whether to set up a limited company, umbrella company or become a sole trader (or you may not have the choice in deciding).

You're in the right place.

This guide will walk you through the best company structure for you, accounting support, VAT, business services you need to consider and finding new opportunities.

You want to increase your pay

You'd like to increase your pay by switching from permanent roles to interim/ contractor roles.

Contracting can be very lucrative.

You'll need to be comfortable with a certain level of risk (short notice periods), increased monthly admin (as a Limited Company) and less benefits than being an employee (paid leave, sick days).

However, you'll earn more, get greater flexibility and hopefully grow a consulting business.

Project Flexibility

Getting multiple requests for your services? Amazing.

Setting yourself up as a contractor through a Limited Company means you can start expanding your client base rapidly and work on different projects a few days a week.

You can still set this up as a current PAYE employee of a company, and this can be a great stepping stone to launching your own business.

Let's talk about the right business structure for you.

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Complete guide to creating freelance proposals that win three times more deals

Being self-employed can offer a great lifestyle and more flexibility-but first you need to bring on clients and close deals.

When I first started freelancing, I stumbled a bit. I had several interested clients and some good projects to juggle-but there were sometimes misunderstandings, either during the sales process or when completing a project.

Eventually, I decided to formalise my client communication strategy. I started writing project proposals.

A project proposal makes it clear what jobs will be done, roles and responsibilities of you and the client, requirements from the client, deliverables from you, schedule for completion, and other details, including the project costs and payment terms.

Once I started putting together proposals, I started winning way more client deals-in fact, it's over three times what I was doing before-and fulfilling contracts with less headaches.

In this article, I've combined my own knowledge with best practices that I found from dozens of articles and examples.

In it, you'll learn:

  1. First, how to prepare a strong portfolio that provides evidence for your proposal. A portfolio demonstrates that you have a reliable record of work.
  2. Next, how to create a winning proposal. Step by step, how to structure your proposal, key terms and sections to include, and how to present it professionally. In this article we focus on freelancers (e.g. content writers and designers) as well as consultants e.g. (IT, management, and marketing).
  3. Tactics and strategies for how to follow-up with a client and close a deal. Time kills all deals. The more effectively that you follow-up, the sooner you can get to business.

Following these steps can help you write better proposals that improve communication with your clients so that you can win more deals.

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Is a contractor self employed?

Contractors can be self-employed, a worker or an employee. Those who are employed through an umbrella company or an agency could be considered a worker or an employee.

If a contractor is a sole trader or runs a limited company, he or she will then be considered a self-employed person.

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How to create a top 1% LinkedIn profile

By: Chris Andreou and Jaxson Khan

We keep hearing the same thing from all the busiest freelancers and self-employed workers we know: LinkedIn is the web platform that consistently brings in the most clients.

Research shows that LinkedIn is responsible for a full 80% of all B2B leads generated by social media.

In this article, first we'll show you how to set up your own LinkedIn profile so that it ranks in the top 1% of search results within your industry.

Then we will go into detail on the methodology behind our results, and look at some case studies.

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What is a Contractor?

You've been thinking about making the leap from employee to self-employed. If contracting is one of the options you're considering, this article is for you.

We'll run you through the basics, including what it means to be a contractor, how it differs from full-time employment and the type of business structures that contractors typically choose.

Contractors are self-employed individuals who provide services to a business. Generally, they're highly skilled, and are hired for projects that require specialist skills or to bolster a team during busy periods.

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10 marketing tactics to get more local business

If you've recently gone self-employed or started your own business, you're probably a decent consultant. Or graphic designer. Or writer. You get where I'm going here.

Chances are, you jumped into freelancing because you want to do more of that. Not play the role of a fully-staffed marketing team for your business.

Our experts have compiled some of the best tips, based on their past experiences, into this post to help you get more customers, faster.Here are the Top 10. Remember to bookmark this post, so you can come back and try more strategies.

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What are the different types of contractors?

There are different types of contractor jobs available across diverse sectors. Contractors may be hired to perform services such as:

  • Marketing
  • IT maintenance and support
  • Graphic design
  • Recruitment
  • Business development
  • Catering
  • Construction work
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5 ways to generate business as a freelancer that you haven't heard of

If you're looking for new ways of generating business as a freelancer, chances are you've come across a lot of the same information online.

Most of it, like advice on getting referrals and making sure your website is slick will always be useful.

Some of it, like the tips on online advertising‚ is valid for some freelancers, depending on their line of work. But it's probably all stuff that you know or have heard about.

For those looking for less obvious ways of generating new business, to get a leg up on everyone else, this list will do.

It's a compilation of tips, tricks, and tactics that have worked for either myself over the past 10 years, or other successful freelancers and consultants.

Note: Check out our small business resource hub for more tips and strategies on growing your business.

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