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Becoming A Contractor: Key Success Factors to securing your first project.

Today, evidence is mounting that we are moving towards a project-based economy where work is divided into small components, with growing requirements, clearly defined scopes for highly skilled, niche expertise and concrete deliverables.

Current market needs are migrating to experienced professionals who can run and manage one or many projects for multiple clients at a time without working full-time for any one of them. It is partly due to these trends that the Professional Workforce in the EU-28 has risen markedly by 99% since the start of the millennium.

For many Professional Contractors, working project-by-project is a financially rewarding career. As outlined in our recent Customer Survey, 42% of respondents intend to contract on a long-term basis. The statistic makes sense when you consider that contracting gives you the freedom to choose your own clients, set your own rates for work and is absent of the constraints inherent in traditional employment, providing you with greater flexibility . If YOU too would like to choose the Contracting career path, the following steps will help secure your first project:

Step 1: Research your target market:

Before you decide to make the move to contracted employment, do some research regarding the amount of demand that is out there for your particular skillset:

    •Know your defined, verifiable expertise – you skill set and knowledge will stand to you

    •Show and illustrate your code of ethics – nothing is more important than your reputation

    •Become comfortable marketing your services by networking and talking to potential clients about how you can solve their problems. Check out our recent marketing series in which Contracting PLUS offers guidance and tips to                marketing yourself and building your brand.

    •Become your client's best friend - establish and develop high quality, enduring relationships with clients and other professionals – your success is measured by the success of your clients and your network.

    •Build up your business acumen – running a business is more than being good at what you do. Contracting PLUS offer a range of financial services, administration and accounting solutions to assist you

Step 2:Tailor your CV:

Tailoring your CV to the exact requirements of each role you apply for is vitally important. Contract employers are looking for specific skillsets and so you must adjust your applications accordingly, giving priority to the traits you possess that the employer requires. Registering and liaising with a Recruitment Agency that specialises in Contract Roles in your particular specialty can be a good start to getting you on the road to become a contractor and help secure your first Contractor role. Establish a rapport with some key recruiters, as a free service for you, they will act as your mentor and brand ambassador as they pitch you and your skill set to their clients.

Step 3: Build your network and become known for what you do best

Talk to trusted mentors and colleagues in confidence to help you define your message and offering. After you have defined what you are offering, spread the world through your existing personal and professional network. Develop and nurture these networks, as these will be an additional avenue to source / leverage work.Join groups and expand your professional circle to create a community that provides a flow of information and pipeline of opportunity.Use the power of social networks – such as Irish Contractors on LinkedIn to nurture these relationships.Create a well-defined message that you can send to your connections, that explains the exact types of services and specializations you are offering to clients.

Step 4: Managing your finances:

As a Contractor it allows you to take control of your financial affairs. It is therefore, important to work with an accountant who fully understands the contracting sector and the requirements of the professional Contractor.

Established in 2002, Contracting PLUS has grown to become the market leader in providing accounting and personal taxation services to professional contractors to ensure that Contractors are set up in the correct business structure and are fully tax compliant. Providing a complete suite of solutions from Managed Director, Personal Limited Company and Umbrella Solutions, Contracting PLUS offers free consultations to advise on the optimum business solution for the professional contractor, and will fully assist in getting you up and running immediately, allowing you to focus on your contract role.

Step 6: Ensure you plan for the future

Assess how you will protect yourself, family, business and your retirement. Contracting PLUS offers a comprehensive services and solutions that will take care of all the administrative and back office support including insurances associated with you company e.g. Employers Liability, Public Liability and Professional Indemnity as well as having exclusive agreements and discounts in place with health insurance providers like Laya and VHI. In addition we offer advice on wealth management, income protection and pension planning through CWM Wealth Management.

Step 7: Have a plan for dealing with Invoicing and Expenses

As a Professional Contractor, administrative duties and financial obligations can be consuming and distracting. Contracting PLUS offers convenient and simplified solutions via our free App or online, through Our innovative accounting solutions, backup by our team of expert accountants and tax advisors. This alleviates the administrative headaches and ensures your accounting and personal tax responsibilities are taken care of and are dealt with in a timely and compliant manner, enabling you to spend more time working on you do best.

Summary

One of the benefits of contracting is that you get to choose what you do and concentrate on what you enjoy and do best, allowing the time to professionally develop yourself and your skills so that you can keep up-to-date with the requirements of the industries in which you aim to work.

Best of luck if you do decide to become a professional Contractor. Finding and securing a Contract role is simplified with the expert help and support from Contracting PLUS as we dedicate our services to Contractors like you and will assist you every step of the way!

For more information on Contracting and for a free consultation on the best business structure for you, contact our Solutions Team on 01 611 07070 or visit www.ContractingPLUS.com

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Friday, 18 August 2017