Being a contractor is not always the dream you imagine it to be. It is of course a great form of employment and the positive benefits for your life and career it can reap can be fantastic. But there can be downsides to it and the dream can easily turn into a nightmare.
Here are some common contractor nightmares that you might experience in your contractor career. Just remember when reading these, DON”T BE AFRAID!!!
Late client payments
Working for yourself means you are managing responsibility for every aspect of your business and asides from winning clients and delivering work for them, you need to ensure you are paid for the work you are contracted for. This means invoicing your clients and communicating clearly what you expect your payment terms to be. This isn’t always as straight forward as you might think, and you’re likely at some point to experience some form of late payment which you’ll annoyingly have to chase.
Of course, giving your clients as much notice as possible about payments will always help, and the odd reminder in the run up to pay-day will keep things punctual, but don’t always guarantee success.
Being contracted via an employment agency will always benefit you as a contractor, as they can act as a facilitator for client payments and it’s one less stress for you to worry about.
No personal accident cover
There are many forms of insurance that are available to contractors, but one of the most important policies is personal accident cover. This type of cover ensures you are financially protected if anything happens to you health wise. Remember that as a full time employee, one of your benefits is sick pay which allows you to take off time without the worry of not losing out financially because of your absence from work. Working for yourself though is a different matter and if you’re not working, you’re not getting paid! Imagine having an accident that stops you from working for two weeks. Missing out on two weeks work could be pivotal to your personal finances and you won’t want to just rely on rainy day savings to get you through. Having personal accident cover will protect you financially as a contractor in worse case scenarios as the one discussed, and ensure you’re covered.
The wrong contract
There are good contracts, great contracts, dream contracts, and in those rare cases, wrong contracts. You may have been mis-sold this contract from a client, and soon find it doesn’t meet your expectations or doesn’t challenge you as a contractor and you’ll find there isn’t an easy way out of it for a while. That is why it’s so important to assess potential contracts carefully and see if they tick off certain boxes for you such as day rate, location, contract length and the actual work itself. Think about what contract is right for you!
IR35 and the question over whether you find yourself in our out of it as a contractor has caused sleepless nights for many, with the public sector of course being most affected this year. With public sector employers now given the responsibility of determining IR35 status, this has negative repercussions for the contractor community in this sector, with the NHS taking a blanket approach to IR35 assessment earlier this year. These reforms have of course created a great deal of confusion and uncertainty, with the private sector contractor community fearing they may be hit by further IR35 reforms.
IR35 is a concern for all in the contractor world, but all hope is not lost. It is very useful to draw upon the advice of your fellow peers, or sit down and talk with any of the leading contractor financial and accountancy experts who have consummate knowledge of IR35 and can determine whether there is a case for you to appeal if you’ve been unfairly labelled inside IR35 as a contractor.
We deal with it in all forms of life and as a contractor it can hurt to be rejected for a contract by a client you were really keen to work with. The best way to deal with rejection is to find out where you went wrong and with that see, how you can improve your application. It could be something you can work on personally that will just get better with practise, or could be something about your experience that might need improving with some extra training. Whatever it is, never be disheartened and take it on the chin and grow from it as a person.
Finding a mortgage in general can be a nightmare and is another added stress and worry to the ordeal that is known as house hunting. With mortgage lenders now more cautious than ever over who they lend to, they ideally want someone with financial stability. Due to lack of education and the perceived notion that contracting does not guarantee stability, contractors will find it even more difficult to get a mortgage and many a contractor have reported how often they’ve been turned down for one. Fear not, there are specialist mortgage solution providers that can help you as a contractor to get the mortgage you need and can inform and educate lenders that contractors are a sensible and safe lending option. One company iContract works with is CMME, who are one of our service providers and a leading expert in contractor mortgages.
Have you experienced any contractor nightmares? If so, iContract and its community of service providers can you help you on matters such as IR35, accountancy advice, insurance cover, and mortgage support, as well as a growing community of contractors that you can interact and engage with for help and advice.
Register for free at www.icontract.co.uk.
and…HAPPY HALLOWEEN TO ALL!