Working on the road as a contractor offers a lot of freedom to being stuck as part of a team or in an office. You can put your practical skills to use and reap all the benefits of markets like plumbing, home inspections, and electrician work that will always have demand. But running your own operation means dealing with risk, too. Here are the tools you should consider using to eliminate those risks.
A keen financial plan
As you’re self-employed, you’re soon going to have to learn what it means to take care of all your finances. This means you need to carefully log and explain each cost in the business as well as keeping and recording all invoices of the money coming into your business. An organised finance system is essential if you don’t want to find yourself being audited a short-time later. You should also keep a calendar of important tasks, like the big tax dates in January and July.
The right vehicle
Working as a contractor means doing a lot of travelling, often with the tools of the trade at your side. You want to keep personal and professional separate, so don’t use your own car. Instead, consider getting a lease on a proper commercial vehicle with the reliability and the size you need to transport the business around with you. Get a quick quote to see which is going to be the right choice for you.
A reliable supply chain
You’re likely going to need a steady supply of tools and materials to cope with the different challenges facing the business as well. Instead of going to your local hardware store, consider getting in touch with those who specialise in providing to businesses. By sourcing effective and cheap materials, especially for repair jobs, you can pass the savings to the customer and get more competitive in your pricing.
Strong online presence
Working as a contractor means wearing a lot of hats. From that of the tradesmen to that of the accountant and now you need to get your marketing hat on. When seeking services, most people nowadays will simply search for it online. So, you need to develop a proper website. Look at the design choices the competition makes, from simple navigation and online pricing to providing testimonials and qualifications on the site so that people know you’re fit to the job.
Plenty of time
You also need the time to wear all those hats. Time management is a crucial skill for contractors. You need to divide your time up between different roles and make sure you’re as productive as you can be. Start keeping a business log and review it at the end of every week to make sure you’re spending enough time on accounting and marketing while still spending enough time on the job to remain profitable.
Running the most effective operation means paying attention to both the organisational and physical side of business. If you can’t cope with that, perhaps it’s worth consider whether contracting is right for you. If it is, you can find it very lucrative indeed.