When working for yourself as a contractor, there are many things that you need to remember. Although the skills and expertise used during a contract are highly important, there are also many other elements to remember that may have slipped the mind.
Sometimes it is the little things that have the biggest impact on clients, whether this may be something as simple as responding quickly to an email or even just asking for feedback on a project. These things show the client that you care about the service you are providing and are efficient in what you do.
A lot of the time, we get caught up in the project we are working on, pushing other details to one side and focusing on the bigger task in-hand.
But improving and moving forward as a contractor is crucial to professional growth. There are a number of things every contractor can do to improve their professional image and increase client demand.
Here, we take a look at things to remember when contracting.
Broaden your horizons
It's often easy to fall into a rut of targeting the same clients and delivering a similar outcome of work. Although this is all well and good while demand remains strong in the sector, broadening your horizons and taking on clients from a range of industries will prepare you for times when requests are not as intense as they are at present.
Be open-minded, as a variety of work will keep things diverse and interesting, not to mention providing a challenge with projects that you may not have previously considered, helping you learn and grow as a professional contractor.
Always seek feedback
Listening to feedback and then working on a strategy to improve yourself is always a good move when it comes to contracting - or any profession, in fact.
During and at the end of a contract, it is important to ask your client for feedback so that you are well aware of your strengths and weaknesses. When positive, enthusiastic testimonials that promote your service will look brilliant on your CV or online portfolio, as potential clients are much more likely to believe what others have said.
A professional profile
An up-to-date CV and professional portfolio are crucial for any contractor. Not only is it a good reference point for current clients, but a sound online portfolio can often be a useful tool for seeking out new contracts.
In addition, businesses looking for contractors will actively look online, and if you come across professionally, they're likely to be in contact. For contractors with their own websites, it's a good idea to make sure you have contact details at the forefront of your landing page, so that clients can easily locate and access them.
And don't forget social networks such as LinkedIn and Twitter. When unable to find candidates with the skills necessary, recruiters and businesses often turn to these networks to source suitable candidates and can often be the gateway to landing a new contract.
Don't spend all at once
Although, in recent times, with such a skills shortage, contractors are in higher demand, it is inevitable that there will be bumps in the road or spots in your career where you don’t have as much work as you may wish.
Carefully plan your finances so you aren't strapped for cash, put money aside for these periods of time, just to be on the safe side.