Top tips for starting out contracting

We take a look at what you should consider if you are thinking of getting involved in the contracting world.

If you’ve decided to take your first steps into the contracting world, then there’s a few points you need to consider before going ahead with it. It’s best to be fully prepared before making the move to ensure that you’ve thought of everything so you’re not taken by surprise.

Steps such as ensuring your CV is up to date with the current market, evaluating your CV to make sure that it’s specialised towards your chosen field and managing your financial situation before getting the ball rolling.

Brookson bring just a few of their tips to starting out contracting and ways in which it’ll drastically help you get up to speed.


Preparing for any big change is extremely important, especially one as big as making the change to being self-employed. Making sure that you’ve thought of everything is vital to a long and successful career as a self-employed contractor.

Make sure you’ve specialised your CV to heavily focus on the industry you’re focusing on. Prioritising specific skillsets that will make you stand out above other contractors and full-time employees. Don’t forget to emphasise your flexibility as that is one of the main points employers look for when searching for contractors, if you’re flexible then you’ll see more enquiries.

Educate yourself on your worth by keeping an eye on the market. That way you can use that knowledge negotiate your hourly or daily worth when it comes to agreeing to contracts. That way you’re not working for less than you’re worth, it’s all about you and your skills as an self-employed contractor.

Evaluate your finances

A huge draw to self-employed contracting is the financial side, a big increase to your income. This can come with some drawbacks if you don’t properly prepare, as with the increase in your income also comes the increase in managerial time. As without an employer to sort all of that out for you, you’re left to sort it all out yourself.

That’s why the majority of self-employed contractors hire an accountancy company that provide financial assistance to those looking to setup their own limited company or umbrella employment. Working with such a service will allow you to be safe in the knowledge you’re adhering to all the financial laws that come with contracting such as IR35. You’ll be safe in the knowledge that your finances are dealt with and are fully in line with the law.

If you’re unsure about how much you’ll be making weekly or monthly then see an estimate of what you could be saving at the end of the tax year by using a take home pay calculator such as Brooksons.

Be more active

Be prepared to get you and your skill-set out into the world and into the right communication channels. This way you’re one step ahead of yourself, making sure you don’t miss out on any potential work. As a self-employed contractor work isn’t always consistent month to month, so it’s wise to stay active within your communication channels to ensure you’re prepared for any down months.

LinkedIn is a great tool to stay in touch with past customers who could always get more work in for you, keeping in touch with old friends who can work in an industry related or it’s a great way of finding new clients and advertising your skill set.

Further reading on contracting

Owen Gough, SmallBusiness UK

Owen Gough

Owen was a reporter for Bonhill Group plc writing across the and titles before moving on to be a Digital Technology reporter for the

Related Topics

Self Employed

Leave a comment