SGS Engineering, a retailer of Milwaukee power tools, recently conducted a poll of around 2,000 homeowners, and determined that around a third of them were planning a major refurbishment at some point during 2021.
Around half of respondents claimed to value ‘highly-rated’ workers who had garnered a good reputation through online ranking websites. But there are only so many of these particular kinds of tradespeople around, meaning that competition is fierce, waiting times are long, and prices are high.
All of this, naturally, is good news for people looking to start life as a contractor.
If you’ve been considering a career-move of this kind, then it’s worth doing a little bit of groundwork before getting started. Let’s take a look at what’s required.
Regulations and responsibilities
You should start by thoroughly researching your legal obligations – just so you’re sure that this career move is the right one for you. Are you a self-motivated individual? You’ll need to be driven to make this kind of life work.
You’ll also need to be aware of any regulations that might affect your line of work. These range from building and electrical regulations to tax-related ones.
Registering your Company
If you decide to form a limited company, you’ll need to register as such with Companies House and with HMRC. This can be done online without too much difficulty. You’ll have three months to do it from the moment you begin trading.
Set Up Your Bank Accounts
A business bank account will provide your customers with confidence – and make life easier for you. You might also consider hiring an accountant to take care of your tax return, and to make sure your finances are in order.
Build your Portfolio
The chances are that you’ll begin by doing work at a discounted rate for friends, and friends of friends – or by working on larger jobs under the supervision of more experienced hands. Make sure that you log your achievements in a CV and portfolio, so that you can prove that you know what you’re doing.
Buy your tools
Setting out as a contractor requires investing in the right tools for the job. Ideally, you’ll only want to do this once – so make sure that you spend what’s required to get quality tools, and that you secure them properly when you aren’t using them.
Start attracting your first jobs
Having taken all the steps above, you’ll be able to start attracting your first jobs. It’s worth noting that at this early stage, you won’t have much of a reputation, so it’s especially important to go the extra mile to avoid getting negative feedback – and ideally, to attract the positive kind!