Professionals in almost any industry can lead successful careers as independent contractors with some preparation and experience, but that doesn’t mean it’s an easy goal. Many people who transition to self-employment struggle with the personal transformation that accompanies their new lifestyle. Following a few simple tips can make this process easier, but anyone moving towards professional independence should prepare for a few bumps and challenges along the way. Here is what you need to know.
Designate a Work Space
Contractors who offer their services from a business location already have a firm separation between their domestic and work life. However, the tens of thousands of contractors who work from home on a daily basis need to take the time to set boundaries. In fact, Forbes suggests that contractors who work entirely from home should create a work schedule and set aside a space in their house that is only used for work. The benefits of a designated work zone are psychological as well as physically tangible, so it’s a good habit to adopt.
Never Stop Networking
Almost all independent contractors rely heavily on their network of contacts to build their brand and find new clients. Anyone who is self-employed or operates a business should always be searching for new opportunities to meet, connect and engage with potential clients and partners. Contractors who mostly work from home are more likely to suffer from social isolation, which can have negative consequences on both a professional and personal level. That’s why they need to set up at least some meetings in-person and attend local events that are appropriate for their industry.
Get Occupational Insurance
Many types of contractors are vulnerable to some amount of liability when providing a service, whether it’s construction management, accounting or massage. For example, businesses and contractors who provide spa services can find policies specifically designed for their occupation through an insurance agency, like Marine Agency. Many service locations require their on-site contractors to have sufficient coverage in case they make a mistake while working with clients. A contractors insurance policy can include coverage for property damage, vehicle collisions and general concerns depending on the policy details.
Find Your Price
One of the reasons that conventional industry experience is helpful for contractors is that it gives them a base compensation target and history to leverage during negotiations. Those who sell their services independently need to establish prices that are competitive without sacrificing their real value. As professional gain experience and improve their results, they should increase their rates as well. Contractors should always be willing to re-evaluate their price points to get the most out of each opportunity.
Life as an independent contractor is far from simple or easy, but many people follow their dream of being their own boss despite the challenges. Success is very achievable for those who are willing to learn, adapt and work hard to provide results for their clients.
Hannah Whittenly is a freelance writer and mother of two from Sacramento, CA. She enjoys kayaking and reading books by the lake.