Contracting yourself privately can be a great way to get into self-employment and set up a new business model. However, there are a few things you should check off the list before you decide you’re ready to tackle your first job. Here are just a few of the essentials that every contractor will need before getting started.
Many industries use contractors, and all of them require their people to be licensed before they can start working. Contractor licensing ensures that you have already received the necessary training to do the work in your chosen field. You may need multiple licenses depending on the kinds of work you would like to do or the qualifications you want to have. The license tells potential clients you have the skills they need and is a great way to get your foot in the door. Obtaining extra certification on top of that can be a great way to showcase your skills, as well.
Insurance is a necessity for both you and any clients you might have. It’s something that protects you from liability and takes care of you or your customers in the event that something happens. Like licenses, different kinds of insurance are available for your needs. You can peruse CA contractors’ insurance types to find the ones that suit your needs. At the very least, it’s important to have general liability insurance to protect yourself against a wide range of accidents, such as bodily injury or property damage, that may occur on the job.
The type of bookkeeping you do as a private contractor may differ heavily from what you might be used to in other sectors. You’re working for yourself as an independent operator, and this new direction alters how you’ll keep track of your funds. Being a private contractor also means that you’ll be in charge of your own health insurance and your own income tax. If you’re new to self-employment in general, you may want to look for an account that can help you get everything in order, especially for your first year. It’s important to know what revenue you need to report to the IRS on top of your general income tax.
You’ll want to get your name out there quickly if you plan to attract potential clients and start working soon. Establishing your brand, therefore, will be essential, especially for client retention later down the road. Branding helps you stand out among the competition and makes it easier for your customers to consider you as their go-to for your particular service. Your brand can be as simple as an effective logo and slogan that people remember easily. Things like what tone you use in your marketing copy, any themes you incorporate in your advertising, and even what kind of person you are as the contractor can fall under your personal brand.
Since you’re just starting out in this business, you may not have a lot of professional references that are relevant to the particular field you’ll be working. However, you probably know several acquaintances that can provide you with references as to your character. These kinds of statements let potential clients know that you are a reliable and efficient person that is ready to take on the task of the contracting industry you’ve chosen as your field of expertise. These references can come from friends and family who have seen your work ethic before, and past employers. As you gain customers and do more professional work, you can ask satisfied customers if they’d be willing to vouch for your quality as a contractor later on. Until then, you’ll want to start with what you have.
Contracting yourself out can be a lucrative, fulfilling way to make a living. You just have to make sure you have a few prerequisites filled before you begin. By getting the proper references, branding, CA contractors’ insurance, and contractor licensing, you can take care of the contractor’s beginning essentials before you take your first official job.