It’s no secret that being an independent contractor can be a challenging proposition. Not only do you have to worry about delivering quality work on time and under budget, but you also have to concern yourself with all the business-related tasks that go into running a successful enterprise.
Luckily, we’re here to help. Here are tips on how to make sure you’re in line with best practices for independent contractors.
We’ll also offer advice on topics like choosing the right car insurance for independent contractors and contracting agreements.
What unique obstacles do independent contractors face?
Independent contractors have to wear a lot of hats. Not only are they responsible for the quality of their work, but they also have to take care of all the business-related tasks that come with running a successful business.
This can be a daunting proposition, but luckily there are some steps you can take to make sure you’re in line with best practices for independent contractors.
Creating a Business Plan
As an independent contractor, one of the first things you should do is create a business plan. This document will serve as a roadmap for your business, outlining your goals, strategies, and how you plan on achieving success.
A well-crafted business plan will force you to think critically about every aspect of your business, from your target market to your marketing strategy. It will also help you secure funding from investors if you need it.
Tracking Your Expenses and Income
As an independent contractor, you must keep meticulous records of your expenses and income.
Not only will this help you come tax time, but it will also give you a clear picture of the financial health of your business.
Some software programs can help you track your income and expenses, or you can do it the old-fashioned way with a pencil and paper.
Just make sure you do it regularly so you always have an up-to-date snapshot of your finances.
Keep Accurate Records of Your Work, Like Time Spent & Services Provided
If you’re billing by the hour, keeping accurate records of the time you spend working for each client is important.
This will not only help ensure you get paid for all your work but also give you a good idea of how much time certain projects take, so you can price your services accordingly.
It’s also a good idea to keep records of the services you provide for each client. This will come in handy if there are ever any disputes about the work you’ve done.
Getting Paid on Time
One of the biggest challenges faced by independent contractors is getting paid on time.
Unfortunately, there’s no guarantee that you’ll always get paid promptly, but there are a few things you can do to increase your chances of getting paid on time.
- Be sure to include a payment schedule in your contract. This will give you and your client a clear understanding of when payments are due.
- You should also send invoices as soon as the work is completed. This will help ensure you get paid in a timely manner.
- If you’re having trouble getting paid, you can send a polite email or give your client a call. Sometimes a gentle reminder is all it takes to get the ball rolling.
It can be uncomfortable, but being paid in a timely manner could make or break your independent livelihood.
Getting the Right Independent Contractor Insurance
Another critical step for independent contractors is to get the right insurance in place. This will protect you in the event that something goes wrong with a project you’re working on.
There are a few different types of insurance that independent contractors should consider, such as general liability insurance so that any on-the-job accidents and mistakes are covered. But one of the most important is car insurance.
If you use your car for business purposes, you’ll need to make sure you have commercial car insurance. This type of policy will provide coverage if you’re in an accident while driving for business purposes.
Car insurance for independent contractors can be expensive, but it’s a necessary expense. Make sure you shop around and compare rates from different insurers before making a decision.
Having Solid, Well-Made Contracts
As an independent contractor, having solid contracts is essential to protecting yourself and your business.
Your contracts should outline the scope of work you’ll be doing and the terms of your agreement.
Some solid contract tips include:
- Get everything in writing.
- Be clear and concise.
- Include a payment schedule.
- Outline the scope of work.
- Protect your intellectual property.
Having an attorney review your contracts before you sign them is a good way to avoid any potential legal problems down the road.
Solid contracts will give you peace of mind and help you avoid any future headaches.
How to Find a Good Contract Attorney
If you don’t already have a contract attorney, you can find one by asking for referrals from other independent contractors in your network.
You can also search online for attorneys who specialize in contract law.
When meeting with potential attorneys, be sure to ask about their experience working with independent contractors. You should also ask for examples of contracts they’ve drafted in the past.
Choosing an attorney is important, so be sure to take your time and find someone you’re comfortable working with.
Becoming a Successful Independent Contractor
By following the tips above, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a successful independent contractor. Just remember to stay organized, track your finances, and protect yourself with the right insurance and contracts.
With a little hard work and dedication, you can make your dream of being a successful independent contractor a reality.
If there’s one piece of input we can give, it’s to ask for help when you need it. Business can be tough, and there’s no shame in admitting that you need a little assistance from time to time.
Whether it’s hiring an accountant to help with your finances or asking a friend for advice on how to handle a difficult client, don’t be afraid to reach out for help when you need it.