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Contractor News

News and updates from industry experts

Could you turn your hobby into a freelancer business?

By Contractor Hub, May 18 2016 04:00AM

A recent survey carried out by Weebly has revealed that as many as two-fifths of contractors have turned their hobby into a successful money-making business.

If you have a hobby that could potentially be turned into a business, why not look to see if you could make money from doing something that you love to do?

Is there a place for your business?

Firstly, you will need to do your research – is there a place for you in the market and are there customers out there who would want to buy or use your services?

You definitely don’t want to take a hobby or passion and then ruin it by turning it into something you no longer want to do. The added pressure of having to earn money may take away the fun you used to have, so doing your research and ensuring there will be paying customers at the other end should take away this added stress.

Although it will take up a lot of your time, it may be worth testing the waters before fully committing to being self-employed. For example, while keeping your current job, you could look to having a side project of selling and marketing your goods to see if there are potential clients out there.

Use your lunch breaks, weekends and/or evenings to arrange meetings, make phone calls and carry out contract work. This will involve good time management and organisational skills, but it will be useful in the run long and help you to decide whether this is the direction you want to go in.

It is very important to prepare yourself for the world of self-employment, and by doing it almost on a part-time basis along side your current job should give you a good idea of how it could be full time.

Make contacts

As someone who is self-employed, building contacts is vital for keeping a business going.

LinkedIn is a great way of reconnecting or meeting new business minded people who may be interested in your services.

Having your own website is also a must-have in this day and age, as it will work as your own personal CV and portfolio and is a good port of call for people who are interested in your line of work.

A few simple tips for having a good website is to ensure that it is:

• Professional looking

• Has a simple layout, avoiding too many pictures and words on one page, as well as making it easy to navigate.

• Full of plenty of keywords that are relevant to your trade, taking SEO into consideration and making sure that you choose your URL carefully.

Hire a good accountant

A contractor accountant is an excellent source of professional financial advice and guidance; there’s also the fact that a good, reliable accountant can save you money in tax savings, as well as ensuring that you meet all your legal obligations with Companies House and HMRC.

The key factors to consider when choosing a contractor accountant are:

• Whether they specialise in contractor tax. It’s really important that you choose an accountant who specialises in working with contractors, as there will be a number of legislations and taxes that will only concern those who are self-employed.

• Ensuring that they qualified and registered with a professional accounting body

• Checking whether they have a fixed monthly income and whether their package will be inclusive of everything you require, such as tax returns, self-assessment, annual accounts and VAT returns.

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