Freelancers

How to minimise non-billable time

“Time is money” isn’t just an adage when running a small business, it’s a way of life. When your business model is to sell your time and expertise, it’s important to monetise every moment of every working day.

There are plenty of hacks to help freelancers and contractors get more and more efficient with reducing the cost of non-billable time. These tend to focus on outsourcing your unproductive time and automating repetitive tasks, but you also need to pay special attention to the time and effort you spend on winning new business. (more…)

How to be a successful freelancer in the gig economy

freelance gig economy

The gig economy is one of the UK’s fastest growing ways of working. According to IPSE, the body representing UK freelancers, there are now around 1.9 million freelancers in the UK alone. And the global figure is upwards of 50 million people earning a living from freelancing.

The rise in popularity of freelance working is creating more opportunities for those looking for more flexibility and control over their own lives, but joining the growing ranks of the self-employed does bring its challenges.

So if you’re thinking of going it alone and starting up as a freelancer, here’s what you need to do to be a successful freelancer in the gig economy; (more…)

Essentials you need to know before becoming a contractor

Making the decision to go it alone and leave the relative security of life as a PAYE employee is a big one, but it can pay dividends (quite literally) when it comes to your potential earning power.

If you’re thinking about whether becoming a contractor could be the right career move for you, we have put together this guide to cover the key things you need to know before you make the move.

If you want to become a contractor, the good news is that there are plenty of different roles available, with everything from IT specialists and engineers, to management consultants and even locum doctors engaged on this basis.

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Getting your head around IR35 – Tips for new freelancers and contractors

If you are thinking of starting out as a freelancer or a contractor, you will very quickly need to get a basic understanding of the IR35 rules.

The tax avoidance debate in the UK often focuses on the misdeeds of certain wealthy individuals and large multinational companies. But away from the national press there is another tax avoidance battle going on between HMRC and the UK’s freelancers and contractors.

The crux of the argument is a piece of legislation called IR35. IR35 protects hundreds of millions in tax revenue, HMRC claims. However, the UK’s freelancing and contracting population contends that IR35 is a millstone around their necks, and which puts disproportionately high compliance costs on one-person businesses.

So what are the IR35 rules that you need to know about if you are new to contracting?
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The 5 things that make you a great freelancer

Whether you’re freelancing for the first time or have been doing it for a few years, you’ll quickly notice a universal truth about your marketplace: the same people seem to be busy all the time.

What is it about these people? What do they do differently to you and how do they manage to magnetically attract work to them?
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The ups and downs of being a freelancer

If you’re currently working for someone else and have a particular expertise, you might be considering a move into freelancing. It’s a popular way to move from being an employee to being your own boss.
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10 online tools to make your freelance work easier and more productive

The internet has revolutionised freelance work in the past few years. You name a problem that you face as a freelancer, and someone has probably already invented a solution for it. Best of all, many of them are totally free.

There are hundreds of great web applications out there. To save you time, ByteStart has put together a list of the top 10 online tools to make your freelance work more productive. (more…)

IT Contractors – how to avoid late paying clients

There has been much talk recently about freelancers and contractors struggling to get their invoices paid by the agencies or end clients.

With the credit crunch hitting cash flows hard, the bigger companies are often guilty of extending credit terms without your say so. If, firstly, the client delays in paying the agency and then they delay in paying you, it’s added weeks on to money that would be better off in your bank.

So what can be done about it?
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How much will you earn as an IT Contractor?

IT Contractors are hired when companies are looking to fill a short term gap in their IT expertise, or as part of a general strategy to outsource technical work. This article looks at what factors influence how much IT Contractors can earn.
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The expenses you can claim as an IT contractor

As an IT Contractor, you will spend money on a variety of things in the course of your work. During the course of each tax year, you should retain receipts for all expenses where possible.

Claiming expenses will help to reduce your overall tax liability and therefore maximise your take home pay.
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How a contractor umbrella company works

An umbrella company acts as your employer, for tax purposes, when you undertake a contract with an employment agency or a client. It is an alternative to you setting up your own Limited Company and, if your contract is outside of IR35, it is usually the most cost effective way for you to operate.
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