How to make more money as a contractor

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One of the main reasons people give for moving from full-time employment to contracting – other than having more control over their lives – is that they want to make more money. But once you are working as a contractor, what can you do to use your skills to make even more money?

Depending on the industry you are working in, there are various ways to boost your income. You may be ready to adapt your work to earn more for those who are already contracting.

Making more money as a contractor will take a lot of work, but there are still plenty of actions you can take to make your contracting business more lucrative. 

Before you start, make sure you have plenty of references on hand to back up the expertise or skills you are offering. You are offering your services without the backing of any established company. We suggest you see some sort of accreditation that your industry uses to communicate security and trustworthiness. Also, building a solid Internet presence, such as a website and on social media, will help build credibility and a loyal customer base. 

Here are our top tips on how you can increase your earnings as a contractor.

Become a consultant

Become an independent consultant in an area of technical knowledge or business expertise that you have, e.g., in processes or methods and up your daily rate to the £750 – £2,000 a day bracket.

While working as a consultant, make sure you go that ‘extra mile’ to make a positive impression on the client – make yourself indispensable! This will enhance your prospects of the client retaining you on a consultancy basis.

Support your contracting jobs as a consultant

If you have been working as a contractor on a project, it is the perfect opportunity to ask the client whether they would retain your services on a consultancy basis once the job ends. You will increase your daily rate because you can offer the client a high level of expertise.

Go directly to clients rather than through an agency

While getting work through an agency can make things easier, there are numerous benefits to contacting potential clients directly. You probably will not earn as much money from a job by going directly to a cli

While getting work through an agency can make things easier, there are numerous benefits to contacting potential clients directly. You probably will not earn as much money from a job by going directly to a client. Still, you will get the opportunity to continue taking on contracting work from a company, which an agency might not allow you to do.

Also, using a recruitment agency may make your life easier finding work. Still, you need to weigh up whether paying their agency fees of around 15- 20% (of the contract value) is more beneficial income-wise.

There is also the potential of supplying other contractors to the end client on a commission basis, which could substantially boost your income.

Run training courses

As a contractor, you have specific valuable skills that could benefit others. For example, if the client wants to train their permanent staff with your skills, you could manage a training course. Staff training can be an expensive undertaking but having someone in-house will reduce the cost substantially will put you in a much stronger negotiating position to agree on enhanced rates for sharing your expertise. 

Offer training in any IT systems you install

If you are an IT contractor, you will probably have jobs to install new IT systems for your clients. However, it is one thing for a company to have an IT system. Still, they need their employees to understand it, which is an opportunity for you as an IT contractor to earn more money by offering to train a company’s employees in the IT system you install for them.

Persuade clients to upgrade their out of date IT systems

If you are an IT contractor, you should be up to date with all the latest developments in IT systems, which means you are in the perfect position to assess whether a client needs an upgrade. Work out how much it would cost to redesign and go to your client with a proposal. You will earn more money as an IT contractor by creating work that was not originally there.

Talk to a specialist Contractor Accountant

We provide accounting services to hundreds of UK Contactors – a perfect mix of software, advice, tax planning, and accounting support contractors need. So whether it is talking through your IR35 status, setting up a Limited company or taking salary or dividends, we will get the most out of your contractor accounts, starting at just £69 + VAT per monthWe are also ICAEW & ATT accredited and partnered with the top accounting software UK providers.

Call us on 020 8577 0200 for a free consultation and see how our experts can help you navigate life as a Contractor.