For most people, being able to achieve a better work-life balance and actually enjoy your job is a very attractive thought. If you have always wanted to move into a career in a sector that you have a passion for, then becoming a contractor is a fantastic option.

Once you have taken that initial plunge into contracting, the many benefits become obvious. Not only will you be your own boss, but you will also escape all those negative office politics that many workplaces bring. You will also be able to structure your workload to ensure that you have the work-life balance that you desire and more time to spend with your family or friends.

Of course, it is vital to take steps to carefully manage your business when contracting. This will keep all your paperwork in order and mean that you will be a success in the long term. Here are a few tips to help you on the way.

Create a business plan

When you start out on the road of contracting, it is wise to have a business plan in place. This will clearly set out your overall goals, and how you plan to achieve them. It will also be essential if you want to attract financial backing for your new career as well as enabling you to demonstrate that your business model will work.

Register with an umbrella company

One of the big challenges that you will face when moving into work as a self-employed contractor is the many administrative tasks that need completing. These types of jobs can eat into your working day and mean that you spend less time on your core business. To solve this problem, many contractors use an umbrella company. These companies will help with the many administrative tasks, from help with IR35 status, to managing contracts, managing invoices and tax assistance.

Get the correct insurance in place

A key part for some people moving into contracting is making sure that you have the correct insurance cover in place. Of course, this may not be applicable to everyone as it depends which sector you will be working in. If you do require insurance cover for things such as public liability, make sure that you have this ready before you do anything! If you don’t and something goes wrong, the resulting claim could end your new venture before it has started.

Continue to learn new skills

One great tip when managing your career as a contractor is to always be adding new strings to your bow. The constant addition of fresh skills will help keep you competitive in the marketplace and attract new customers. It will also mean that you can tender for jobs that you otherwise wouldn’t have been able to perform.

Make the leap today

Though it can seem daunting at first, making the move into a contracting career is a superb choice for many people. The flexibility and satisfaction that it brings is something that is hard to achieve as an employee. Contracting is also more secure in the current job market than a traditional salaried position as there is no chance of you suddenly being made redundant one day by senior management!