When people think about starting a business, they tend to think of companies. There’s nothing wrong with this, but it’s important to note that starting a company isn’t the only option available to you. If you have an entrepreneurial spirit and work well alone, being a contractor may be a better business choice for you.
What does a contractor do?
Contractors work independently of any particular company; they’re also known as freelancers or independent specialists. Although they may only work for a small number of companies, they are not actually employed. Instead, they charge a fee to the company for their services.
Isn’t being a contractor a risky choice, then?
Admittedly, life as a contractor is somewhat riskier than life as an employee. As an employee, you have rights – you have a contract, you can’t just be fired for no reason, and you have a guaranteed paycheck every month. Contractors don’t have those securities.
So why would I want to be a contractor?
Although there are downsides to life as a contractor, there are a huge number of upsides that make it a viable business choice. You will have the freedom to only accept the clients and projects that you want to accept. You’ll manage your own schedule, and you can take holidays as and when you see fit. If you offer your contractor services digitally, you could even become a digital nomad if you so chose.
Is being a contractor really a business idea?
Yes. You are still setting up a business; it’s just that you are the business, rather than creating an entirely separate entity. In time, you may want to set up a contractor agency and hire others, so working as an independent contractor can lead to opening a “conventional” business. When you do open that conventional business, you’ll already have a track record and established clients to bring with you.
What kind of work do contractors do?
Technically, you can be a contractor for any industry, but some industries lend themselves to this way of working better than others. By far, the most popular is IT contracting, which can involve offering managed services with the help of vCIO software, or completing physical repairs to computer parts. After IT, the most popular forms of contractor work are accounting, writing, photography, trade work, and digital marketing. You can offer your services in the niche of your choosing.
What kind of people are suited to being a contractor?
As a contractor, you will need to be able to work independently. You’ll also have to be comfortable with the (relative) lack of security, and have good selling skills so that you can market your services effectively. If you feel you might struggle with these elements, or just prefer the idea of a “conventional” business, then contracting may not be for you.
Contracting is an option that any prospective entrepreneur should keep in mind. If you’re an independent worker who likes the idea of being able to pick and choose your clients, then contracting might just be the best business option for you.