Most working professionals have now started to embrace the idea of being self-employee in pursuit of more creative freedom and schedule flexibility. The best option for them is becoming independent contractors in their respective niches be it construction, law, advertising or any other domain. Contracting is one of the most coveted professions nowadays owing to its huge profit margins involved in the business.
But there’s another trend that’s becoming hugely popular worldwide now, work from home. This is particularly true after the COVID-19 pandemic engulfed major nations of the world, with governments pushing everyone into the confines of their homes to curb its spread. As social distancing has become the new normal, independent contractors owing contracting businesses are left with no other option but to offer their services from home.
However, just because one is an independent contractor and not an employee of an organisation, does not mean that their profession is risk free. Instances where a contractor commits a negligent mistake that causes injury or harm to their client(s) or member of the public can happen. In such cases, legal complications become inevitable, something that can demand a hefty amount of money from their contracting business.
To preserve their liquidity status and keep their business going, independent contractors need Public Liability Insurance for Sole Traders, which can cover their legal expenses and compensation costs.
How to work from home as an independent contractor?
There prevails a common notion that contracting businesses require a dedicated office space to run their operations. The reality is, these businesses can be run smoothly even from home. All that’s required is a computer system and a stable internet connection. If you are an independent contractor, then here are a few tips and tricks that can help you run your contracting business smoothly from home:
1. Create your dedicated home office
It’s true that independent contractors have the flexibility and freedom to work from anywhere but it’s better to create an office space in the privacy of your home. That’s because having a dedicated workspace will put you in the right mood to work. Also, just like any other business, running a contracting business will require you to connect virtually with your clients, sometimes over video calls. Your background in the video certainly creates an impression before them.
To create a home office, you can clear out a room in your house and set up the necessary furniture and fixtures there. Choose a spot where you won’t be disturbed by others in your home. Dedicate this area of your home just to your work and nothing else. Make sure your kids and pets don’t enter and create a ruckus. Organise this space and light it up well. Add some adornments of your choice to set the mood.
2. Fix your schedule
One of the biggest advantages of running your contracting business from home is flexibility. You don’t have a boss who’s nagging you for being a few minutes late or missing out a deadline. You become your own master and have the freedom to get your hands dirty in any project you want. This certainly doesn’t mean you spend your entire day at your desk and forget everything about the world outside.
You need to balance your work and personal life to get satisfaction from whatever you are doing. That is only possible when you stick to a proper routine. Dedicate no more than six to eight hours to your work so that you are left with enough time to pursue something else be it playing a sport, doing some physical exercise or simply spending time with your family. Also, take some time out to socialise, either with friends or fellow contractors.
3. Take care of your taxes
While independent contracting comes with the benefit of flexibility and creative freedom, you won’t be entitled to benefits that traditional employees get. These include sick days, paid leaves, health insurance and other perquisites. That’s because the contracting business is yours and you are the sole decision-maker and action-taker. However, you are obliged to declare your income and pay your taxes.
Usually, your Australian Business Number (ABN) will be treated as your tax identification number for your contracting business. You need the ABN to communicate with the Australian government and meet your annual tax obligations. You can get in touch with a tax authority or an attorney to know how to go about with the process. Once you master the necessary paperwork, you can smoothly and profitably run your home-based contracting business.
The above are three solid tips that you can follow to run your contracting business from home. It might seem slightly challenging initially but eventually, you will surely be able to ace it. You will not only be able to enjoy the comfort of working from home, but also save whopping sums of money on office rent.