How contractors can get 2021 back on track
Lockdown has been gradually easing for a few months now, but with the recent news that the final easing of lockdown restrictions has been delayed by 4 weeks, we aren’t out of the woods quite yet. With the speeding up of second vaccine doses for the over-40s, hopefully, the new date of the 19th July will be here before you know it, and the UK will be able to safely reopen again.
But we are now roughly halfway through the year, which may leave you shrugging your shoulders and wondering whether 2021 can be rectified at all from a professional standpoint. Let’s be honest, if you didn’t burn your 2020 diary then it’s probably become a dartboard, a paperweight or a useful source of scrap paper. You likely didn’t buy a 2021 diary at all since you didn’t think we would get to this point. Maybe you were even worried that buying one would jinx things. But it’s important to realise, as normality is hopefully almost here, that it’s not too late to get 2021 back on track. Here’s how…
Get that work diary organised
First and foremost, make a commitment to the rest of the year by getting yourself that new work diary. By doing so you’re declaring to yourself that you will have work this year and you will get the year back on track.
If you think it’s a bit wasteful to buy a 2021 diary when half of the year has already gone by, take a look at an academic year diary as they tend to run from mid-year to mid-year. You can also get 18-month planners that run from July 2021 to December 2022, or a diary with blank dates so that you can start it whenever you like. You may prefer a wall planner, a desk planner, or a digital calendar app that syncs across all of your devices. However you like to do your work schedule, get it tidy, organised and ready to start booking in those recruiters and clients. You’ll feel much better about the months ahead when you can see them waiting to deliver.
Expect the unexpected
As contractor insurers, we’re always telling people to prepare for the unexpected – it’s kind of our jam. But if the last 14 months has collectively taught us anything as a nation, it’s that we’re not just a bunch of naysayers: the unexpected can and will happen. But in what ways can you prepare?
We’re not suggesting building a COVID-proof bunker in your garden and filling it with tinned food. Preparations could be as simple as saving more money by putting aside an amount every time you are paid, giving yourself a pot of cash should you need it. Or perhaps you could upskill so that you’re ready to take on bigger, more valuable contracts. You may even want to think about home renovations to give yourself a more permanent home office, or perhaps keep it small and simply update your website and branding. Whatever you opt for, you need to look at it as futureproofing yourself should the world turn on its head ever again (although hopefully, it won’t).
Bring out that little black book
We mean in the professional sense, of course. Take a look at the clients and recruiters you’ve worked with before and get in touch by either sending a personal email or by picking up the phone. Enquire if projects are picking back up again and let them know you’re available for work. You might be just what they’re looking for so be sure to put yourself at the forefront of their mind. Launching straight into a great new project is sure to get your year back on the straight and narrow, but the market is competitive right now, so contacting people rather than waiting for them to contact you is vital.
Arrange your business insurance
We know some of our contractors have let their contractor insurance lapse during lockdown for one reason or another. But if you want to hit the ground running in the second half of 2021 then you’re going to need up to date business insurance so that you’re ready to snap up new contracts without a hitch. Being able to say, “I’m already fully insured,” will put you ahead of the pack.
We can help you to organise contractor insurance, as well as other options such as legal and IR35 insurance, health insurance and cyber liability insurance, so call our friendly team on 01242 808740 to discuss your requirements, whether you’re a new customer or renewing an older policy. It’ll give you peace of mind for the rest of the year and beyond.