The ten stages of CV rejection grief

CV rejection grief

Pitching for business is a big part of being a successful Limited Company contractor, after all it’s how you bag those clients and all important contracts. But here at Intouch we like to mix it up a little bit, and see the humour in what it’s really like to work for yourself.

 

So please, sit back, enjoy, and take our blog on the ten stages of CV rejection with a very big pinch of salt. After all, we’re sure everyone can all identify with at least one of these stages!

 

1. Denial

There’s no way your potential client would have said ‘no’ to hiring you. Maybe they’ve lost your CV, or maybe mistaken you for someone else?

 

You hold out in hope that they’ve made a terrible mistake, and are soon to rectify this unexplainable situation with an offer and extravagant apology…

 

2. Obsession

You refresh your email inbox so many times that you develop an email obsession.

 

With your Apple watch buzzing every five minutes and your phone flashing at you demanding your attention, it’s tough not to take a peek (even if it is spam).

 

3. Paranoia

You start to wonder if the client has been struck by lightning, kidnapped, or worse – lost their internet connection. You begin to worry about their wellbeing, even though you’ve never met them.

 

Trawling their personal Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts has become a daily occurrence, in the quest for signs of life.

 

4. Disbelief

Wait a minute! The client has just shared a hilarious cat video, clearly demonstrating both vital life signs and successful internet usage. In your overly excited euphoric state, you must resist the urge to like, share or comment on the post.

 

But before you hit that ‘post’ button, remember! Social stalking is creepy, so resist the urge…

 

5. Envy

A contracting colleague posts a recent project with accompanying glowing testimonial from said client you’re trying to impress. You instantly delete all forms of contact with your colleague and deny all knowledge of ever knowing them.

 

What about the unwritten code of contractor brother / sisterhood, how could they?

 

6. Anger

You see other contractors’ work which they’ve completed for said client, and know you could do a better job.

 

Anger takes over and you begin to question whether the client has undergone a recent lobotomy.

 

7. Contradiction….whatever

Actually, the client doesn’t deserve you or your skills, and by not getting back to you they’ve done you a massive favour.

 

You didn’t want to work for them anyways…..(silently scowls).

 

8. Bargaining

After much deliberation and soul searching, you realise that it might have been your fault.

 

You re-read the job specification and the response you gave, checking whether every word articulated your skills and professionalism as you had hoped.

 

Maybe it was your latest LinkedIn photo that put them off? One of your mates told you it was a great photo, but recent events have left you questioning your friendship…

 

9. Depression

That’s it, you’re never approaching another client for work ever again.

 

You start to google ‘professional cat trainer’ as that was your dream career as a child. There must be a demand for it somewhere…

 

10. Acceptance

You’ll never win every contract you apply for, and the sooner you realise this the sooner you can stop beating yourself up over it.

 

Maybe you’re too qualified, or not qualified enough, or maybe the client has moved the goalposts since you applied. Whatever the circumstances, you’ve chosen a career in contracting for a reason, so don’t ever let rejection stop you from doing what you do best – being the contracting superstar that you are!

 

Got a funny contracting emotion you’ve experienced? Share them with us! We’d love to read them.

 

This blog has been prepared by Intouch Accounting. While we have made every attempt to ensure that the information contained in this blog has been obtained from reliable sources, Intouch is not responsible for any errors or omissions, or for the results obtained from the use of this information. This blog should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional accounting advisers. If you have any specific queries, please contact Intouch Accounting.

Four tips to help you stop wasting time on emails

Stop wasting time!

In today’s tech-savvy world, you’re only ever a click away from checking your emails. You could be up the side of a mountain or deep in a jungle (depending on your 4G coverage, of course) and you’d still have access to what’s going on in the wider world.

 

Be it human curiosity or the fear of missing something important, we’re all guilty of checking our emails more than we should. In this blog we explore the top four tips all serious Limited Company contractors and freelancers should adopt, in order to reclaim wasted email management time.

 

Tip no. 1 – Get to the point

This is a tough skill to master and few have managed it, but if you can it will surely save you time when replying to client emails. Before you compose your reply, think ‘what do I actually want to say?’, then just write that – it’s that simple!

 

This skill saves you (and your client) time in two different ways – you spend less time compiling the email and they spend less time reading it. They will also tend to reply to you in the same manner, so over time you’ll both create a harmonious working relationship, that doesn’t waste each other’s time.

 

Tip no. 2 – Have a good clear out

If you could unsubscribe from the junk mail that came through your front door, you would. So your inbox should be no different.

 

Take a couple seconds to unsubscribe from each spam email you receive. You may have signed up to a newsletter a few months ago, thinking their content will be of use to you. But if you haven’t read any of their recent communications, then it’s time to get rid.

 

Tip no. 3 – Organisation is key

Chaos is defined by the sensitivity to slight changes in conditions, whereby even small alterations can create enormous consequences. Now imagine your inbox without any organisation – utter chaos right?!

 

Make the small alteration of adapting a filing system for your current and past clients and include filters so that they automatically end up in their correct client folders. The amount of time you save will be the enormous consequence you need.

 

Tip no. 4 – Have different accounts for work, personal and spam

Your work email should be just that, for work. So ensure your email address is related to your Limited Company name and that all past, current and future client correspondence is kept here. This is the account you’ll probably monitor the most, as it will form part (or all) of your client communication.

 

Your personal email should be where friends and family’s emails go. This account is for emails that are important to your personal life, but not so much that they will interrupt your working day. Save them for after hours, a break in your working day, or for weekends.

 

Finally your spam account is for when you need to provide an email address to access content that you’ll only ever want to look at once. You’ll probably never use this account, but you’ll be grateful for it’s existence! You’ll also never end up on a random third party mailing list, which you’ll only have to repeat point number two from this blog!

So there you have it, four great ways in which to reduce the amount of time you spend on your emails. Do you have a tip that has saved you time? Share it with us on one of our social profiles, we’d love to hear it.

 

This blog has been prepared by Intouch Accounting. While we have made every attempt to ensure that the information contained in this blog has been obtained from reliable sources, Intouch is not responsible for any errors or omissions, or for the results obtained from the use of this information. This blog should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional accounting advisers. If you have any specific queries, please contact Intouch Accounting.

The top fourteen things successful people do every day – part 2

Secrets to success and productivity

 

In our last blog we highlighted the top seven secrets to productively, as shared by 200 ultra-successful people – including a few billionaires and Olympians. As a Limited Company contractor looking to win and impress clients, you’ll find these tips useful.

 

In this blog we look at the next seven answers these people gave to the following question:

 

‘What are your secrets to success and productivity?’

 

8. How many balls are you juggling?

It should only be the one. Ensure you’re only ever working on the most important task at any one time, then allocate your remaining time to any other tasks in relation to their importance.

 

Remember that your understanding of importance may be different to that of your client’s, so cross check your priority list with theirs to avoid any misunderstandings.

 

9. Keep a notepad with you at all times

How often have you thought of a great idea, then completely forgotten it?! Be it virtually on your smartphone or an actual notepad and pen, ensure you have the tools to capture those great ideas before they escape you.

 

10. Touch things once

Be honest, how many times have you opened an email or started a new task or project, only to walk away from it a few moments later, thinking ‘I’ll deal with that later’. If you’re human (and we’re fairly sure you are!) you’ll be able to relate to this.

 

Consider how long each task will take you to finish, then get on with it. It will help your time management, free your time up for other things and above all, make you feel pretty smug for completing it!

 

11. Find your energy source

Some people swear that their 5am run does wonders for their energy levels throughout the rest of the day. (Apparently) they feel energised, more focused and sharper to take on the task at hand.

 

Whilst you may not be a super keen runner, there’s something that can be said for for finding a passion and routine that gives you that extra boost throughout the day. Food gives you fuel, sleep gives you recovery and exercise can keep you focused – so create your own perfect energy source today.

 

12. Follow the 20/80 rule

From those successful people questioned in the study, many described following the ‘20/80 rule’. This is where 80 percent of results come from only 20 percent of activities. As a successful contractor you’ll know which activities will drive the greatest results. Remember to focus on these tasks and ignore the rest.

 

13. Your morning routine is everything

Habits breed behaviour patterns, so if yours is positive and provides you with a good start to the day, then your day will follow suit.

 

Have breakfast, drink plenty of water, take five minutes to replenish your mind and prepare yourself for the day ahead. Nurture your body and mind for a productive day.

 

14. Delegate

So delegation isn’t always suitable when you’re contracting, but in your everyday business life it certainly can be. Instead of thinking ‘how can I do this?’, consider ‘how can it be done?’

 

Take your accountancy needs for example – why spend hours trying to get your head around complicated and time consuming accountancy, when there are specialist contractor accountancy firms out there who will keep you compliant and up to date with the latest legislation, whilst ensuring you take home your maximum contractor pay.

 

Speak to our specialist team today about the services we provide and how we can clear your mind from accounting worries and free you up for contracting success.

 

Final thoughts

No one likes to feel overworked and overwhelmed, so try some of these tricks and tips today.

Got some of your own tips that have rocketed you to Limited Company contracting success? Share them with us! We’d love to hear what you do to ensure you’re at the top of your game.

 

This blog has been prepared by Intouch Accounting. While we have made every attempt to ensure that the information contained in this blog has been obtained from reliable sources, Intouch is not responsible for any errors or omissions, or for the results obtained from the use of this information. This blog should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional accounting advisers. If you have any specific queries, please contact Intouch Accounting.

Claiming the cost of childcare from your Limited Company

Claiming the cost of childcare from your Limited Company

If you are an employee of a Limited Company then you can claim a set amount per week, or per month, toward the care of your children.  The childcare has to be via a registered provider, and in many cases this will include private schools and pre/after school clubs.  Check with your provider to see if they accept childcare vouchers.

How much can the company pay?

Since 6 April 2011 childcare allowances have been based on your total income in the tax year (prior to that they were a flat amount per week regardless of what you earned).  The rates are as follows:

  • Basic rate – up to £55 per week
  • Higher rate (40%) – up to £28 per week
  • Top rate (45%) – up to £22 per week

The childcare allowance is available for each employee of the business, not each child, so if you and your spouse are both employees then you can each claim.

Total income in this context does not include any dividend income.  As most Limited Company contractors take a low salary with the majority of their income taken as dividends, many will be within the basic rate tax threshold and will therefore be able to claim the maximum amount.

Do I need a childcare voucher provider?

There is no need to go through a voucher provider unless you wish to save up the vouchers to use them at a later date.  This can be useful when the baby is first born, before you’re actually incurring costs.  You’ll have to pay an admin fee to the voucher provider but that will work out less than the tax you’ll save by doing it.  Then, as soon as you start incurring actual childcare costs, just cancel the vouchers, use the ones you’ve saved and start paying direct from your company.

It is important to note that a contract must be in place between your Limited Company and the childcare provider though, and payment must go direct from the company bank account.  If the company simply reimburses your expenses it becomes a benefit in kind and there are negative tax implications for you personally.

Child benefit

There have been recent changes to child benefit that you should be aware of too.  If your income, or that of your spouse, is over £50,000 then the tax return of the higher earner will claw back the child benefit and it will be repaid along with any tax due.  If you know your income is likely to be over that limit in future then you can either inform HMRC now that you don’t want the benefit, or just repay it at the end of each year (like an interest free loan).

It can be better to claim and then repay because your circumstances may change part way through a year, and you cannot backdate a claim.  So if you don’t claim but later realise you could have, you’ve lost the money.  Claiming will also mean your spouse will have their record marked as a qualifying year for pension purposes (even if they claim but then tell them they don’t want the money!)

For the most tax efficient option for your circumstances, speak to your contractor accountant who can look at your overall tax position and advise you accordingly.

 

This blog has been prepared by Intouch Accounting. While we have made every attempt to ensure that the information contained in this blog has been obtained from reliable sources, Intouch is not responsible for any errors or omissions, or for the results obtained from the use of this information. This blog should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional accounting advisers. If you have any specific queries, please contact Intouch Accounting.

Invoicing – what should you include on an invoice?

Invoicing – what should you include on an invoice?

All Limited Company contractors will usually issue invoices to their clients for products or services supplied. Some aspects of invoicing are legally required, for example, if both the contractor and the customer are registered for VAT, by law an invoice must be issued for every single transaction. In addition there are several pieces of information which must be included in all invoices, regardless of the business set-up. For Limited Companies, and those who are VAT registered, there are also other items which must be included in the invoice details in order to be legally compliant.

What minimum information should be included on an invoice?

Some of the items listed will be obvious, but others are less so. It’s worth taking a look to ensure that your own invoices contain all legally required information displayed.

  • The word ‘invoice’ must be clearly displayed
  • Each invoice must have a unique number (the invoice number)
  • Your company name, address and contact information
  • The name and address of the client your are invoicing
  • A description of what you are charging for (the product or service rendered)
  • The supply date(s) of the goods or services
  • The date of the invoice
  • The total amount the client needs to pay
  • When the customer needs to pay (your payment terms)

Although not legally required, you may also want to include information such as your business bank account details and any client reference, to help make it easier for them to pay you.

What additional information should Limited Company invoices include?

Limited Companies must also include the following:

  • Company registration number
  • Address of the company’s registered office
  • The full company name, exactly as it appears on the company’s certificate of incorporation
  • Any business name(s) used in your business
  • The address that legal documents can be delivered to if you’re using a business name
  • You do not have to add the names of directors, but if you do so you must include the names of all the directors

What additional information is needed on invoices for VAT registered companies?

It’s clearly very important to have the right information on any invoices which involve VAT. Invoices of this type must, at minimum, show the company’s VAT registration number and the rate of VAT charged. Other items which should be included will vary slightly. This will depend on whether you are using the Cash Accounting Scheme and whether you are trading nationally or internationally. Speak with your Intouch accountant if you need further advice on this.

Should you get company stationery?

It’s generally worth making the effort to have corporate stationery for your invoices and other documentation. Having your own corporate logo helps project a professional image to your clients and it doesn’t need to be complicated or expensive to achieve. Creation of simple invoice designs is easy to do. You can use everyday desktop publishing or there are sources of free invoice templates available which can be adapted to your needs. Many invoices are emailed rather than posted now, so it may not even be necessary to go the expense of getting them professionally printed.

 

This blog has been prepared by Intouch Accounting. While we have made every attempt to ensure that the information contained in this blog has been obtained from reliable sources, Intouch is not responsible for any errors or omissions, or for the results obtained from the use of this information. This blog should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional accounting advisers. If you have any specific queries, please contact Intouch Accounting.

Childcare payments

Childcare payments through a Limited Company – a reminder of what you can claim

From 6 April 2011, childcare payment allowances are calculated on your income in the year.  The new rates are as follows:

  • Basic rate – up to £55 per week
  • Higher rate (40%) – up to £28 per week
  • Top rate (50%) – up to £22 per week

You need to bear in mind that childcare vouchers are based on each employee of the business, not each child.

For childcare voucher purposes HMRC, will only assess the total employment income, defined as:  salary, plus taxable benefits, less your personal allowance. It does not include company dividend payments. As most Limited Company contractors take a lower salary, with the majority of their income taken as dividends, many may be within the basic rate tax threshold and will therefore see no change.

Do the changes affect childcare vouchers and payments made through a Limited Company?

The basic criteria remain unchanged. The tax free benefits still apply only to childcare vouchers and direct payments for approved and registered childcare services. Relatives, even if they are qualified and registered childminders, are excluded from this arrangement.

A Limited Company contractor can organise childcare payments through their company in a number of ways:

  • Set up a company voucher scheme. This way the company, as the employer, issues vouchers to the contractor, as its employee. These vouchers can then be used to pay childcare providers. An advantage of these is that they can be saved up to pay for times when childcare needs are higher, such as school holidays, or saved from when the child is born until childcare is actually used.
  • Pay for childcare directly from the company – this is preferable, if possible, because it avoids any scheme admin charges. The childcare provider invoices the company directly and is paid from the company’s funds.  If the childcare costs then exceed the taxable allowance, this can be paid for personally to avoid any benefit in kind charges.

For the most tax efficient option for your circumstances, speak to your contractor account who can look at your overall tax position and advise you accordingly.

 

This blog has been prepared by Intouch Accounting. While we have made every attempt to ensure that the information contained in this blog has been obtained from reliable sources, Intouch is not responsible for any errors or omissions, or for the results obtained from the use of this information. This blog should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional accounting advisers. If you have any specific queries, please contact Intouch Accounting.