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Be honest, which of these 5 bad contractor habits are YOU guilty of?!

Posted by: Intouch | 25.04.16

Intouch Accounting

Which are YOU guilty of?!

For some contractors it’s easy to fall into bad habits, as working independently can mean focusing on the job in hand and putting your well being second. Here we share five of the worst contractor habits, with some ideas for how to break them…


1  Working 24/7

This habit harms you (you become exhausted and stressed), your client (you don’t do your best work and/or it’s late) and your professional reputation (others hear you’re not reliable).


Set your working hours and stick to them. Minimising distractions means you get more work done in less time and as we all know, time is money!


Prioritise your work/life balance and take some “me time”.


2  Undervaluing yourself

It can be difficult to decide what to charge, but avoid the pitfall of charging too little.


Usually when something is priced too good to be true, it often is. So why should this be any different for the amount you charge? If you quote below market price for a project, clients could suspect there’s something wrong.


Check to see how much similarly skilled contractors charge, so you know that you’re on par with the industry average. That way, you’re not going too far either way off the richter scale.


3  Not planning ahead

Avoid a “feast or famine” situation by keeping a detailed schedule of all your projects so it’s easy to see where there may be a conflict or, conversely, a gap which you could fill.


A steady stream of contracting jobs is essential to keeping the flow of money coming in, so ensure you plan ahead.


4  Not being able to say ‘no’

If you keep a work schedule as described above, you’ll know immediately if you’ll have time to accept a particular contract. Don’t be tempted to take it if time is short.


It’s even more vital you learn to say ‘no’ if you feel your skills and experience leave you ill-equipped to actually do the work. A challenge is one thing, but accepting a contract you’re unable to complete amounts to professional suicide.


5  Sitting at your desk for too long

It’s tempting to keep working for hours but you won’t be doing yourself any favours. You’ll lose concentration and sometimes leaving a piece of work and returning to it can give you a fresh perspective.


Take a quick break every couple of hours or so. Why not go for a walk, listen to some music or meet up with a friend for a coffee? It will do both you and your contract the world of good.


If you’ve fallen into any of these habits don’t despair, as breaking them just takes a little effort and will undoubtedly help your business.


Have you succeeded in breaking a bad contracting habit? Why not leave us a comment on our facebook or twitter pages.


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.