Public bodies urged to use IT freelancers

When is the best time to set up an IT contracting business? This is an almost impossible question to answer, as it largely depends on your individual circumstances. But if you’ve assessed your current situation and decided that you’re ready to become a contractor, then as far as the industry is concerned, 2018 could prove to be a stellar year.

 

Research from TechMarketView, discussed in a Contractor UK article, has urged the public sector to make more use of freelance consultants this year, in a bid to address the persisting digital skills gap. The market analysis firm said that public organisations will have to think of ‘more creative ways’ to gain the skills they need, ‘including the use of public freelance marketplaces.’

 

TechMarketView acknowledged that taxpayer-funded bodies may find it difficult to conduct business efficiently ‘without looking beyond their own four walls.’ This news comes after an IR35 update last year and its ‘off-payroll rules,’ which many believe has dissuaded freelancers from providing their services to the sector.

 

‘Fled in droves’

Mike Gibson, Managing Director at Ethical Consulting, who has been petitioning against IR35, argued the above point to the government’s business department, after it published a strategy on IT provision to its staff, ‘and the people and businesses we serve.’ This strategy is, in Gibson’s words, “[beautifully] written and composed, professionally created and ultimately pointless.

Delivery will be dependent on a veritable army of flexible and temporary resource – who have fled the UK [public sector] in their droves as a result of IR35 changes in April 2017.”

 

Options available

Gibson said that for the government department to achieve its aim – which is, to ‘make the best use of digital, data and technology (DDat) in our everyday work’ – then either one of two things need to happen:

The first option is for the body to pay 22% more to PSC contractors who possess the necessary skills, to counteract the hike in tax the IR35 reforms result in. Alternatively, it must accept that DDat-related work will be carried out by ‘inside IR35’ consultants willing to take a 22% cut to their wages. But, referring to the latter, Gibson said, “I don’t see the top-drawer [DDaT] people doing that when they don’t need to.”

It will be interesting to see how the next few months pan out and if any proactive steps are taken by the sector to address the continuing IT skills shortage. In the meantime, if you’re thinking of contracting and want to know how IR35 legislation affects you, contact the experts at Intouch Accounting now…

 

Sources:

TechMarketView – Public Sector Predictions 2018 – New Research

ContractorUK – Get IT Freelancers in for 2018, public bodies told

GOV.UK – BEIS digital data and technology (DDat) strategy

 

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 pros and cons of a Limited Company for a contractor

After much deliberation, you’ve decided to go it alone and set up as a contractor. You’ve polished your CV and LinkedIn profile and have started looking for your first contract, but you’re yet to decide on one important factor: your new company’s trading structure.

As a contractor, you can either choose to set up as a Limited Company, a Sole Trader or work under a so-called ‘Umbrella’ agreement. This article examines the main pros and cons of operating as a Limited Company.

Pros: 

Tax-efficient

Registering as a Limited Company tends to be the most tax-efficient way of operating, particularly if your annual income is likely to exceed £40,000. As a director and shareholder in the business, you can opt to take your income in the form of dividends, which will reduce National Insurance costs.

Claimable expenses

Further savings can be made through claiming back certain business expenses, such as home office costs, childcare and mileage.

More control

As the director, you make the decisions and have full control over how your business is run, as well as your personal income and therefore rates of tax. This means no compromising with partners, or relying on third parties to collect payment for your services.

Limited personal liability

With a Limited Company, your personal finances are separate from business assets. So, if something were to go wrong, you’d only lose money from the company.

More professional image

Trading as a Limited Company gives off a more professional image, which can help you to attract and retain clients, particularly larger ones.

 

Cons:

More administration

As director, you have to ensure that your business is compliant with company law and are required to do everything from filing accounts to preparing tax returns and general bookkeeping. It’s down to you to familiarise yourself with the punitive IR35 legislation, too.

Greater responsibility

Acting as director does carry considerable responsibility. Not only will you have to conduct admin tasks on a regular basis, but it’s your duty to ensure that all information is accurate and submitted on time.

Associated costs

There are several costs related to setting up and running a Limited Company, namely those related to administration, filing and accountancy.

 

At Intouch Accounting, our Personal Accountants offer expert advice on the most suitable trading structure for your future business. We’ll manage the company formation on your behalf and relieve you of those time-consuming and often complex administrative duties. As experts in IR35, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about the legislation. Get in touch today to find out more.

 

You may also be interested in:

Venturing into contracting? Download our free guide now

Calculate your take-home pay and find out if Limited is right for you

Contractor Accountants – do you get what you pay for?

 

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.

 

 

Start contracting with confidence in 2018

Starting a long-term career as a contractor or freelancer in 2018 has become more attractive than during any time in the last two years. If you’re looking for independence and have a skill set that matches increasing current demand, then it’s possible to both ‘have your cake and eat it’, in 2018!

 

Clarity of employment status

The turmoil that was predicted from the middle of 2017 regarding changes to IR35 (the legislation that determines your employment status and therefore your potential tax efficiency as a contractor) has not materialised. The possibility of further IR35 change in the private sector has been deferred until the public sector changes can be reviewed and lessons learned.

Meanwhile, day rates are also stabilising as employers who sought to pass the burden of employer’s National Insurance contributions entirely onto workers are experiencing resistance.

HMRC’s employment status tool (CEST: ‘Check Employment Status for Tax’) also helps; it’s not perfect, and it’s still advisable to take professional IR35 advice, but when answered openly the questions provide a pretty accurate answer.

This increased level of clarity puts the contractor in the perfect position to grasp the opportunity, and begin to enjoy the freedoms of freelancing – all good reasons to rejoice in 2018!

 

Demand for skills 

Brexit and other Government promises to deliver on infrastructure projects and technology change, are creating huge demand for IT and related skills across the UK.

Employers are still preferring to keep employment costs under their control by engaging flexible workers, under flexible or zero-hour contracts. And anti-avoidance rules are also settling down with engagers being more pragmatic and accommodating (rather than issuing blanket edicts) in order to attract and retain talent.

All good news for the 2018 contractor.

 

Taking the leap into Limited

Are you ready to have your cake and eat it? Embrace the quality of life, freedom and flexibility of being your own boss, as well as increased take home pay?

If so, there are always choices of which trading model you should trade under. As a rule of thumb (only – there are always exceptions), you should consider the following:

Semi or low-skilled workers – If you are semi or low-skilled or provided services at or near the National Minimum Wage, then using a Limited Company is not likely to be the most suitable vehicle for a number of reasons. If you’re in this category and being put under pressure to go limited, you should take independent advice.

If you’re able to choose your preferred solution, then an Umbrella organisation should give you good advice. Beware the shady Umbrellas (pun intended) though – FCSA accreditation is a must. For others with perhaps fewer expenses that can be claimed, the best solution may well be to use a simple payroll bureau, where the fees you pay are lower and the rights you get more comprehensive.

 

Skilled or ‘Knowledge Workers’ – If you’re a ‘Knowledge Worker’ or skilled in a particular trade or profession, then a Limited Company can provide you with the best solution from several perspectives. For individuals who are independent and outside of the supervision, direction or control of the hirer, there will be advantages in your take home pay. You’ll have increased flexibility and commercial credibility, but you’ll have to protect yourself for illness or inability to work (usually through insurances). Ask for assistance from a contractor accounting professional from the beginning and get off to a good start.

 

Contracting advice from experts

If you’re thinking of setting up as a Limited Company contractor, Intouch can offer more than just an accounting service. From set-up and insurance to tax and IR35 advice, your Personal Accountant will be there to help you start your journey with confidence. We know that taking your first step into contracting is a big decision so we’re happy to chat through any questions you have even if you’re not ready to get going just yet.

 

You may also be interested in:

Venturing into contracting? Download our free guide

IR35 FAQs

Intouch current joining offers

 

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.

 

Good news for contractors with children: tax-free childcare has (almost) arrived

Back in 2013 the Government announced a new tax break for working parents, providing help with paying for much needed childcare.

 

In this blog we take a look at what the scheme entails, how you can take advantage of the scheme, and when it becomes available.

 

What is the Tax-Free Childcare Scheme?

Effectively, the scheme allows parents to pay into an online account in the same way as they would pay into a regular bank account. The Government also pays into this account, which is then used to pay for part or all of your child’s care costs.

 

Who can apply for the scheme?

Anyone can apply, as long as:

  • your child is aged 12 and under (or if your child has a disability, 17 and under)
  • you and your partner are in employment, and expected to both earn a minimum of £115 per week (but no more than £100,000 per year)
  • This scheme is also available to self-employed parents, who will not have to earn the same minimum amount as those who are in permanent employment

 

How does it work?

  • For every 80p paid into the account, the Government will pay in 20p
  • There’s a limit of £2,000 per child, per year (£4,000 per child, per year for disabled children) for parents receiving support towards their childcare costs
  • Anyone is able to pay into the scheme, so if you have a generous grandparent, godparent or friend, they too can contribute!
  • The money collected can only be used to pay for childcare that’s provided by a carer who is registered to receive a Tax-Free Childcare payment. Check whether your current childcare provider is registered here
  • You cannot qualify for this scheme if you currently receive childcare vouchers from your employer or if you already receive free or subsidised childcare
  • You will lose the Government’s contribution if you draw the money out rather than using it for childcare

 

When does it become available?

For some parents it will be available from Spring 2017, but others will have to wait until much later in the year as the scheme is being rolled out gradually. Those parents with the youngest children will be first in line to try it out.

 

How can you register your interest?

Register at gov.uk to ensure you’re on the Government’s radar for this scheme. You will receive an email that will let you know when you’re able to start an account.

 

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.

Be your own boss this New Year, with our steps on taking the leap from humdrum permanent to self-employed success

Be your own boss in 2017

As we all settle back into our usual working routines, the Christmas break seems nothing more than a distant pleasant memory. How many of you started the year by deciding that 2017 would be the year you’d become your own boss?

 

It’s not uncommon to be full of determination when New Year Resolutions are made, but after a week of being back in the routine, maybe looking after children, and getting on with your day-to-day responsibilities, your dreams of solo greatness can easily flitter away….

 

So what can you do about it?

Intouch are here to save your resolution! We appreciate how life can get in the way of taking the leap, so this blog is here to show you how easy it is to take small steps towards reaching your goal in 2017.

 

Step 1 – Consider your professional worth

Wouldn’t it be great if you could continue with your career, but work when you want, for who you want, whilst charging a day rate of your choice (within reason of course!). Contracting allows you to do just that. Handsome day rates that traditionally outweigh those you’d expect in permanent employment are just some of the bonuses, so you owe it to yourself to see just how much you could be earning doing your current role, but for a whole range of clients instead of just one.

 

Take a look at a few different contractor job sites to see what types of going rates are currently being offered for your level of experience and qualifications. This should inspire you with what your dream could look like financially.

 

Step 2 – Understand what the market is asking for

Are you professionally in demand? Hopefully from your research in step one, you’ll have gotten a ‘feel’ for what people are currently recruiting for, and whether you’ve got the goods.

 

If the answer is ‘no’ but you’re not far off, don’t let this deter you. Consider updating your skills to match what’s required, and whether your professional presence would make you employable. Step three explores this in greater detail…

 

Step 3 – Get your self-promotion up to scratch

If you came across your own CV, LinkedIn profile or business website, would you hire you? When in permanent employment, updating these areas usually falls by the wayside as you may not be actively on the lookout for new work in the same way as if you were freelancing or contracting.

 

Ensure you get these areas updated, and keep them that way. Be sure to advertise any skills you’re currently updating, the types of work you’d be interested in, and possible availability. If you have any personal side projects you’ve also been working on, be sure to showcase them. They’re your platforms so don’t be afraid to show off professionally.

 

Step 4 – Try a bit on the side

If you’re not quite ready to take the full leap into contracting, why not dip your toe with some extra work in the evening or weekend? Start off small, maybe a short-term contract with a client you’ve previously worked for. They will already be confident about your calibre of work and you’ll probably be more comfortable with them too.

 

When you near completion with your first contract, consider how it went. Did you look forward to getting home from your permanent role when you could complete more of it? If this sounds like you, then you know the contractor’s life is for you.

 

Step 5 – Seek professional advice

Traditionally when people think of being self-employed, they think it means you’re totally alone to try and make the best of it. For contractors, this couldn’t be further from the truth!

 

With the support and professional guidance of a contractor accountant such as Intouch Accounting, you’ll know exactly how to make the most of your contractor income to ensure you’re maximising your take home pay. Not only that, we’re able to advise you on all aspects of contracting from an accounting point of view, to ensure you’re getting the most from your Limited Company.

 

Intouch are here to answer all of your questions

Whether you’re ready to take the leap into contracting and need advice on setting up your Limited Company, or are in the very first stages and need to talk to a professional about your options, our team of expert advisers are here to answer all of your questions. Get in touch today!

 

If you’d like to keep reading, take a look at our top New Year Resolutions for the ultimate contracting success in 2017. Download them for free now.

 

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.

Increase your productivity and make the most from 2017 with our top eight tips – part two

Make the most from 2017

In our last blog we reviewed the first four of eight top tips for increasing your productivity this New Year. From making the use of early morning peace and quiet to brain superfoods, we covered some fantastic ways in which you can make small changes that will have a positive effect on your productivity.

 

In this blog we take a look at the remaining four top tips, on how to win at your contracting productivity in 2017.

 

5. Task management

What do you need to achieve this week and today? Each week create three lists:

 

  • What needs to be done this week?
  • Which days do each task need to be completed by?
  • At which point in each day do the tasks need to be completed?

 

Not only will you structure each day to ensure maximum productivity, it’ll also keep you focused on the task at hand. You could take this a step further, by sharing your weekly plan with your client.  They will then know when to expect updates and completed work from you. It’s a win for both you and them!

 

6. Switch off sometimes 

How many times has a bolt of inspirational lightening hit you, right when you’re in the middle of completing the most mundane task?

 

By letting your mind rest and switch off from your day-to-day hustle and bustle, you’ll allow yourself to develop potential business ideas and areas for growth and development. Just make sure you have a pen and paper to hand!

 

7. Healthy body, healthy mind

The two are certainly connected, so ensure you look after your body just as much as you do your mind. The three ways to achieve this are:

 

Sleep – get the recommended seven to nine hours a night to ensure optimal functionality the following day.

Eat – you are what you eat, so ensure you put in what you want to get out.

Exercise – whether it’s 20 minutes of pilates, a short jog or even a class at your local sports centre, whatever you enjoy doing ensure you get moving.

 

8. It’s ok to say ‘no’

If you’re used to saying yes to everyone and everything, this can be a tough tip to master. Your professional working day is just that, yours, so ensure you don’t make room for anyone else during those hours where you need to focus.

 

Every task you let slip into your working day must take the place of one you’ve already allocated time to, so ensure you leave it until your ‘to-do’ list for that day is completed.

 

The same can be said for accepting every contract offer that comes your way, especially when you’re just starting out. Ask yourself which contracts and clients will help you achieve your professional goals (whatever these may be) the quickest, and then focus on those. Remember though to stay in touch with those you don’t accept straight away, as you never know when you may need them, or the opportunities they could go on to offer.

 

Take the Intouch New Year challenge!

How many of our top eight tips can you adopt into your new working year? Why not keep a rough record of how much time you save and let us know? We’d love to hear how much time you’ve been able to give to your own personal pursuits and whether they’ve helped you stay focused on the task at hand.

 

This January we’ve also created five nifty Contractor specific New Year’s Resolutions, to help you start your year off on the right foot. Check them out today and see how you could make the most from your contracting or freelancing career this New Year.

 

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.

Increase your productivity this New Year with our top eight tips – part one

Increase your productivity in 2017

Ever find yourself wishing there were more hours in the day? Would you like more time to work on a personal project, pursue your latest hobby, or even just spend time with loved ones? Whatever it may be, we all wish there was more time for it.

 

So if you need to achieve more in your working day to help free up more precious after hours time, then this is the blog for you. After all, we all get 24 hours in our day – it’s what we do with them that counts. In the first of two blogs we look at the first four tricks you can adopt this New Year to improve your time management and productivity.

 

1. Use technology to your advantage

Technology is a fantastic aid when running your own business as you can hunt for contracts, manage your social media accounts, and work on your current contract all at once. But whilst this can mean achieving three things at once, it also means your concentration is split three ways…

 

If you’re easily distracted, ensure you switch off any notifications which may pop up when working. Only check your notifications during set breaks, so that your concentration doesn’t stray. Not only will it mean your focus remains sharp, you’ll also achieve set timed tasks throughout your working day.

 

2. The early bird catches the worm

Many professionals credit early starts as the key to their success, as it ensures they make the most from their day. So how can it benefit you?

 

Peace and quiet – You’re up before anyone else, allowing you to create your ideal work environment before it naturally changes as others start their day. Use those first couple of hours to your advantage, knowing you can end your day sooner than those who haven’t started until 9am.

 

Time for food – There’s no fire without fuel, so by getting up earlier you’ll have more time to have a proper breakfast before you start your day.

 

Perspective on the day ahead – By getting up earlier you’ll have time to take a step back and plan how you want your day to pan out. Instead of screeching into your client’s office two minutes before you’re supposed to start, or impatiently waiting for your laptop to spring into life from home, you’ll have the luxury of starting work calmly, knowing how you’re going to tackle your day’s tasks.

 

3. Structure your day in blocks

We all have different tolerances when it comes to how long we can perform a particular task before we need a break. So consider your typical working day and how long you can usually keep focus and productivity before you need to take a break.

 

Working through lunch, not allowing your eyes to rest from a screen (including your smartphone), or even keeping your mind running on work through breaks all lead to a reduction in productivity and can contribute to increased levels of work related stress.

 

Consider your day and when you need regular breaks, and which tasks can be completed during those times. Tackle the most challenging tasks first, allowing your mind an easy afternoon with the least taxing.

 

4. Take breaks when you need them

Whether it’s getting some fresh air, tuning into your favourite radio station, calling a friend or even doing some meditation, always take breaks as and when you need them.

 

Your productivity and professional attitude will thank you at the end of the day.

 

Final thoughts…for now!

We will be publishing our next four top New Year productivity tips shortly, so keep an eye out on our social media channels, to be the first to check them out.

 

Do you have any tips of your own? Share them with us! We’d love to hear how you conquer the world of time and productivity management whilst winning at contracting.

 

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 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.

5 steps to take when defusing an unhappy client

Defusing an unhappy client

Quite possibly one of the worst parts of contracting or freelancing is when you’ve put your best into a contract, only for the client to be upset or dissatisfied with your work. Clearly at some point something has gone wrong and, whilst it may not be you that caused it, you’re left to pick up the pieces and salvage what’s left of the working relationship.

 

Hopefully you’ll never need this blog, but should you ever find yourself in this situation we’ve devised 5 steps to take, to help turn the situation around.

 

Step 1 – Keep calm and carry on

A tough step to begin with, especially when your talent and professionalism is being questioned, but one which you must start negotiations off with. Remember that as soon as you lose your temper you’ve also lost your ability to argue your case, so keep a level head when discussing the issue with your client.

 

Let them tell you how they’re feeling and take notes, as this will help you to understand what the issue is and how to prevent it from happening in the future. By remaining neutral during this time you’ll also be demonstrating to your client that you’re willing to hear their side of the story, that you’re able to listen, and that you’ve remained professional throughout.

 

Step 2 – What’s the problem?

Whatever the issue is, you must get to the root of why they are unhappy. In this industry reputations precede contractors, therefore if you wish to continue contracting in the future you must make amends with your current client before moving on. After all, you never know who they may know or what influence they could have on you in future.

 

At some point during the contract your expectations did not meet theirs, so ensure you identify when and why this happened, and who the blame lies with.

 

Step 3 – Is there a solution?

If you have fulfilled your side of the contract exactly as requested and have no reason to offer a solution, then you must let the client know this at this stage.

 

If you have made a mistake, as we all do from time to time, apologise and offer a solution. Whatever this may be (rectifying the issue or maybe offering a refund) consider what value the client holds to you professionally, your reputation and whether doing extra work is worth it in the end.

 

Step 4 – Find out what they’re thinking

If you do rectify the issue, ensure you ask your client whether you have satisfied their expectations as soon as you have completed the work.

 

We’re not suggesting you grovel to your client, but once they believe the contract has been completed it’s never a bad idea to apologise once more. After all, you’ve admitted your mistakes, rectified the issue and then apologised – there’s not much else you could have done!

 

Step 5 – Learn from the experience

Now that the issue is in the past, it’s time to consider what’s happened, what it has taught you and how to ensure it doesn’t happen again.

 

Even clients can get it wrong sometimes (although we doubt they’re more forthcoming when admitting their faults!) so it’s worth taking a step back to see how this experience has made you a better Limited Company contractor. After all, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger!

 

Have you dealt with an unhappy client before?

If the answer is ‘yes’, what tips do you have that helped defuse the situation? Share them with us, your contracting colleagues will thank you, especially if they ever have to use one!

 

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.