To Contract or Not to Contract–Is that the Question?
Step 1-Find Out if You Really Want to Be an Independent Contractor: Are you a risk taker? Can you handle getting late payments? Are you flexible? What makes you want to be an independent contracting? What does successful independent contracting look like to you? Check out irs.gov to better understand some of the differences between an independent contractor and an employee. (https://www.irs.gov/businesses/small-businesses-self-employed/independent-contractor-self-employed-or-employee?_ga=1.79486228.1832980065.1476811969)
Step 2-Follow Your Passion…Where There is a Need
Passion brings pleasure sometimes! You will not always love everything associated with your passions. However if you choose to contract in an area in which you are passionate, you will persevere when the not so passionate things pop up!
Step 3-Decide to Be Incorporated or Not to be Incorporated
Why get incorporated in the first place? Being incorporated separates you, the therapist, from the business. As an independent contractor, you are not required to be incorporated but I recommend looking at the pros/cons and making an informed decision regarding with a legal professional.
Step 4-Get Insured- You NEED insurance! Liability-professional and perhaps general, health insurance, dental insurance, disability insurance, long term care insurance, insurance, insurance, insurance, insurance. It is necessary and in some cases required.
Step 5-An Accountant and Attorney are Your Friends-Although these professionals can be expensive in many cases, they are your friends and often save you money in the long run. Get references–there are good and not so good professionals in every business!
Step 6-DetermineYour Rate and What’s the Plan? You will need to do some math! A contract rate is higher than an employee rate for a reason. As a contractor you do not have benefits and will have to pay for your own vacation, sick leave, retirement, insurance, travel, etc. Be sure to include these expenses when calculating your billable rate.
Step 7-Review or Write Your Contracts- Most agencies have their own contracts but you should review with a legal professional. If there are things that need to be added or changed, let them know!
Step 8-Marketing-Low Cost Options-There are free and low cost options for marketing: Vista, Weebly, Homestead and the list goes on. There are also marketing and social media experts that can provide consultation. Professional expertise is always a good choice–however if you can use this expertise combined with low cost marketing options, you can save some money!
Step 9-Consider Hiring Subcontractors if You Want to Expand–Yes, you can grow as an independent contractor with subcontractors if the contract agency allows. You then have a contract with the subcontractor. Make sure you can pay the subcontractor on time even if the contract agency does not pay you on time! Late payments have been known to occur–just saying…
Step 10-Go Get Some Contracts-What are you waiting for? Get the word out that you are now an independent contractor and can help fill a need. Have you not seen the advertisements for your profession? The work IS there! Contracting may be your best way to test the world of entrepreneurship. Go get some contracts!
For the full FREE booklet-Ten Simple Steps to Independent Contracting-contact firstname.lastname@example.org