Things to consider when starting out as a freelancer in the construction industry

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Deciding to work as a self-employed person in any industry is a big change that requires many considerations. It’s a highly individual choice that is not suited for everyone, although some people really enjoy the flexibility and independence of such a lifestyle. The construction industry, in particular, is unique for those starting out as freelancers – there are quite a few things you should take into account before making that move. Here are some of the key things to consider. 

The equipment you will use

Depending on the kind of work you will be doing, one of the most important considerations is what equipment you will use. Unless you get hired to do a project for a large construction company and can use their equipment, you may be expected to have your own. If investing into your own equipment is a possibility for you, second-hand telescopic handlers on Truck1 International could be a great and more affordable option. Otherwise, you could also rent it from a third-party service for the duration of the project. 

If you do decide to purchase your own machinery, make sure to consider the maintenance and running costs as well as account for them in the rates you charge for projects. Buying equipment that can be used for various different jobs will help you maximise your investment for quicker ROI too. For example, you can use JCB telescopic handlers for numerous applications, which broadens the scope of the projects you can take on with a single piece of machinery. 

Complying with laws

Starting out as a freelancer will bring on many changes, one of which is the kind of laws you must comply with. As an employee, things like income tax, licences and any other paperwork is dealt with for you. When you are self-employed, however, you must learn about it yourself as well as stay on top of it. So, make sure you do your research and figure out what kind of tax regulations and construction industry laws for freelancers there are, so you know what you need to do to stay compliant. If it all gets a bit too much, you can always outsource it to a professional accountant too. 

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Getting new clients

Once you go independent, you will be responsible for getting your own clients and projects. Try to think about how exactly you will be doing that – after all, you don’t want to go self-employed only to be left with no work or income for months. Think about the niche of your work or your area of expertise, which can become your selling point. How will you prove your trustworthiness to new clients? Perhaps you can build a website or a portfolio to showcase your previous work as well as get past clients to vouch for you if needed. All of these advertising techniques will determine how easily or quickly you can get new projects on as a freelancer. 

Having a safety net

Working for yourself also means that you lose the safety net that is otherwise provided to you by an employer. Such things as pension funds, insurance, sick pay and so on are your basic rights when employed and so you must consider them when becoming a freelancer too. Try to sort all of those things out before starting out, so you know you will have a safety net in case something happens (e.g. sufficient insurance if your machinery suddenly breaks down). Ideally you will also have some emergency savings if you are unable to work for long periods of time, to cover for your living costs.