Contracting Life

5 Essential Skills Every Contractor Should Have

Don’t panic if you don’t have all of the skills below yet. These are just a few of the many…

Author Photo by Kingsbridge

Don’t panic if you don’t have all of the skills below yet. These are just a few of the many qualities that help to secure work and deliver the project on time, as well as helping to deliver the best possible results for your clients.

Be a great communicator

You need to be a great communicator when you’re a contractor. Now that you’re wholly and solely responsible for your income you need to step up your confidence level when it comes to communication. If you don’t communicate regularly with your clients they can feel as though they’ve slipped through the net.

Keeping your clients engaged and informed as often as possible means less mistakes get made whilst also ensuring that you’re setting realistic expectations for throughout the project.

Stay focused

If you work from your home office it can be tough to stay focused. As a contractor, even though the little temptations don’t go away, you need to become great at being focused on the project in hand. Getting rid of distractions isn’t easy, but something that can help reduce them is to map out a daily timetable (just like you might have done when revising for your school exams!)

Make sure you allow time for relaxing at lunch, as well as allotting small five-minute breaks every few hours. These tips and others can help you reduce strain on your eyes and keep your productivity high – even through the toughest projects.

Be highly organised

Juggling a steady stream of work doesn’t come easy, even for the most experienced of contractors. It’s important that you’re able to section off each project without any problems. Logging your time on each project can seem daunting for a newbie contractor, but once you settle into your new role, like everything, it will get easier.

There are many free project management tools out there just waiting to help you take your organisational skills to the next level. Keeping on top of invoices is also a steep learning curve but once you’ve mastered the process it simply becomes routine.

Be a good marketer

Regardless of your skillset you need to become a good marketer. Why? How else are you going to find new clients? Online marketing is easy to measure, so make sure you take the time to learn and study how you can make the most of the free readily available resources around the web.

If you never learn about it, you’ll never know, and that could ultimately hinder your progress as a contractor.

Learn to estimate

Learning how long a certain kind of project will take you, or figuring out how much you should quote, needs to become second nature. If you’re using contractor sites or agencies to find work, you need to be able to get your proposal in there as fast and as error-free as possible.

This is a quality that develops over time. You’ll start understanding how long it takes to deliver a project of a certain size and whether it was worth the money you delivered it for. Re-learning basic mathematics is a great skill to have.

Equipped with these skills, we’re sure you’re going to make a fine contractor indeed.

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