The choice and breadth of online services for IT contractors is astonishing but which ones are actually worth your precious time and money?
Whether it’s hiring an accountant, finding a contractor networking, here are some favourite and highly cost-effective online services for IT contractors:
1. The contract finder
Hunting for your next IT contract can be a minefield. There are plenty of great sites out there, such a Technojobs and Jobserve, for those that find work through recruitment agencies. However, if you prefer to work directly with clients then Tenders Direct is a great tender alert service for the public sector.
The IT contract jobs search wizard is a great tool. There is a yearly fee for the service but this cost is offset by the lack of agency referral fees, making it a worthy investment.
2. Money talks
A specialist contractor accountant is an absolute necessity. A good accountant will not only save you time and money, but they should also offer advice expenses, invoicing, and the relevant legislation for your individual circumstances, including the infamous IR35. It’s a big decision and the choice of accountancy firms, apps, portals and services can seem somewhat daunting and often overpriced.
The Vantage online accounting portal from specialist contractor accountancy firm Nixon Williams is a great one-stop shop for your every accounting need. It’s painless to use, comes at a competitive monthly price, is available 24/7 and covers everything you need to keep on top of your finances. You also get a dedicated contact (in real human form – not just another random voice at the end of the phone) to handle your questions and your business. The combination of personal service and an easy to use online system is a rare gem.
3. Getting noticed?
Writing a CV that peaks the interest of a potential client or agency and gets you the gig is a difficult nut to crack – especially as each instance of yourCV will need to be tailored to every individual bid. There is a swarm of professional CV service companies out there that could help you write an outstanding CV – but this service comes at a price, and it’s often quite a hefty one.
To make yourself a truly attractive option, buy your domain name and create an online CV, or a personal website and blog. There are many online options out there but the Weebly service is one of the most cost-effective and diverse tools out there to get online and get noticed.
4. The Freelance Supermarket
The Freelance Supermarket is a networking service that incorporates a price and service comparison website, a rich source of online information, figures, facts and everything you might need to know about the world of freelancing. You can rate recruiters, clients, accountants and so on while receiving ratings to boost your reputation the free-to-join website. The site, which is often referred to as the ‘Facebook for freelancers’ is well worth a look.
5. Calculating the cost
Many IT professionals choose to move into contracting for the extra money they can make. However, calculating your rates and the impact this will have on your take-home pay can be incredibly difficult to project. That’s why this handy online calculator is an invaluable tool to help you assess how much you should be charging to maximise your profits.