seven construction workers standing on white field

Working as a freelancer or a contractor is particularly common amongst workers in the construction industry. Such a business model allows you to have a high level of flexibility with your schedule, choose your own projects, and decide on your own hourly rates. Whether you are a beginner in this area or have previously been employed by a business in the industry, transitioning to self-employment can be overwhelming. Here are some steps you can take to get there.

Decide on your services.

While some contractors stay open to a wide range of different jobs, it is often believed that picking a specific niche can be more beneficial. If you specialize in a certain area within the construction industry, that gives you a competitive edge compared to other workers who, perhaps, have less experience and expertise for the specific job. Being an area expert can also allow you to charge higher rates, as you are most likely offering quicker, higher-quality services.

Invest in your equipment

Perhaps the biggest drawback of working as a freelancer is having to own your own equipment for the job as well as maintain it. This will be a big investment, to begin with; however, treat it as a long-term advantage for your business. You can also save some money by purchasing used equipment that is still in excellent condition – for instance, used motor graders from European sellers are much more affordable than brand-new options.

Do the necessary paperwork.

There will be a slightly overwhelming amount of paperwork to take care of as someone starting in self-employment, however, it is much better done early rather than later. If you find yourself lost with the various business registrations and legal requirements you must comply with, get yourself an external consultant who will help you get everything done quickly and accurately. Most importantly, don’t forget to purchase a good insurance package that will cover unexpected maintenance costs for your machinery as well as any other unforeseen events where you are unable to carry out your work.

Do market research

As someone who is used to getting paid a fixed salary that is decided by the organization, coming up with your own rate can be challenging. Do you work based on an hourly rate or charge per project? How do you decide on a fair price without undercutting your own earnings? The best way to figure this out is by doing your market research and finding out what the average rates currently are. Consider your own experience in the industry and what you bring to the table. Also, look into the availability of freelancers in the market – if you find that the demand is particularly high, this means you have more bargaining power with your rates.

Gather your contacts

Getting your very first project as a freelancer can take some time, so try to speed this process up by being proactive in the industry. If you’ve already worked for various businesses before, try to gather those contacts and get back in touch with anyone who may know of some working opportunities for you. Even if they have nothing for you at that point in time, letting them know that you are available for work may get you some jobs in the future. Additionally, get back in touch with any sites you have previously worked on in case you need to provide a portfolio or a recommendation contact – this way someone will be able to vouch for the quality of your previous work for your new projects.

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