Preparing for Brexit as a Contractor
Planning for the future has become increasingly challenging for businesses and contractors as the Brexit uncertainty continues. With the UK’s exit from the EU having been delayed on several occasions, a change of Prime Minister and a closed Parliament was thrown into the mix, the business world anxiously awaits the developments to adapt to the changes it brings.
There are some ways that contractors can already start to get prepared for Brexit, particularly by staying as informed as possible. The demand for contractors through recruitment agencies in the UK dropped by 6% in November 2018, which has mostly been attributed to companies hesitating due to the uncertainty around Brexit. However, there are some industries that have actually seen increases in demand for contractors, such as the legal and financial sectors.
Here are some ways you can prepare for Brexit as a contractor:
Enhance your online profile
Regardless of what industry you work in, having a strong online presence will help companies to find you and will also help them to trust in your ability. Creating a new website or updating your current one, incorporating glowing testimonials and detailed case studies can help you to impress and win more work. Also, putting more effort into your online profiles such as LinkedIn and social media channels can boost your online presence. Even if you have not struggled for work historically, amidst the overall declining figures for contractor demand in the UK, it is a good move to spend some time on this aspect.
Develop stronger relationships with clients
If you have regular clients, then put in the extra work to make the relationships stronger. You might want to suggest meeting face-to-face rather than a telephone call, going for dinner, or simply making more conversational effort to nurture the relationship. The stronger that relationship is, the less likely they are to look at alternative contractor solutions if they are concerned about Brexit.
Keep an eye on companies moving out of the UK
One of the key concerns regarding the consequences of Brexit is the number of companies that are moving their base out of the UK to other countries. Keep an eye on the companies from your industry that are making the move, as patterns are likely to emerge with the UK car manufacturing industry already being badly affected by Brexit.
Invest in the most in-demand skills
If you are an all-round digital marketer but you see that video creation skills are becoming increasingly requested, it might be worthwhile investing in improving your skills in this area through training courses that will demonstrate your expertise to companies. Keep up to date with the most in-demand contractor skills, to see whether you need to adjust your services to offer more requested skills. For example, IT contractors are in shortage, so if you have an IT background, you could move into an IT specialism that is in high demand.
Consider working with companies outside EU
If you are worried about declining trade with EU based companies, you could look at other countries such as the US. If you are planning a business trip to the US, you simply need to apply for an ESTA that grants permission to enter the US for up to 90 days to meet potential business clients.
Whether Brexit goes ahead on 31 October or not, the best way to prepare is to keep as informed as possible and consider the guidance provided above.