By Jonathan London on 28th January 2015

What do businesses look for when hiring a contractor?

While one of the benefits of working as a contractor is having more flexibility, especially when it comes to choosing jobs, it is important to be aware that businesses who are offering work are also in the same position.

There could be another twenty contractors in your region with the same skillset and experience, so what is it that will make you stand out and win the oh-so-appealing contract? While focusing on your strong points when pitching to a business is indispensable, knowing what they look for when it comes to hiring a contractor can help to better understand exactly how you should be pitching your work to them and hopefully win you even more desirable contracts.

How much will you charge?

Figuring out how much you will cost the company is of course going to be the first thing a potential client is going to want to know.

Whether or not paying for your services and skills will cost the company a lot of money, and even impact upon their budgets can make all the difference when it comes to deciding to hire you for a project. After all, if they feel the job isn’t too big and your fees don’t justify it, they are more likely to look for someone who can offer its completion at a cheaper rate.

With this in mind, it is best to be upfront from the start about your fees and how much you imagine a project will cost. This will save both you and the potential client time in the long run should you not fully agree on costs.

How much experience do you have?

Knowing someone’s professional experience isn’t something that companies just want to explore when looking to hire a permanent member of staff. Letting anyone into a building to complete any form of task takes trust, and the more you can offer about your past and experience, the more trustworthy you will seem.

If you can point out that you have completed a similar project X amount of times and even delve into it a little bit more without giving too much information about other clients away, they will immediately feel as though you know what you are talking about and therefore are the right person for the job.

Should you be starting out in the exciting world of contracting, be clear to let the potential client know that while you may not have many contracts already under your belt, you are confident in your skills and know you can do a great job. Focus on the experiences you had prior to becoming a contractor and offer the skills gained from it.

How reliable are you?

If a company is willing to pay a certain amount of money to a contractor, they will be wanting to know just how reliable you are. Why should they trust you over someone else?

Honesty is probably the best place to start with this one. Should the potential client want the project completed a week earlier than is feasible, tell them. They will appreciate your honesty and it will show you in an authoritative light – you know what you are doing and are confident enough to say that you would prefer a little longer so that you aren’t behind a deadline or deliver something that is not to your usual high standard.

Are you approachable?

Being personable is such an important part of gaining any sort of work and it is often underestimated.

While being the best at what you do and having so many skills is, of course, a main factor in driving clients towards you, if you come across as cold or unapproachable, the chances are that the client won’t feel 100 per cent comfortable with you and that all important contractor-client relationship may be hindered.

You have to remember that word of mouth is so powerful and other potential clients will listen to people’s reviews and opinions of you. Make sure that when you finish a project, the client will tell others that not only did you finish it efficiently and to a great standard, but that you were also a delight to work with. It really can make all the difference.

Jonathan London Written by Jonathan London

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