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Finding a Contract – Direct or Agency?

Once you have decided to make the leap to become a contractor, you will need to be proactive and source your first contract. Here you have two options, first is to go direct or second is via a Recruitment Agency. Direct When starting out, finding a contract directly can prove to be a challenge. It […]

By Laura Nixon on 25 Nov 2015
Read time: 2 minutes

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Once you have decided to make the leap to become a contractor, you will need to be proactive and source your first contract. Here you have two options, first is to go direct or second is via a Recruitment Agency.

Direct

When starting out, finding a contract directly can prove to be a challenge. It is recommended that you draw on previous connections, as these could open the doorway for new opportunities. Encouraging past employers to recommend your service will help both your knowledge base and client portfolio.

Technology has grown vastly in the past decade or so, meaning people are now branching out themselves rather than relying on big companies to do the outreach for them. Registering to prospective client’s email lists for updates of new openings is a good start as this will keep you up to date with the company’s news.

A good tip is to keep a good circle of professional connections, from previous colleagues, end-user staff and agents.

By going directly to the client you are essentially cutting out the middleman and are able to have more control over the entire process. Contracting direct allows you to negotiate your rate, there are no agency fees for either party involved and only one contract is in place, as opposed to an upper and lower level contract, where the agency is part of the deal.

Downsides

As with most things, going direct can come with its downsides. By going direct, you are at a risk of not being paid on time.

Agencies are there to provide contractors with the end client to complete a project, so it is their responsibility to ensure that the payment from one to another is made on time.

Agency

Agencies are more often than not the best way to go when seeking out a new contract. Think of it this way, by using an agency they do all the legwork of finding the contract, the negotiations and all the paperwork so you can concentrate on the work itself.

Think of using an agency like outsourcing your own sales department – the end result is that using an agency vs finding the contracts yourself is more cost effective, as you are not only reducing the gaps between contracts but that you can concentrate on the work itself and focus your efforts there.

In addition to this, there is the benefit that you can relax knowing you will be paid on time through an agency. The majority use factoring organisations which allow you to be paid just a few days’ posts to invoice them.

This not only saves you precious time but money as you aren’t having to chase up late payments or waiting a full 30 days after the invoicing to be paid, so you can commit fully to other contracts at the time.

If you would like to speak to an advisor about any issues or questions you may have, please call us on 01253 362062 or email contractoradvice@nixonwilliams.com

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We will never share your data with anyone without your permission. Read our Privacy policy to see how we use your data.