UK Contractors Looking Towards a Bright Future
According to the latest Confidence Index report undertaken and published by the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self Employed, contractor confidence in the UK economy is very much up and down. Of course, that doesn’t come as much of a surprise, especially with Brexit negotiations still not being finalised even as we inch closer and closer to the big day: 29th March 2019.
What is more surprising, however, is that the same report suggests that contractor confidence in their own business is rising rapidly. In fact, business confidence amongst contractors hasn’t been this high since 2015. Contractor confidence for quarter 2 stands at an impressive 5.3; remarkable considering that the figure was at -25.3 this time last year, and -3.9 just 3 months ago. That’s some improvement!
While these figures are interesting, what’s even more interesting is that, based on what we know about the economy right now, and trends that have been predicted for the economy over the coming year, there seems to be no real reason for contractors to have such faith in the future of their business!
In fact, given the data that’s available, contractors should be feeling less confident, not more. Consider that three quarters of contractors are expecting the costs of business operation to rise within the next 12 months, and that it’s expected these costs could rise by 13.7%; much more than average inflation. Consider that average quarterly earnings for contractors are lower than they have been, falling by 12.3% since the start of the year. Consider that competition in contracting has never been as fierce as it right now. And let’s not even throw Brexit into the mix; a move which could have a massive impact on jobs.
And yet, it seems to be clear that UK contractors are choosing to look on the bright side of things. Could it be that the very aspects that should be concerning UK contractors are actually spurring them on?
A Positive Boost for Contractors
Contractors are, by nature, problem solvers. The ability to look at a new situation and identify ways to minimise the issues, while simultaneously streamlining processes is, after all, what many contractors do.
One of the biggest benefits of contracting over employment, of course, is the flexibility to adopt new strategies and implement new practices without being restricted by the limitations of an organisation. At a time when business costs are increasing and average quarterly earnings are decreasing, we must also look at the picture of as a whole. When we do, we’ll see that new technologies are forever becoming available, and that access to innovation is improving all the time. On top of this, many sectors are experience unprecedented rates of growth, enabling them to embrace innovation and new technology.
While the next 12 months may not be easy for contractors, it is simple to see why contractor confidence is through the roof. We are at a turning point, where more and more UK businesses will be looking to adopt new processes, and will be looking to contractors to help them achieve their future goals.