Are you considering becoming a plumber? Great news! It’s a fantastic career choice with plenty of benefits. So, it should come as no surprise that hundreds of people are signing up to plumbing courses each year.
You don’t have to be fresh from school or college to become a plumber – some people are even switching their office jobs mid-thirties to join the lucrative world of plumbing!
One of the main reasons that plumbing is such as sought-after career is that no formal education is needed to join the profession. However, that’s not all there is to it – below you’ll find some of the main advantages to becoming a plumber.
Excellent rates of pay
There’s no denying that one of the main things you look at when you join a career is the money it pays. In this economic climate it can be difficult earning enough money to support the family and live a comfortable life. However, there are some professions that offer great rates of pay and plumbing is just one of them.
The actual amount you’ll earn will depend upon the company you work for or if you go self-employed. However, as a general guide you can expect to earn around £10 to £15 per hour.
Great training opportunities
While you don’t need any formal education to get started, you will need to attend a course to earn the necessary qualifications to practice this trade.
Plumbing courses and apprenticeships will help you to stay ahead of the game. By learning and training as much as you can, you’ll keep yourself ahead of the competition.
Courses are often a mixture of theory and practical-based training so that you can gain knowledge of the job while developing your skills.
There really are no jobs for life anymore; however as a plumber you’ll have the best chance of a long career. New homes are constantly being built and with the bathroom and kitchen two of the most important rooms in the house, there will always be demand for plumbers.
Even without new homes being built, existing ones still need maintenance. From broken pipes to washing machine troubles – it all falls to a plumber to resolve.
These are the top three reasons why you should consider becoming a plumber. Job security, great money and guaranteed work are definitely an attraction in this day and age so why not take a look at local courses to see what’s available?
No matter what line of work your business operates in, there are few things more important than solid management. Without a strong leader, even the best team of employees will struggle to fulfil their potential and to bring your business the success it deserves. Here, we take a look at ten simple steps to becoming the perfect boss in your place of work.
1. Create an open dialogue
The best businesses are those which operate with full transparency. This transparency sits not only between the business and its customers, but between a business and its workers as well. Encourage your employees to offer feedback and you’ll see the results in no time at all.
2. Set clear goals
Outlining and meeting fair goals is a key part of business strategy. The more directly your company’s goals are communicated, the better your chances of meeting them each in good time.
3. Offer regular briefings
In order for your employees to be at their most productive, they need to be provided with a clear and comprehensive context. Regular briefings help to keep workers in the loop, allowing them to manage their tasks in an orderly and efficient manner.
4. Show your flexibility
While feedback is essential to innovation, growth and success, it can be meaningless if there is no element of trust. Make it clear to your employees that you are open to suggestions and highlight any changes that you make based on their own directives.
5. Provide tools
It doesn’t matter how experienced and qualified your personnel may be, without the necessary tools it won’t be possible for them to help your company succeed. Implementing tools in the workplace, from accountancy software to industry literature, can help maximise productivity and fulfil company potential.
6. Take an interest
Understanding that your employee’s lives don’t end when they leave the office is essential to their comfort at work. Furthermore, showing an interest in their day to day lives can help you understand and identify their strengths.
7. Offer incentives
Rewarding employees lets them know that they are valued. Remember that incentives don’t always have to be financial.
8. Be a team player
Too often bosses isolate themselves from their employees. To help build strong relationships, don’t be afraid to offer workers help with office tasks. A recent Guardian article highlights the pros of collaboration.
The best bosses in business are approachable and positive. Let your staff know with a smile that you are relaxed and friendly.
10. Be compassionate
On a final, more general note, take every opportunity to show compassion. This will not only put your employees at ease but will encourage a strong bond between them and your company.
The rising number of lawsuits filed in courts related to employment contracts is something that businesses, big or small, find worrisome. According to statistics more than 100,000 employees filed illegal dismissal charges against employers in UK last year. This kind of action, which has been increasing by 15% each year, can have costly ramifications on the financial condition of businesses, particularly the small or struggling, as awards to dismissed employees who win their cases can reach as much as £100,000.
Litigation related to employment is not limited to illegal dismissals. With the number employment laws also on the rise, companies can face suits arising from discriminatory practices in the workplace. Aside from discrimination related to sex, colour, race, disability and age, now companies can be brought before an employment tribunal court for discriminating against an employee’s religion.
These days HR personnel of companies have to contend with various complex employment regulations that require legal expertise. It is really necessary for them to undergo training that will equip them with deeper understanding of employment laws and how they integrate in the workplace.
When it comes to this kind training for companies or HR personnel the employment training from alpha HR can be of great help. Alpha training offers different kinds training packages including assistance in the preparation of employment documents, assistance in the formulation of employees manual to ensure its provisions conform to existing employment laws, representation in employment tribunals, insurance protection, and much more.
A lot of HR consultant offices which offer employment services often are content with just providing the basics, communicating through emails and a somewhat hands off approach. This is not the kind of service that helps businesses avoid lawsuits. Employment regulations are full of legal jargon that somebody not trained and without experience in this field will have a hard time understanding. This is the reason why businesses prefer the kind of training alpha HR provides.
At alpha, the service that businesses get is comprehensive because aside from the assistance with employee’s handbooks and representation in tribunals, it also offers more personalized services. It visits client offices so it could correctly evaluate the work atmosphere, conducts employment audits to assess clients’ existing practices and policies, and provides management risk reports to properly furnish businesses with tools and information that they can use to avoid lawsuits.
It also regularly sends newsletters to update clients on recent developments on employment laws. These services are preventive since they instill a better understanding of issues that may cause conflicts between employers and employees later on.
The needs of businesses for HR intervention will not be the same. Some, especially those just starting out and small, may require the whole intervention packages, while others may be looking for assistance in specific problem areas. Alpha HR training is flexible enough to accommodate diverse needs which means companies won’t be paying for services that are not availing of.
Included in the packages are in-house trainings on different HR topics that business will find essential for better employee management. This alpha feature makes sure HR personnel acquire the expertise required of them for efficient management of HR programs and issues.
The idea of leaving full time employment, to ‘go it alone’ as a freelancer, can at first seem a bit daunting.
However, with the right guidance and advice from a good freelance accountant, you can rest assure that the advantages of being self-employed far outweigh any negatives.
Just some of these benefits include:
• Being your own boss and ultimately having more control of your destiny compared to a permanent worker.
• Having increased flexibility and freedom – this means being able to choose when you work, where and for however long you like.
There is also the fact that taking time off for holiday will be a lot easier, as you will not be in the position of having to juggle your days off around other colleagues. You can also choose to have as much time off as you want, instead of the standard few weeks in a year.
• Being able to claim all of your business expenses against your income to further reduce your tax bill.
• You can set your own rates – an average freelancer rate can easily be double that of a full time employee, sometimes even more.
Where to start as a new freelancer…
Firstly you will need to find a contract. Ensuring you have an impressive CV is the starting point, so make sure that you highlight skills that will make you an attractive contractor to work with; use correct grammar and industry buzzwords, keep it short and check that it has no typos.
• Look on specialist contractor websites – There are many websites that are especially for freelancers and some of these can provide job opportunities.
• Social media – Social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are an effective source for freelancers and are a free way of advertising your business.
• Use your contacts – Building up a portfolio of contacts that you have met along the way is a great idea; this is especially useful if they can perhaps offer you a role in your chosen field. Don’t be afraid to contact them directly and send them your CV.
Limited or Umbrella Company?
Once you have a contract, you will need to decide whether you’ll be trading through an umbrella or limited company. Choosing which route to go down will all depend on your circumstances and which will suit your needs best.
Umbrella services are generally best for shorter term (less than three months) or lower value contracts (less than £25,000), however, for most people, working through your own limited company is the best option as it is the most tax efficient way of working.
For example, by trading through your own limited company you will see a 75%-80% take home pay, compared to 60%-65% with umbrella services.
Appoint a Specialist Accountant
It’s important that you take on an accountant who specialise with freelancers, so that they understand the ins and outs of how contractor tax works and know how to advise you properly.
By using a firm such as SJD Accountancy, you can rest assure that you have someone who can explain and guide you through issues such as National Insurance contributions, Corporation tax and whether you are considered as ’outside’ or ‘inside’ the IR35 legislation; you also have the confidence that your finances are being taken care of properly.
Contracting is an extremely rewarding life choice. Although being self-employed means that you have a lot more responsibility than a permanent worker, the benefits far outweigh any negatives and with the help and advice of professionals, such as contractor accountants, it will be a decision you’ll never regret!
Becoming a contractor means that you will have an increased amount of freedom and flexibility, as you will essentially be your own boss. You will also be able to take advantage of the financial benefits, such as setting your own rates and claiming your business expenses against your income to further reduce your tax bill.
When you have decided that you want to join the exciting world of contracting, there are a few steps that you will need to take in order to start this journey:
To become a successful contractor, you will need to actively seek out your own work. This is where working for yourself requires a lot of perseverance and motivation…
Here are some useful tips for finding work:
• Look on specialist contractor websites – news feeds from these types of websites are a great method for finding all the current jobs, as well as finding out how your particular industry is developing.
• Jobsites – post your CV on as many jobsites as possible, focusing on more niche sites so you know that the right person will be viewing it.
• Social media –Look out for local networking groups or industry-specific events that could generate more interest in your work. Social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are an effective source for freelancers and are a free way of advertising your business.
• Contacts – Building up a portfolio of contacts that you have met along the way is a great idea; this is especially useful if they can perhaps offer you a role in your chosen field. Don’t be afraid to contact them directly and send them your CV.
Umbrella or Limited?
When you become a contractor, you will need to decide whether you want to work through an umbrella company or form your own limited company.
For most people, going limited is the best option as it is the most tax efficient way of working, also, trading through your own limited company will see you with a 75%-80% take home pay. By working through an umbrella company you could take home around 60%-65% of your contract value.
However, there is usually one in particular that will suit you and your needs best. For example, if you are expecting to contract for less than three months or earn less than £25,000 then it may be worth reconsidering the limited company route.
Appoint a contractor accountant
It’s always best to take on an accountant who specialises in working with contractors so that they will be able to offer you the best advice when it comes to your working practices.
You can get great limited company accountancy advice from a contractor accountant, including issues such as IR35, contractor tax, setting up a separate bank account if you’re forming your own limited company and how to register for VAT and the Flat Rate VAT Scheme.