This is it, you’ve been thinking about going it alone for a long time and you’ve made your decision. This is the year that you will ditch the 9 to 5 and become self-employed.
You’re not alone, according to the Office of National Statistics; ‘By the fourth quarter (Oct to Dec) of 2019, there were more than 5 million self-employed people in the UK, up from 3.2 million in 2000.’ And the figures continue to grow.
With that in mind, we’ve provided our top 7 tips on how to get your new business (be it running your own consultancy service or sharing your product with the masses) off to the best start possible.
We’ve of course assumed that you’ve done your market research and recognise a demand for your product or service. If you’ve skipped this step, we urge you to create a full and realistic business plan before taking the plunge. It doesn’t have to be complex, it simply has to ensure you’ve considered every aspect of how you see this working in the years ahead.
Let’s dive in!
1. Manage Your Money
It may be a while before you see the fruits of your labour, so it’s worth having some savings set aside. This relieves the pressure when it comes to unexpected expenses or even if you fall short of the mortgage payment in the first few months.
Remember that the busy months can be followed by slower ones; make sure you’re budgeting well and can cover yourself in any down time your business may have.
You need to make sure you’re getting paid on time and that you’re putting away a percentage of each invoice you bill out.
We’ve got some great tips on how to improve timely payments:
The Real Impact Debtors Have On Your Business
Keep on top of your record-keeping and make sure you do your accounts monthly, don’t leave it until the end of the year.
2. Get an Accountant
Yes, “Well you would say that” we hear you say. But, honestly it will be the best thing you do. Having an accountant saves you time, money and ensures you’re doing things right. This can really relieve the pressure when you have a business to run and income to generate.
An accountant can also offer you sound business advice, tell you about potential funding and provide a registered address for your business.
It’s never as much as you think and unlike some other practices, you’re not ‘on the clock’ when you talk to us. Find out today and give us a call for a free, no obligation chat. We’d love to hear about your plans.
Our registered office service is as little as £8+VAT per month or £96+VAT for the whole year.
Find out more:
What Is a Registered Address and Do I Need One?
3. Set Work / Life Boundaries
As an employee, especially in recent years, it can be difficult to stop work overflowing into your home life. When you are self-employed, it can work the other way around.
It’s important that people know that when you are at work, you are at work. Therefore, you’re not available for casual calls, days out or to help with others chores or DIY needs. Setting these boundaries with family and friends early is very important to your ability to focus and dedicate time to your growing business.
Ultimately, like many others you want to work for yourself to gain more freedom, though you’ll need to recognise the path to this point needs your undivided attention.
If you do need company, know that just because you might work alone to start with, it doesn’t mean you are alone. Establish your own self-employed network.
At Blue Rocket, we have monthly networking events where you can join our friendly and fun approach to meeting great, like-minded individuals.
Blue Rocket Accounting Events | Eventbrite
4. Make the Most of Business Software
There may never have been a better time to go freelance than today, with so many apps and software packages out there designed to help.
From CRM systems with automated workflows for managing communications with your customers to Accounting software to help you digitise your bookkeeping (a must from April 2022).
Social scheduling tools like Buffer and Hootsuite can make your life so much easier by ensuring you’re marketing your business through modern channels.
As a progressive accountancy practice, we’re full of fantastic ways you can effectively and efficiently manage your business through brilliant software tools.
We are also certified partners for a wide range of cloud accounting platforms such as Quickbooks, Xero and Sage to name a few. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch!
5. Don’t Work with Just Anyone
If you have the wrong type of clients they can make things difficult from demanding discounts to endless additional requests and questions. That’s not mentioning the time invested in chasing late payments or dealing with trying personality types.
Remember, you went into this to get the type of life you’ve desired, not to be held to someone else’s unreasonable demands or poor temper. Be choosy with whom you do business with.
You can vet potential business associates for reliability and integrity characteristics in order to make an educated assessment on whether they’ll be an ideal client.
But put simply, only do business with people you like.
6. Know your worth
Choosing a rate and sticking to it can be really hard, especially in the early days when work may feel hard to come by. However, state your rates clearly without embarrassment or apology and do a great job.
It’s not a day rate, it’s years of experience, insight, knowledge and connections.
Any self-employed person will tell you they’ve had people balk at the quoted price, only to comeback later with their tail between their legs having had a bad experience elsewhere, with a cheaper alternative.
You can of course negotiate but there needs to be an ‘if’ added to any flexibility in the variables, for example – you may be able to reduce the price ‘if’ given a longer time, or, you may be able to do it quicker ‘if’ you can charge more.
We say again; remember your worth.
7. Enjoy the Journey
“Find a job you love and you’ll never work a day in your life”
We owe it to ourselves to make business enjoyable even if the central reason is to make money.
Learn how to motivate yourself, enjoy the camaraderie of other companies and blur the lines between work and social life (not the finances).
You’ll not only enjoy yourself but you’ll also generate new business whilst doing it!
If you need any help or advice on your business give us a call on 01322 555 442 or email us at email@example.com
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