I’ve been my own boss for the last two months now and it’s been a great jump. There’s a lot to be considered when you decide to be your own boss. Be it as a full time role or just starting a project of your own, it’s important to plan ahead. Now I’ve been doing this for a little while I’ve picked up a few tips that are useful if you’re thinking about setting up a business, going self employed or creating a project!
Anticipating your plan of attack
I highly recommend deciding who your clients are and making them aware of your new venture. Whether they’re current small clients or prospective, get your foot in the door so they will keep you in mind for future work. I provide consultancy work to old ex employers and this works well as they don’t pay me a salary but still get the work from me. It also means I have another client on the books. Use all your contacts and set yourself up goals and clients before setting out so you have a starting point.
Understand your goals
Are you looking to earn lots of money or to achieve a particular aim? The two are quite different. If you have a purposeful goal, for example ‘to change how brands use XYZ’ then that’s your main goal. If you want to earn £40,000 to go on lots of holidays, that’s another. Think about what you want to achieve in a year, two and five and write it down. Everyone says to start a business plan, that’s not always necessary but a rough idea of your plans is good.
Get educated on your finances
Self employment = dealing with money. Unless you hire a bookkeeper, you are completely in control of managing your receipts, invoices and money. I have appointed an accountant but it had taken me 6 weeks to figure that out. Set yourself up with an accountant immediately before any adventure that requires you to become your own boss. It’s easy to get into the mindset that you don’t believe you’ll make any money so why would you need an accountant? Disbelief is easy but dealing with invoices and tax is boring and hard!
Don’t be afraid to speak to HRMC
We all talk about the Tax Man like he’s an actual one man band that knocks on your door if you don’t pay your taxes. However, the HMRC are a really helpful organisation. If you have any issues setting up your self assessment/government gateway, give them a ring. The company Talk Tax have a whole site dedicated to tax and have easy access to all the numbers you need, which admittedly aren’t always easy to find. I had to contact HMRC as I had issues with my maiden name not moving over with my new account and they sorted it within ten minutes! Don’t rely on online forms, a simple call normally fixes everything! They’re normally nice people too, no one man band about to knock on your door! (Providing you pay your taxes on time that is!)
Believe in yourself and the rest will follow
Gah, so cliche I know. It took me a few months to believe in myself but achievements = belief. I never would have dreamed of becoming my own boss. I never believed I was truly capable but if I am, anyone is. It takes a lot to take the jump in being your own boss, you have to be strong enough to tackle any obstacle. If you like the security of a work place then self employment is not for you. However, I’ve loved the ability to control my life. I feel more in control than ever despite the unstable finances. I’ve earned the most I ever had which I’m sure so many people say but it’s not come without a crazy amount of work. I used to find sitting in an office I could put work off because why not, I’d get paid the same. However, work only gets done if I do it now, I don’t get paid if I don’t do it. Simple. That keeps me motivated and brings in the results!
Have you ever thought about being your own boss? Do you see yourself being in charge of a project soon? Hands up if you’ve noticed how messy my laptop screen is! Proves I’m constantly on it hey!