The numbers show that in recent years, more people have either become self-employed or started their own business than ever before. While being your own boss might not suit everyone, there are lots of plus sides that make it worth considering, especially if you have a trade, a skill or a business idea that you know there is a market for. But how do you prepare yourself for success from the start?
Do the research
The key to running a small business is having customers, just the same as any size business. The good thing with being small is that you don’t always needs hundreds to start making a profit as there is likely only you who needs to make a wage from the company at first. But you still want to make sure there is a viable market for the product or service that you are considering before you take the plunge.
Take being a plumber, for example. There always seems to be plenty of people advertising this service on the internet and in local newspapers. So avoid common mistakes by advertising yourself as this as you could face too much competition from established plumbing firms. However, if you pitch yourself as an odd-job person who can do plumbing, gardening and maybe some basic electrical work, then you might find a wider market.
One area that businesses go wrong is waiting to start keeping their books. It is easy to think that bookkeeping is just to give information to HMRC about tax and national insurance but it is a key way to known if your business is in trouble. Balancing the books may not happen in the first year or so but you do want to keep an eye on your debts to make sure you are making enough money to live.
It is also important to get help if you’re struggling. Whether this is with cash flow and you need a short business loan to help or simply keeping track of your finances, there are plenty of ways to get the right assistance. You can talk to financial advisors, banks and hire freelance accountants or bookkeepers to help with the tasks you don’t naturally manage.
Do enjoy it!
Being your own boss can be stressful because there is no guarantee of a pay packet at the end of the week or month. But you need to enjoy it, even if it is stressful. For many people who go self-employed, they enjoy that pressure and the independence that also comes with it. But there’s no shame either if you find that it isn’t for you and you want to return to the world of being an employee – it would be a boring world if we were all the same, after all.