Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@. Skimlinks & other affiliated links are turned on

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • Smiley87
    • By Smiley87 17th Sep 16, 7:34 AM
    • 200Posts
    • 1,441Thanks
    Smiley87
    Considering Becoming Self Employed
    • #1
    • 17th Sep 16, 7:34 AM
    Considering Becoming Self Employed 17th Sep 16 at 7:34 AM
    Morning,

    I'm looking into starting my own business and am here looking for some advice.

    I currently work full time in the education sector, but am spending time each week researching the sector I would like to move into and understanding what is required of those that are self employed.

    Is there anyone that's made the switch? How did you find it? What needs to be considered? Are you happy with the decision that you made?

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!
    Make £10 a day challenge:
    August: £1777.83 September:
Page 1
    • andygb
    • By andygb 17th Sep 16, 10:25 AM
    • 10,826 Posts
    • 22,414 Thanks
    andygb
    • #2
    • 17th Sep 16, 10:25 AM
    • #2
    • 17th Sep 16, 10:25 AM
    It is hard work to get a business up and running Smiley, we have still not managed it after nearly a year.
    I would suggest that you contact your local chamber of commerce, to see if they have any free courses for new business startups, and they may hold out of hours meetings where you can meet other business people in your area (good for networking and advice).
    They should be able to advise you on business plans, finance, tax, competition and marketing, and a whole load of other things which you never experience when working for a company or organisation.
    Good luck!
    • paddyrg
    • By paddyrg 17th Sep 16, 11:21 AM
    • 12,467 Posts
    • 10,581 Thanks
    paddyrg
    • #3
    • 17th Sep 16, 11:21 AM
    • #3
    • 17th Sep 16, 11:21 AM
    I'm afraid there's just too little info there to offer much help! But rest assured there are millions of self employed and small business owners around the country, and they all come from somewhere ;-)
    • Smiley87
    • By Smiley87 17th Sep 16, 11:42 AM
    • 200 Posts
    • 1,441 Thanks
    Smiley87
    • #4
    • 17th Sep 16, 11:42 AM
    • #4
    • 17th Sep 16, 11:42 AM
    Hi andygb - out of interest, what business sector is it that you're in? I've looked into funding to see whether we are eligible for any grants to help finance starting up and I'm waiting to hear back with regards to courses. It's a bit of a juggling act trying to fit it around my full time job, but I'm trying to lay the foundations this year with an aim of becoming self-employed by this time next year.

    Thanks for the encouragement paddyrg.
    Make £10 a day challenge:
    August: £1777.83 September:
    • Undervalued
    • By Undervalued 17th Sep 16, 12:00 PM
    • 1,823 Posts
    • 1,555 Thanks
    Undervalued
    • #5
    • 17th Sep 16, 12:00 PM
    • #5
    • 17th Sep 16, 12:00 PM
    Don't underestimate how many non chargeable hours work have to be done each week by any one man band.

    If you really only want to work the same number of hours per year as you would with a PAYE job (allowing for paid holidays and an average few days sick) plus want to budget for the equivalent of your employers pension contributions and other benefits it is amazing how much you need to bill for each chargeable hour.

    Obviously there are some tax benefits to be had but equally there are costs such as professional and public liability insurance etc etc.

    Do your sums very carefully. Only you can put a value on the sense of freedom and balance this against, presumably, far less security.
    • Smiley87
    • By Smiley87 17th Sep 16, 7:50 PM
    • 200 Posts
    • 1,441 Thanks
    Smiley87
    • #6
    • 17th Sep 16, 7:50 PM
    • #6
    • 17th Sep 16, 7:50 PM
    Thanks for your response, Undervalued. I plan to spend the next few months getting my head around the numbers and then, if it's viable, take the plunge in the new year to get everything set up, start working evenings and weekends with an aim to leave my job next summer, so that I can throw everything I have into the business.

    I'm not afraid of hard work or not getting the same level of pay for a while. There's other things that I value more than those that would come from being self employed. Thanks for your advice Undervalued - it is greatly appreciated.
    Make £10 a day challenge:
    August: £1777.83 September:
    • andygb
    • By andygb 18th Sep 16, 12:53 PM
    • 10,826 Posts
    • 22,414 Thanks
    andygb
    • #7
    • 18th Sep 16, 12:53 PM
    • #7
    • 18th Sep 16, 12:53 PM
    Hi andygb - out of interest, what business sector is it that you're in? I've looked into funding to see whether we are eligible for any grants to help finance starting up and I'm waiting to hear back with regards to courses. It's a bit of a juggling act trying to fit it around my full time job, but I'm trying to lay the foundations this year with an aim of becoming self-employed by this time next year.

    Thanks for the encouragement paddyrg.
    Originally posted by Smiley87

    Hi Smiley, I won't go into exact details, but the business involves digital imaging along with mentoring and tuition.
    It is stuttering at the moment because of website problems (been messed about twice by people who were recommended to me) and getting continuity. It is frustrating but I am not giving up.
    • paddyrg
    • By paddyrg 18th Sep 16, 2:21 PM
    • 12,467 Posts
    • 10,581 Thanks
    paddyrg
    • #8
    • 18th Sep 16, 2:21 PM
    • #8
    • 18th Sep 16, 2:21 PM
    Smiley, I'd suggest being happy with receiving a dramatically lower rate of pay, not the same rate of pay. People frequently underestimate the work involved just to get to NMW position
    • Smiley87
    • By Smiley87 18th Sep 16, 4:03 PM
    • 200 Posts
    • 1,441 Thanks
    Smiley87
    • #9
    • 18th Sep 16, 4:03 PM
    • #9
    • 18th Sep 16, 4:03 PM
    Hi Smiley, I won't go into exact details, but the business involves digital imaging along with mentoring and tuition.
    It is stuttering at the moment because of website problems (been messed about twice by people who were recommended to me) and getting continuity. It is frustrating but I am not giving up.
    Originally posted by andygb
    I hope your website problems get resolved soon. Is it a well know company that you're using or small businesses? I'm only asking because I'm looking into websites and the costs related to them to include in my sums.
    Make £10 a day challenge:
    August: £1777.83 September:
    • Smiley87
    • By Smiley87 18th Sep 16, 4:11 PM
    • 200 Posts
    • 1,441 Thanks
    Smiley87
    Smiley, I'd suggest being happy with receiving a dramatically lower rate of pay, not the same rate of pay. People frequently underestimate the work involved just to get to NMW position
    Originally posted by paddyrg
    Yea, I've got it in my head that things won't be like they are right now for a while - income wise. I've got a few things planned to try and alleviate any income related issues. Those ideas I'm going to get running before Christmas to see how they do and then I'll have a better idea of how to survive making a lower wage initially.
    Make £10 a day challenge:
    August: £1777.83 September:
    • Mersey
    • By Mersey 18th Sep 16, 9:33 PM
    • 1,110 Posts
    • 504 Thanks
    Mersey
    Register with HMRC as Self-employed (within 3 months of trading).


    Working Tax Credits may be a possibility depending on your circumstances. There's also some grants and start up loans available.


    If you have any spare time, there's also other things that could bring in some income. All be aware that eg mystery shoppers only tend to earn £25-50/week on average.


    Some entrepreneurs also offer drop in clinics which are free (one in my city operates out of the library for 2 hours per week).


    Late payment of your invoices is the main problem the newly self-employed experience and notice.


    A better work/life balance and being your own boss is the best part.
    Please be polite to OPs and remember this is a site for Claimants and Appellants to seek redress against their bank, ex-boss or retailer. If they wanted morality or the view of the IoD or Bank they'd ask them.
    • Pennywise
    • By Pennywise 19th Sep 16, 9:33 AM
    • 7,900 Posts
    • 13,680 Thanks
    Pennywise
    Don't underestimate the number of hours you'll have to work and the costs you will have to incur by being self employed. Of course, all businesses are different, but the common issue I've seen with virtually all my clients is that they grossly underestimate their costs.

    I have my own accountancy practice, and I have to charge my time out at £90 per hour to give me an income that's equivalent to what I'd have earned had I gone into teaching instead (my plan B career choice had accountancy not worked out!), without any of the benefits such as paid holidays or pensions. That's due to the sheer amount of time I have to spend on non-chargeable work, such as courses, administration, legislation and rule changes, not to mention the huge costs or running the business which amount to over £20k per year for a one man band with a small office.

    You need to plan for at least 6-12 months of the business not generating an income for you, so you will need plenty of savings to tide you over until it starts earning enough to pay you.
    • takman
    • By takman 19th Sep 16, 11:28 AM
    • 1,306 Posts
    • 990 Thanks
    takman
    I hope your website problems get resolved soon. Is it a well know company that you're using or small businesses? I'm only asking because I'm looking into websites and the costs related to them to include in my sums.
    Originally posted by Smiley87
    This is why you should always learn to make and run websites yourself. It really isn't that difficult and there is loads of information available online how to do it. So people end up spending thousands of pounds a year on websites when actually you can have one for a few pounds a month if you do it yourself.
    • Undervalued
    • By Undervalued 19th Sep 16, 12:49 PM
    • 1,823 Posts
    • 1,555 Thanks
    Undervalued
    This is why you should always learn to make and run websites yourself. It really isn't that difficult and there is loads of information available online how to do it. So people end up spending thousands of pounds a year on websites when actually you can have one for a few pounds a month if you do it yourself.
    Originally posted by takman
    Yes and no.

    I would find the mechanics of it fairly easy but I have zero artistic or design ability. If I wanted something that looked right and wasn't just an adaptation of a template or somebody else's site I would at least need some help in that area.

    Like everything there is a balance but sometimes the phrase "each to their trade" is valid.
    • Smiley87
    • By Smiley87 19th Sep 16, 4:26 PM
    • 200 Posts
    • 1,441 Thanks
    Smiley87


    Some entrepreneurs also offer drop in clinics which are free (one in my city operates out of the library for 2 hours per week).
    Originally posted by Mersey
    Thanks for this info Mersey! I've signed up to a few business hubs and also seen that a few local companies meet up once a month for a chat somewhere fairly local to me. I wasn't aware about this though, so it's on the research plan for this week.
    Make £10 a day challenge:
    August: £1777.83 September:
    • Smiley87
    • By Smiley87 19th Sep 16, 4:29 PM
    • 200 Posts
    • 1,441 Thanks
    Smiley87
    I have my own accountancy practice, and I have to charge my time out at £90 per hour to give me an income that's equivalent to what I'd have earned had I gone into teaching instead (my plan B career choice had accountancy not worked out!), without any of the benefits such as paid holidays or pensions. That's due to the sheer amount of time I have to spend on non-chargeable work, such as courses, administration, legislation and rule changes, not to mention the huge costs or running the business which amount to over £20k per year for a one man band with a small office.

    You need to plan for at least 6-12 months of the business not generating an income for you, so you will need plenty of savings to tide you over until it starts earning enough to pay you.
    Originally posted by Pennywise
    I've planned to put a percentage of my wages away each month for the next year to cover this. If it's not where I'd like it to be then I'll stay employed until I've got my savings safety buffer.

    What were the biggest costs for you when you started?
    Make £10 a day challenge:
    August: £1777.83 September:
    • takman
    • By takman 19th Sep 16, 5:17 PM
    • 1,306 Posts
    • 990 Thanks
    takman
    Yes and no.

    I would find the mechanics of it fairly easy but I have zero artistic or design ability. If I wanted something that looked right and wasn't just an adaptation of a template or somebody else's site I would at least need some help in that area.

    Like everything there is a balance but sometimes the phrase "each to their trade" is valid.
    Originally posted by Undervalued
    Personally i'm not very artistically minded either. So in the past when making websites i have asked someone i know to come up with a good design and send me a picture of what they think a good website would be. I then chopped up the image into the individual elements that i needed and make it into a functioning website.

    So yes i agree it's always good to get help to make it exactly what you want but that doesn't have to cost money (sometimes nothing at all) and doesn't have to stop you doing it at all!.
    • Pennywise
    • By Pennywise 20th Sep 16, 10:08 AM
    • 7,900 Posts
    • 13,680 Thanks
    Pennywise
    What were the biggest costs for you when you started?
    Originally posted by Smiley87
    Very little really as I made the mistake of starting out on a shoestring, i.e. using my existing elderly computer, buying a cheapish inkjet printer, using the existing dial up internet (broadband was very expensive in those days), using free software, using my home phone instead of getting a second line installed, working from a spare bedroom instead of renting an office, creating my own amateur website rather than getting one made professionally, not paying for decent advertising, etc.

    All sounds good in theory, but a nightmare in practice simply due to the sheer amount of time wasted. My start-up was severely compromised by trying to do it on the cheap. Stupid thing was it was never planned to be some part time hobby business - my intention was always for it to be my full time job ultimately growing with staff etc. I spent a couple of years as a busy fool, spending little, but earning nowhere near my potential due to not getting enough of the right kind of quality clients.

    I had my eureka moment when my son was born and we needed the spare room. I rented an office, bought new computers, new printers, got broadband, got a professional website, did some professional marketing, bought proper specialist software, and the business took off, made possible because I had a lot more time to devote to revenue generation because I wasn't held back by inadequate equipment, premises, software etc. There was no particular area of high cost - it was very much lots of smaller amounts in all areas, from insurance to bank charges, from trade waste removal (yes the law for even small office based businesses) to subscriptions. It all mounts up.
    • Smiley87
    • By Smiley87 22nd Sep 16, 4:31 PM
    • 200 Posts
    • 1,441 Thanks
    Smiley87
    There was no particular area of high cost - it was very much lots of smaller amounts in all areas, from insurance to bank charges, from trade waste removal (yes the law for even small office based businesses) to subscriptions. It all mounts up.
    Originally posted by Pennywise
    How much would you say, roughly, that it cost you to do everything? There's some additional things that we would need to start our business, but a rough estimate of your costs would help us greatly.
    Make £10 a day challenge:
    August: £1777.83 September:
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim's to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

1,299Posts Today

5,927Users online

Martin's Twitter