setting up business / self employed

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Small Biz & Charities' MoneySaving
2 replies 571 views
sdb1sdb1 Forumite
11 Posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Small Biz & Charities' MoneySaving
I have had a hobby of making t-shirts for friends and family members the last few years, designing printing etc. I was on ebay selling for 2 years and was doing ok as a sideline to my day job.

I had a family emergency which took me out of the country for a month towards the end of last year, I put a temp hold on my ebay shop, but had just over half dozen orders held, even though I made contact with all the customers, offered free items and partial refunds to them with the original products, the customers still had to leave feedback, though the actual feedback was positive, the ebay star system ratings went to a low point for that month (which carried over into the next month becasue of cut off dates) so 2 months with low averaging scores, resulted in my ebay seller account being suspended.

The above isnt part of my question, but it helps to fill in the gaps, since not selling on ebay, I have had to up my work flow by more word of mouth promotions and just anything i can do to get the word out some more, I have a new website being built up at the moment to hopefully generate some decent online sales.

Now my question is, I feel that I could do this Full time, and for a long time, i have been doing it as a hobby for some years, seen money come in and that it is a working business model.

I left my job in September last year, due to disagreements with work time and hours and clashing with child care etc.

I have been making shirts and selling here and there, but not making good money to make a living, just to cover stock costs etc, truth be told, it just costs too much money to make money, and obviously not making loads off it at the moment, i do not have enough to put back into it.

What kind of options could / should I look at to help aid my path into setting up a business full time.

I have terrible credit due to some mistakes in college :embarasse so a loan or business loan would probably be out of the question.

I did attend the job centre for a few weeks, and expressed my interest into becoming self employed, even took in my business plan, my work portfolio, and said I ould be willing to work in a similar field even starting off at the bottom, but the advisor was soooo determined to have me apply to factory jobs, every week, she would push these factory jobs on me, even though my last job i was in (nearly 4 years) was a health care assistant, so I do not know why this factory thing was being pushed on me.

I also asked for help and info with the new enterprise and pinicle people, I had 3 phone interviews arranged and each time i didnt get a call, so wasted time waiting by the phone with no call.

any help, suggestions at all? i would love to hear anything.

thank you.

Replies

  • WywthWywth Forumite
    5.1K Posts
    ✭✭✭✭
    sdb1 wrote: »
    I have had a hobby of making t-shirts for friends and family members the last few years, designing printing etc. I was on ebay selling for 2 years and was doing ok as a sideline to my day job.

    I had a family emergency which took me out of the country for a month towards the end of last year, I put a temp hold on my ebay shop, but had just over half dozen orders held, even though I made contact with all the customers, offered free items and partial refunds to them with the original products, the customers still had to leave feedback, though the actual feedback was positive, the ebay star system ratings went to a low point for that month (which carried over into the next month becasue of cut off dates) so 2 months with low averaging scores, resulted in my ebay seller account being suspended.

    The above isnt part of my question, but it helps to fill in the gaps, since not selling on ebay, I have had to up my work flow by more word of mouth promotions and just anything i can do to get the word out some more, I have a new website being built up at the moment to hopefully generate some decent online sales.

    Now my question is, I feel that I could do this Full time, and for a long time, i have been doing it as a hobby for some years, seen money come in and that it is a working business model.

    I left my job in September last year, due to disagreements with work time and hours and clashing with child care etc.

    I have been making shirts and selling here and there, but not making good money to make a living, just to cover stock costs etc, truth be told, it just costs too much money to make money, and obviously not making loads off it at the moment, i do not have enough to put back into it.

    What kind of options could / should I look at to help aid my path into setting up a business full time.

    I have terrible credit due to some mistakes in college :embarasse so a loan or business loan would probably be out of the question.

    I did attend the job centre for a few weeks, and expressed my interest into becoming self employed, even took in my business plan, my work portfolio, and said I ould be willing to work in a similar field even starting off at the bottom, but the advisor was soooo determined to have me apply to factory jobs, every week, she would push these factory jobs on me, even though my last job i was in (nearly 4 years) was a health care assistant, so I do not know why this factory thing was being pushed on me.

    I also asked for help and info with the new enterprise and pinicle people, I had 3 phone interviews arranged and each time i didnt get a call, so wasted time waiting by the phone with no call.

    any help, suggestions at all? i would love to hear anything.

    thank you.

    Go for it.

    Contact HMRC and declare yourself self employed (if you've not already done so)

    Contact job centre plus (or whatever they call themselves) and tell them you no longer want to claim JSA as you are no longer seeking a job, because you are following your dream to be self employed

    Good luck! :)
  • It's a difficult industry unless your business is doing a certain amount. I know, I have a well established client who does enough to run a shop, plus a reasonable online trade.

    The above is IMHO the key.

    We made some changes to tighten up the bleeding of costs, which, is the key. You need to ensure your ratio's are correct and controlled. One small thing was to change the printers from cartridge feed, to bottle feed. This saved £18K PA

    Moving on, you really need to ensure you have a really broad local market if you are adding to that. My client did get lots of sports teams in looking for kits to be supplied & printed. This only tied up capital as they brought pandemonium in certain times of the year, plus there was far less profit.

    Through evolution, they have five strings: narrow based online sales, commercial clothing, fast turn-around items, banners, on-site event printing/including photography.

    The above may not be right for you, but getting into the wrong sector where the Chinese can do large volumes cheap, you will burn cash.

    The real negative you have in this chosen industry is people just like you up to this point. Once you decide to make a full time go of it, you compete against all the front bedroom merchants with lower cost bases than your established business with overheads. The same issue as faced by web designers who have to compete against those with an intermediate knowledge of Dreamweaver.
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