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    • Tink82
    • By Tink82 16th May 18, 6:11 PM
    • 309Posts
    • 81Thanks
    Flying solo?
    • #1
    • 16th May 18, 6:11 PM
    Flying solo? 16th May 18 at 6:11 PM
    Looking for some advice if possible! I have many years of administrative experience behind me as well as reception experience.. I was thinking of going solo and setting up my own company that provides admin/reception cover for local companies, almost like an agency but just me... I would also like to provide admin/personal assistant support remotely.

    I have had a look in to solo and limited companies and working from home.. my concerns are that if it doesnít work, is our home at risk? What happens with my personal finances?

    I know I need to conduct market research but Iím not sure how the best way to approach this is?

    Iím currently in the Ďthinking it throughí stages so all advice and guidance is very welcome at this point!
Page 1
    • 00ec25
    • By 00ec25 16th May 18, 7:43 PM
    • 7,668 Posts
    • 7,345 Thanks
    • #2
    • 16th May 18, 7:43 PM
    • #2
    • 16th May 18, 7:43 PM
    always good to think through risks, but you are over thinking.... your home is only at risk if you borrow money and get into debt which you cannot repay.
    Not a likely scenario in your context as if your business fails to take off you will presumably "simply" get a job as an employee and go back to earning a living that way?

    how good are your contacts? Whilst the agency based business model is drying up due to the risks to the agency of incurring employment costs, it seems your business model relies on a high turnover of relatively short term assignments so you will need to cast a very wide net. By definition, a company needing a PA/receptionist medium to long term will employ one directly, not pay someone else a profit for providing such a service.

    Offering "yourself" via a company may be attractive to some clients since it distances themselves from the risks of employment legislation, that is not a foolproof solution for them to defend themselves against a claim for employee rights and thus with the added costs of your running a company I'm not sure that your presumption a company is best is correct.
    Last edited by 00ec25; 16-05-2018 at 7:47 PM.
    • tacpot12
    • By tacpot12 16th May 18, 8:04 PM
    • 2,035 Posts
    • 1,740 Thanks
    • #3
    • 16th May 18, 8:04 PM
    • #3
    • 16th May 18, 8:04 PM
    You may find that potential customers are wary of taking your service because you will be a "one man band" - what happens when you need to take a holiday or are sick?

    I'm sure there is a market for your services. You might ask around the small accountants and small "Business Services" offices in your area to see if there are any opportunities to offer your services through them. Marketing yourself will be the biggest problem you have initially and I take it you don't have any marketing experience, so you need to investigate the different ways of marketing yourself to your potential customers.

    You could do with trying to document who your potential customers are. Then y you cna figure out how these customers buy business services and who might be able to help you market yourself to them.

    Good luck with your venture.
    • Tink82
    • By Tink82 16th May 18, 8:14 PM
    • 309 Posts
    • 81 Thanks
    • #4
    • 16th May 18, 8:14 PM
    • #4
    • 16th May 18, 8:14 PM
    Thank you for the replies, I really appreciate the advice!

    As it stands I have no contacts, the point made about being a one man band has given me food for thought.. I donít have marketing experience so thatís something I certainly need to put some time into as it may answer a lot of questions for me

    My biggest worries were failing to get it off the ground and it affecting our home or finances so itís comforting to know that this wonít be the case
    • fishybusiness
    • By fishybusiness 17th May 18, 7:46 AM
    • 1,240 Posts
    • 796 Thanks
    • #5
    • 17th May 18, 7:46 AM
    • #5
    • 17th May 18, 7:46 AM
    Biggest problem I can see is continuity of work.

    Matching up different client requirements and filling your working weeks I think will incredibly difficult.

    Think about other types of business that need to fill the week with different clients. Driving instructors by the hour, temp staff for ex teachers by the day or week, gardeners (my world), by the day often.

    You'll likely need a client bank that can call on you, that means advertising, keeping advertising, being prepared to travel, and work for a diverse range of clients.

    So far you've incurred regular advertising and travelling costs in this scenario without having a full time income - maybe it will take 3 or 4 years to build that structure.

    Can you afford 3 or 4 years without full time income?

    Bit doomy and gloomy, that may be your reality......
    • Slinky
    • By Slinky 17th May 18, 9:46 AM
    • 5,734 Posts
    • 27,175 Thanks
    • #6
    • 17th May 18, 9:46 AM
    • #6
    • 17th May 18, 9:46 AM
    Not wishing to rain on your parade, but unless you can afford to live on part time income, I don't see this is going to work very well. You're not going to be able to find work for 35-40 hours per week every week that will seamlessly fit together. Therefore in order to ensure you have enough to live on, at the times you are working, you'll need to charge more to cover the times when you're not. Simply, if you can only find work for half the time, you have to charge double the hourly rate to stand still. Factor in your costs for your holiday pay (which your employer is paying at the moment), sickness cover, NI, pension, increased travel costs as you spread yourself further afield trying to find work, etc etc all of which you'll be having to charge your clients for, and it gets even more expensive. That then takes you into the territory of the sorts of rates businesses pay agency staff, who can send along somebody else if the original person goes sick, can't do the job well enough etc etc.

    And how are you going to find your next assignment whilst working in your current one? Your current customer isn't going to be happy for you to be out visiting your next potential customers in their time.

    I know a couple of ladies who clubbed together to form a business doing this sort of thing so they could cover assignments between them. I think they found it very hard going, one of them gave up and went back to their previous employer, the other I think continues on her own but is only part time. They spent quite a lot of time and money doing business networking to spread the word about their business.

    Self employment isn't as easy as it may appear, especially when what you are selling is solely your own time.
    • Savvy_Sue
    • By Savvy_Sue 23rd May 18, 10:01 PM
    • 39,487 Posts
    • 36,549 Thanks
    • #7
    • 23rd May 18, 10:01 PM
    • #7
    • 23rd May 18, 10:01 PM
    I'm afraid I'm with the 'doomy and gloomy' brigade, but ... I did just suggest on another thread that someone running a very small business who needs a note-taker for a disciplinary meeting might consider looking for a virtual PA / secretary who would come in for a 'real' meeting.
    Still knitting!
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