A guide to going self-employed

Going self-employed can be both an exciting and lucrative move, with some of the benefits including setting your own work schedule and being able to scale your business. You can create what the perfect job looks like to you.
However, it’s also a challenge that comes with responsibilities – you will be in charge of your own destiny and that takes courage, determination and a particular mindset. You’ll have to take on multiple roles to ensure you are adhering with self-employment regulations and you may find this overwhelming at times.

It is your responsibility to ensure you research your options to make sure you are making the right decision for you.

We have put together a handy guide of things you will need to consider before going self-employed.

It’s on you.
Until you scale your business, (if that is the intention) then everything is on you and you will be working alone. From customer service to finances, there will be a lot to keep on top of.
Joining local networking groups for business owners is a good way to connect with likeminded individuals and gain that support you may feel is lacking. It’s also a great way to market yourself.

It may not be flexible in the short term.
Being self-employed is a great way to create a better work life balance as you can pick and choose what you do. However, with the loss of a regular pay day, it may be that you need to take on as much work as possible at first to establish the business in order to give you a flexible future. You may also find yourself tackling admin and customer service in between your working hours.

There are financial responsibilities.
Registering as self-employed means you will have an obligation to complete a self assessment tax return each year. This is to declare your income and pay the correct amount of tax owed. When you are self-employed, you are able to claim for certain expenditures which will alter your tax bill, so always get some advice from an accountant about how that works. Remember, an accountant is your business partner and will want to help you pay less tax.

You’ll have to keep accurate and up to date records of receipts and invoices too. Your accountant can advise you on what the best software to use for this is – HMRC will be implementing Making Tax Digital soon which means you will have to use approved software such as Xero to complete your assessments.

As your tax doesn’t get paid as you earn, you must also remember to put money aside so you are prepared for the tax bill!

Depending on your earnings threshold, you may also need to consider being VAT registered.

You’ll need to broaden your skills.
When you are self-employed you will have to undertake admin, market yourself, pitch for work and more.
Linked in offer some brilliant training videos across lots of different topics, including communication skills, which can be helpful for business owners.

You will have different rights.
Being self-employed means you wont have the same rights as employees. That includes no sick or holiday pay, and losing employer pension contributions.

Don’t forget insurance!
You’ll need to get business insurance for added protection. Whether someone injures themselves at your workplace, or you flood a customers property – you need to get covered.

Use professionals.
Setting up solo can be daunting and there is a lot to remember. By hiring a professional accountant or bookkeeper, you can relax in the knowledge that all of your finances are being looked after, and you can concentrate on growing your business.

Does this article resonate? Are you thinking of going self employed? Did you find this blog helpful? We would love to hear from you.

Things to consider before you start a business

Whether you’ve had a lightbulb moment, a brilliant idea, or you have had enough of your day job, if you are considering starting a business there’s a lot to think about.
From legal obligations to scaling the business – it’s going to take lots of work and it is a big deal!
At Soldi Partners we help lots of new businesses lift off and have put together a list of considerations before you take the jump!
If you are reading this article then you are already on the right track – research, whether it’s market research or looking into the best accountants in your local area, is imperative when planning a new business.
Coming in at number one is BUSINESS PLAN. A business plan is the structure of the outfit. Having goals set and how you will achieve them will keep the business steering in the right direction and enable you to visualise and detail where you are starting, and where you want to go. Not forgetting, if you want potential investors or bank loans you’ll need a solid business plan. It’s helpful to evaluate your business plan yearly to ensure you are on track to achieving the goals and outcomes you set out.
Don’t know where to start? There are some brilliant templates on Canva.com to get you started, and thousands of free resources on the internet. (Watch this space for downloadable resources coming to this website soon).

Once you have a plan, you are going to need to think about the LEGALITIES of starting a business. If you set up a company, you’ll have certain legal responsibilities to adhere to including filing important paperwork to HMRC and paying corporation tax. If you opt for self-employment, you’ll need to remember to file a tax return yearly or you could face penalties. An accountant will be able to talk to you about what the best option for your circumstance is.

Regarding accountants, the next piece of advice is to KNOW YOUR NUMBERS. It can be easy to go in blind when starting a business but getting a grip of your finances from the start will help you in the long run. You’ll need to consider your overheads and costs, whether you need investment, what your margins will be and much more. Hiring an accountant or bookkeeper will be invaluable for your business – and professional services are tax deductible. You can read more reasons to hire an accountant here.

If you have a BUSINESS PARTNER, it’s a good idea to think about a shareholder’s agreement. This will protect you both if there are any disputes down the line. It can and does happen! Business partners are often family members or friends, and it can feel unnatural to have these agreements in place, but nonetheless imperative to future proof the business.

Figuring out how you are going to MARKET your product or service is important. Do some research, look at what your competitors are doing, think about a budget and plan. Outsourcing things like logo’s, branding and website is beneficial if budget allows – making the right marketing choices will be hugely impactful on how successful your business is.
Finally, speaking to other business owners will be invaluable on your journey. Being a business owner isn’t a 9-5 – it can feel like a 24/7! You will likely wear many hats when you start your journey and networking with other likeminded people who can help, advise, or even just empathise is going to be a huge support for you. You’ll find plenty of UK business support groups on Facebook and there will be dedicated business networking groups in your area that not only provide support but often end in business relationships and referrals too.

I hope you found this helpful, and wherever you are on your business journey, Good Luck!

For more business start up support, Enterprise Nation have a wealth of information, advice, and events.