The appeal of becoming your own boss is a great temptation. There are often those that jump in with both feet without considering what is obvious and often overlooked.
You’ll be skint for a while!
That’s the harsh reality. No more security. You can kiss goodbye to those taken for granted monthly payments that pay for the roof over your head, the utilities etc. However, if you play it well and learn to budget a little, you will in time see the benefits.
Work from home
There are some reasonable deals at business centres where you can rent office space that are equipped with internet and a phone line. However, these services are often added extras and don’t forget small business tax, plus you’ll have to provide your own office furniture. It’s all tax deductible, but do you really need to be forking out for all that upfront? Everyone has internet at home and a place to put a computer, so stay there until you make some serious corn. And if you don’t want the intrusion of clients in your home, meet somewhere where the coffee is cheap but good!
So what do you want to do?
Call me cynical, but the chances are, whatever amazing idea you come up with, somebody else has had it and they’re already putting it into action.
There are thousands of small businesses out there, but don’t be deterred, they’re not all after the same bone. So be original, even if your choice of business isn’t. Google the competition and try to give something extra that the others don’t offer.
Is there a demand?
Let’s face it, you’ll never get rich making hats for goldfish, but seriously, your business has to be viable if you intend to make a living from it.
Some of the most successful sole traders I’ve come across are plumbers. Everybody needs them so the demand is high, but you don’t want to be a plumber, do you? So what do people need and what do people want? If I had all the answers I wouldn’t be writing this, but hopefully you see where I’m coming from.
Don’t be afraid to invoice your work as soon as it’s completed. It’s all about cash flow and you can’t afford to offer credit, especially in the first year. State your terms of business from the outset. 7 working days is reasonable for a sole trader. You’re not a huge company, so you can’t wait for 30 days.
Spread the word!
There’s no hard and fast way to reach your potential clientele, but there’s lots of free ways to get the word out there including social media, word of mouth and above all, recommendation!
Don’t get too hung up on it. Branding is a whole different kettle of fish, but it is important to look professional. Having a logo that appears on all your printed and online media, with matching typefaces and colours will get you noticed.
So you didn’t think I’d be writing all this valuable information without leading to a plug for Newbrand, did you?
Well here’s the offer…
For just £450.00 you can have:
• Your logo designed
• Your website designed and built*
• Facebook/Twitter banners
• 250 Business cards designed and printed
What’s more you can spread the cost over 2 months
(£150 upfront, then 2 equal monthly payments)
*Website does not include hosting or domain name purchase.
Offer exclusive to sole traders and small businesses. Please quote ‘NBGStart’.