23 November 2014
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Self employment

Being your own boss can mean hard work, long hours and a lot of paperwork, however if you get it right the benefits can be great. Decide on the type of business that you would like start, consider what your good at, what you enjoy doing and most importantly what you can make money out of. Only by going into a business that makes money and is profitable can you sustain the lifestyle you want.

There are different types of self employment, each having their own advantages and disadvantages. Your options are:

  • Sole trader
  • Limited company
  • Partnership
  • Co-operative
  • Franchise

Being self employed will mean having to learn about and deal with issues such as:

  • Registering for self employment.
  • Learning basic book keeping.
  • Learning management skills.
  • Dealing with VAT and National Insurance contributions. 
  • Self assessment.
  • Dealing with Health and Safety issues.
  • Arranging business insurance.
  • Deciding on a trading name.
  • Finding premises, deciding where to trade from.

Create a business plan
On a piece of paper and in a structured way clearly list your business aims, forecasts and objectives. A professionally written business plan can go along way in helping you raise funding from banks. It can also help identify weaknesses in your idea.

It is also a excellent way of seeing if your proposed business is feasible and likely to work.

Start up costs
Make a list of all the equipment and services that you will need to run your business. This could be basic office furniture, computers, laptops, tools, rent for offices etc. Then next to each item put a expected cost and total up the costs. Total them all up and you will have a good idea of what the total costs will be. 

Sales and marketing
No business can succeed without paying customers. You need to have a detailed idea of who your potential customers are likely to be, and also how you are going to attract them to your business.
Work out a strategy that promotes your product or service. Investigate what your competitor are charging. Decide how you will advertise your company and whom your target audience will be.

Advantages of a Limited company
One of the main reasons for launching a limited company is that it limits the liability of it’s shareholders and directors. Limited companies must be registered with companies house, and have to submit annual accounts and also tax returns.

There is a lot more paperwork involved in setting up and running a limited company when compared to being a sole trader.


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