self-employed? Your top tips please

(8 Posts)
Temporaryanonymity Wed 29-Jan-20 19:18:32

To cut a long story short, I’m thinking about setting up as a consultant, selling services to small to medium sized businesses.

I was wondering if anyone could share any tips? I don’t necessarily mean things like business planning but how you motivate yourself, structure your days. More practical things.

I’ve always worked full time in large organisations with colleagues. I’m used to working from home and I plan to work from the gym every morning (it’s warm, I can get some exercise in first thing and then make myself look presentable in case of meetings) rather than slob around the house.

I have allocated some savings to pay the bills during the short term, I’ve done a business plan, I plan to go to all the networking events I can find...what else can I do?

I guess cheekily I really want to know what mistakes you made so I can avoid them!

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Temporaryanonymity Fri 31-Jan-20 09:13:30

Just revisiting this in the hope someone might see it!

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PeaOp Fri 31-Jan-20 10:53:46

Put away at least a third of any income you make for your tax bill as you get paid it. Do your accounts as you go and file receipts safely.

Accept that it can be isolating not having colleagues and being unsure where the next job will come from.

Kazzyhoward Fri 31-Jan-20 12:15:12

Sort out admin, billing, expenses, time recording systems etc before you get busy.

When you get busy, if you don't have robust admin and financial systems in place, not only will you end up wasting valuable productive time chasing around the paperwork etc., but you also risk not billing all the time/expenses you should and not claiming tax relief etc on all legitimate expenses.

I've had clients lose thousands of pounds because their admin/billing was shoddy and they didn't even know until I told them after I noticed anomalies when doing the year end accounts.

Proper systems and professional software pays dividends many times over. Don't try muddling through with free software and spreadsheets as there's every chance you'll lose more due to inefficiency and error than the software would cost!

Temporaryanonymity Fri 31-Jan-20 12:45:36

These are great tips, thank you. Is there any software you’d recommend?

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stevenage42 Fri 31-Jan-20 12:46:32

Xero is great

SedentaryCat Sat 01-Feb-20 12:50:14

I'd agree with the above: don't get caught out by using free software - you run the risk of incompatibility issues with clients. Go with the standard - you can get MS office 365 for not much per month.

Also agree that Xero is excellent - we do all our accounts with this software, plus project management and quote generation.

Use the knowledge you have gained from working in large organisations - the systems and processes you've used there can be readily applied to a small business/consultancy.

Make sure you have a structured finish time otherwise you'll find yourself doing 'just one more thing' and when you look up it'll be 9pm (don't ask me how I know.... smile)

Good luck

Temporaryanonymity Sat 01-Feb-20 14:43:24

Thank you, this is just the sort of advice I was looking for. I plan to launch for the start of the next financial year, all being well.

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