Self employment tips – starter pack

Are you considering going into self employment but have no idea where/how to start? Below are some self employment tips for you. Where to start, what to do for the initial set up, useful tools etc that can save you time and money.

During this global pandemic a lot of people are rethinking their values, priorities and work/life aspirations.

For me the first thing you need to do is work out if you will be able to be self employed. It is a huge change from working for others no matter what roles you have done previously. As much as there are lots of benefits to working for yourself, there is also a lot of other responsibilities and things you will need to consider before going 100% self employed.

Self employment tips

A good way to start is to begin your self employment journey as a ‘side hustle’. Start your new business idea while you have another job. It’s a good way to see if you’d be happy being full time self employed, start to grow your network and start analysing what works and what doesn’t.

Once you have decided what your business is going to be, choose a name. Searching for domain names that are available can help to narrow down your choices. Speak to friends and family who you trust to give you constructive feedback on your business ideas. As long as it’s not just shooting them down! If you have a techy friend who can help you out with the online side of things that’s even better.

No matter what your new business, whether it be selling products, services, blogging etc, there are a few things that are good to start you off. Now you have a company name, domain name and a determination to become self employed, here are my 5 self employment tips to keep you on the right track:

1 – Create a website

There are lots of sites you can do this on even if you have no tech knowledge, they will guide you through step by step. WordPress, Wix, Squarespace, Godaddy etc etc etc

You do not have to launch your website straight away or share the link with others. Play around with themes, design your logo, choose your menu categories. Make is as user friendly as possible. Subcategories can make searching the website so much easier but make sure you keep them updated.

Don’t feel pressured to get it out into the world straight away. Launch when you feel it is ready. However, don’t procrastinate, overthink or strive for perfection, it will only delay your business taking off.

2 – Social media

You do not need to be on every platform!

Think about the business you are selling. Where would it best fit? Is it something visual? Instagram or Pinterest may be a good starting point. Are you looking to create a community, or to get reviews on your services? Look into Facebook and similar platforms. There are lots of options for social media; Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, LinkedIn, Snapchat and many MANY more. Choose the one/s most suited to your business, values and goals.

Once you’ve decided, look into the rules of the platform. Read up on what you can and can’t do. Take note of how other businesses interact on it, follow those that inspire you or who you could collaborate with in future. Start building your network.

3 – Get creative

Create a business strategy, goals, budgets and a social media strategy. There are apps available to help you with these as well, most including a free trial too which gives you the chance to try things out before you pay out. Apps like Hootsuite, Later, Facebook Business Suite, Canva, Adobe apps inc Photoshop, Evernote and Trello can be extremely helpful for creating and scheduling content and strategy planning. Find the one/s that you like the most and has the functions most useful to you and that fits into your budget.

Make the items to sell, take photos for social media, create business cards, leaflets and other traditional marketing elements you think will be necessary.

4 – Networking and Marketing

Spread the word of your business to your friends, family, co-workers and others you connect with regularly. Get them to pass the information onto their circles. Guide them toward you stunning new website and social media channel/s.

Join groups on Facebook, LinkedIn, Reddit, Twitch for advice from those who are already doing what you aim to do. Go out and find your tribe, in person or online. You’ll be surprised how many new people you can connect with.

5 – HMRC for self employment tips

Research into all the extra things self employed individuals have to do e.g. tax returns. What you have to declare, when are the cut offs, who can help. Research into the amount you can earn before you have to declare yourself as self employed. Also, make note of all your business incomings and outgoings in advance so you are not caught out when you are earning enough money from your business. There are also apps out there that can help with the accounting side of things for your business. Quickbooks, Expensify, or you could create a Excel spreadsheet.

Obviously there is a lot more to becoming self employed. Each type of business requires different elements too. These are just my top 5 self employment tips of where to start. You decide where to go from here. If you feel like you are struggling, reach out.

There are apps for pretty much everything (I have not be endorsed by any of the ones mentioned I have just heard good things about them or used them myself). There’s also probably a blog or YouTube video to tell you about each one. Find people who are self employed and/or who understand your struggles and talk. Starting a business is a huge step, even more so if you feel like you’re on your own. It takes a lot of courage and it can be extremely stressful. Make sure you have a support network you can go to whenever you need a boost, some advice or just to rant.

I hope this helps you to get a few steps closer to living your dreams.

Good luck and keep believing.

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Rachel Parker

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