Do self-employment right
- 29 Jan 2019
When starting your own business, you aren’t given a step by step guide – which can be daunting BUT it can also be very exciting! By having trust in your skills and passion, you will go much further.
So, if you were to make instructions what would you recommend?
The Grand Strategy
Building your strategy is crucial. Think of your business plan and look into every nook and cranny of your model, to ensure that you take every factor into consideration.
Look into your finances and create a forecast. Doing this will allow you to have a realistic overview of your business capabilities.
Write down a cashflow strategy to mitigate against late payments or income gaps. “Failing to plan, is planning to fail” – Winston Churchill once said, and this is true!
Be sure to take your personal finances into account too. When you are working for yourself you need to ensure that you are not overwhelmed.
Decide whether to set up as sole trader, ordinary partnership, limited liability partnership or limited company! Find out more here.
Source an accountant. Check whether the service includes a basic record keeping and invoicing system.
Register with HMRC (you can ask your accountant for assistance). The amount of information you need to provide will depend on your chosen business structure.
If your accountant doesn’t provide one, source a record keeping and invoicing system.
Get a bank account set up in your company/ business name.
Consider the VAT flat rate scheme – discuss merits with accountant and if applicable, apply.
IT & Systems
Set up a suitable business email address – It is important to not mix up your emails with your personal mail, you need a central hub for your business emails. Ensure that your domain is professional.
Get business phone line or mobile phone (if needed). You need a clear line between personal and work communications.
Source computer(s), printer and any other equipment needed. Install relevant software and make sure you back up all of your hard work – You have no one to blame when you work for yourself!
Set up a professional base to work from. By setting up your own work station, you are able to take a step back. This allows you to detach yourself from work once you step away from your desk. It is important to set office hours for yourself.
The Business Drive
Review your business plan and decide which business model, price bracket and marketing tactic to focus on. Find out more on how to do this.
Establish potential business contacts; get in touch with your existing networks and if you need a push in the right direction, attend networking events near you.
Follow up on hot leads – if you have the right leads, get in touch! Make yourself known, now is the time to shout about your brilliant business plan. Review results and decide whether to continue or switch tactics. Swap ideas with others!
Getting ready to deliver
Understand the project life-cycle from the client’s perspective. Set time aside with your clients to see what they need in order to fulfil their needs.
Develop a project briefing template to send to clients to help them specify objectives, deliverables and project milestones. This will allow you to take a step back and evaluate the project in order to prioritise the order in which you will work.
Understand how you should engage in a business to business relationship. Download contract templates.
Download terms and conditions templates from IPSE’s website and customise it so it is ready to append the proposals and quotations.
Download Mutual Secrecy Agreement template for any projects that might have confidentiality issues.
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