The last twelve months have forced all of us to take a good long look at our employment situation. Thanks to the pandemic and the rocky financial landscape, many of us found ourselves out of a job, or working significantly reduced hours. It’s hardly surprising that so many people are taking the step of setting up their own company and going the self-employed route. After all, you have valuable skills that plenty of people out there would be willing to pay top dollar for. 

However, this isn’t a step to take lightly. We don’t need to tell you that you are stepping into an uncertain marketplace, and that there are many additional duties and paperwork tasks to handle when you’re taking care of business by yourself. Here are a few things to think about before you get started.

You Will Need To Hustle

No one decides to take the self-employment work because they think that they are going to struggle for work, but the fact is that no one is going to hand you jobs on a plate. You are going to have really push to get yourself out there and get yourself noticed. So, start by making a list of the people that you’ve worked with in the past and let them know about your new venture. Don’t be afraid to ask for support or advice, even if you stop short of saying “I need work, please.” 

Do the research and find out what companies and businesses there are out there that you could pitch to. If you have any qualms about cold calling, it is time to get over them or get out of the game. Make sure that your social media platforms are working for you and think about where you can share examples of your work. There is obviously a fine line between effective self-promotion and flooding your timelines with noise, but if you don’t land clients, you aren’t going to have any money coming in. It’s as simple as that. 

You Will Need To Stay On Top Of Your Finances

If you’ve never been self-employed before, it can be a bit of a shock when you realize how much paperwork you’re in for. From setting up your own company to balancing the books, from making sure your taxes are filed to ensuring that you are putting money into your pension scheme, there are an awful lot of things that you are going to need to keep track of. Any slip ups early on can come back to haunt you months down the line, so it’s important to start the process of organization right away.

Now, some of us are naturally gifted administrators, and there are some people out there for whom the process of organizing finances comes very naturally. For the rest of us, it might be a good idea to budget for some outside help when it comes to your taxes and other responsibilities. An accountancy firm or actuarial service will, of course, cost you money that could be going elsewhere, but a good one will not only make sure that all of your finances are in order, but they will also be able to find ways to save you money. For example, Saber Pension’s Defined Benefit Plan is set up to reduce your taxes while funding your retirement plan. Find out more and look at your own personal defined benefit calculator at their site. 

You’re Going To Have To Set Your Own Schedule

One of the great benefits of taking the self-employed route is that you are your own boss and you’re in charge of your days. Which means that you are going to have to be crystal clear on what a working day looks like for you, and how much time you need to turn projects around. Often when people set up their own business or start taking on freelance work, there’s a tendency to overload out of worry that work might dry up, or to over-promise because we want to make a good impression. It is so important to remember that it’s much better to be honest with your client about how much time a project will take and whether you’re able to take it on upfront, rather than disappointing them later on. If you make promises you can’t keep, those clients aren’t going to stick around.

So, start by keeping things simple. Create a daily routine that works for you and stick to it. Have an organized schedule of incoming and outgoing work to make sure you don’t take on more than you can handle. And make sure that you can switch off at the end of the day. No emailing clients after work hours unless absolutely necessary, and as little checking the work phone as possible. You need to make sure your work-life balance is actually balanced if you want to keep a good pace. 


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