Going self-employed is seen by many people as an attractive option, not least because of the freedom it affords for them to be their own boss. However, it is not all plain sailing, and being self-employed can bring its own unique challenges to be overcome.
From freelance writers to builders, everyone thinking of becoming self-employed should think about the specific intricacies of the job, and make preparations accordingly. Here are some of the main factors to consider.
Being self-employed means deciding your own work hours, which can be both a blessing and a curse. Depending on your field, you may have to take whatever work you can get (some months will be busier than others), potentially meaning 50 hours per week or more.
On the flipside, though, you can determine how much income you need each month, and try to fit your average working hours around that figure. This should also help you determine how much you charge for a product/service, although prices always need to be competitive.
You will also need to sort out your own tax payments, as opposed to having them automatically taken out of your salary. This can be tricky if not well planned for, and many self-employed people hire an accountant to take care of their financial requirements.
This means keeping a record of all invoices sent out, as well as planning for tax payments well in advance so that you are not hit with a large, unwelcome sum when you reach the end of the tax year. To this end, it is worth looking into any tax relief which it may be possible to claim from the government in order to offset the total sum.
Finally, you will also need to consider how you will attain all the materials you need to run the business. For those working from a computer at home, this may not apply, but for those who rely on materials to facilitate their work, finding the right, cost effective supplier is crucial.
A self-employed hairdresser, for instance, will likely need plenty of hair products in their line of work. As such, it would be best to buy in bulk from a wholesaler like Capital Hair and Beauty. Unlike buying products from a regular retailer, this would reduce overall cost for the hairdresser, whilst allowing them to stock up for the foreseeable future.
Whilst becoming self-employed is a worthy and exciting adventure, it takes a lot of planning, dedication and organisation to be successful, so make sure you are well prepared for the lifestyle. Once everything is in order, you should be in good stead to enjoy the freedom of being self-employed.