In recent years, the desire for individual occupational autonomy and working for a self-made start-up business has surged. Increased freedom and control over decision-making is great and has its benefits but also comes with the responsibility of accountability for errors. Furthermore, such business expertise is often self-taught and related information may be hard to source. With this in mind, we at Business Name Generator aim to share some tips, tricks and advice that may help those wishing to venture into the self-employed arena.
Evaluate your circumstances
Assess your current situation
Prior to venturing out on your own in business, assessing both the benefits and disadvantages of being self-employed is imperative. You should consider your current situation, which includes your financial and occupational situation.
Does it make sense?
Next, consider why you want to be self-sufficient and whether it makes sense to do so. Think about the characteristics that you possess as well as the aspects of life that you struggle with or that trigger stress responses. If you are somebody with a positive can-do attitude who can deal with unforeseen stressful situations on occasion, then self-employment may be right for you. Starting as a self-employed person can be exhausting, uncertain and can push you to the point that you may want to give up. Inevitably, the beginning is difficult and one day you will reap the benefits, but you should be prepared from the outset. Additionally, consider what you will be losing such as employee benefits like holiday pay or pension contributions as well as colleagues and friends from your current workplace.
Ensure sufficient funds
Additionally, you must make sure that you have sufficient funds to kick-start a business. A smooth transition from employed to self-employed is dependent on how well you financially prepare for it. This may be something that you have to research in order to calculate costs, which is something that we can discuss in more detail later.
Consider your personal life
Considering your personal life and family situation is also important. A young family, heavy outgoings or single-earner households may struggle to cope with the risks associated with self-employment.
Consider the administration
Think about the fact that you would have to manage your own cash flow and bookkeeping. Self-employment documentation should be thorough and consistent, so ensure that you are willing.
Here are some additional things to consider:
- Sourcing your own client base
- Start-up costs
- Learning about and adhering to regulations
- Administration tasks
- Income is not guaranteed or necessarily consistent
- No holiday or sick pay
- It is more difficult to qualify for a loan or mortgage
- Difficulty in establishing a work life balance
- Working from home may be isolating
However, there are many advantages to self-employment:
- Flexible working hours
- Additional control over the business decisions that you make
- Experimentation with your creativity and entrepreneurship
- Work from a home or a location of your choice
- Deduct travel costs and other expenses from your tax bill
- Potential to earn more money, there is no limit to your earnings
- Technological advancements facilitate business growth
So, you’ve decided that self-employment is for you. It is now time for you to formulate a business plan wherein you outline a company’s objectives, products, market research, advertising methods, business structure and financial calculations.
If you are not sure how to start with a business plan, here is our complete guide on how to start writing a business plan.
Determine your business type
You may currently work for a company within a set role, but you now wish to conduct that role as a self-employed freelancer. Notably, freelance pay may be inconsistent. Additionally, it is beneficial to accumulate a portfolio of work to showcase to your potential clients.
Alternatively, you may wish to become a business owner. Many business-owners set up their companies to fill a niche or to resolve a problem.
Determine your business structure
Here are the most common business structures
- Sole proprietorship: You own the business and do not wish to take on employees or partners. Typically, you will offer a service here (business consultancy or website design).
- Limited liability company (LLC): As the name suggests, choosing this option means that you will have limited liability here, meaning that you are not responsible for your company’s debts. Where businesses offer a wider range of products or a complex range or services, this may suit you.
- Partnership: Here, you can share you business with one or several partners. Inevitably, profits and losses are divided between you but this is a popular option for lawyers and real estate agents.
Business name generator
Your company’s name is a fundamental aspect of the early stages of your self-employment. Your name represents you and your brand, it influences your clients and identifies and distinguishes you from your competitors. Our Business Name Generator produces unique names based on the keywords you provide enabling you to create the ideal business name for you. We can also help you to ascertain business name availability to ensure that your company is unique.
Consider your finances
If you want to increase your chances of being a successful entrepreneur, you’ll need to develop a financial strategy. You should include and determine how much capital you require for your business in your financial plan. You may need to consider capital for employees’ salaries, equipment, and legal professionals.
Developing a financial plan will assist you in determining your business’ viability and will provide you with a time frame which may shed light on how long it will take for you to generate substantial profit. Moreover, it will also help you to foresee whether additional future profit is required.
There are incredible technology tools available today that you may employ to boost your company’s chances of success. For instance, small financial and accounting websites like OnPay, Zoho Books, or Freshbooks can be helpful. Such websites enable you to control your spending and profits in a secure and organized manner.
Source your business’ funds
If you don’t have enough money to start, you can always use the following methods to acquire funds:
Applying for a business credit card is another option. In addition, many companies offer 0% APR promos, which means you won’t have to pay interest on your purchases if you pay off the balance before the offer period ends.
Become a master of your field
Consider your skills and expertise. Amongst a vast range of competitors, you will need to elevate yourself. Consider enrolling in online refreshment courses to refine your skills. Alternatively, you can add to your skills to widen the range of services that you can offer. You can learn without purchasing difficult and expensive courses. As an alternative, you may find that online solutions such as MasterClass or Learn anything are great options that enable you to acquire additional knowledge quickly and easily. Furthermore, research other entrepreneurs and similar businesses to yours. Learn from their experiences, read books, watch videos and talk to other self-employed success stories. There are also professional business coaches and mentors who may be invaluable if you require additional support.
Build connections and establish contacts with other like-minded business people or with those who may add value to your business in some way. Attending business conferences and events that link to your market will allow you to mix with people who will form a beneficial network for you.
If initiating human contact isn’t for you, or if you need a little nudge to get you to make a move when meeting new people, online networking sites like Lifograph and Let’sLunch are wonderful options. They will assist in the opening of many doors of opportunity.
Promote your company
Build a website
There are endless opportunities to promote your business. Within this online ear, a business website is critical to your success. We recommend using a popular hosting site such as WordPress within which you can create a personalized and professional website. Here, you can tell your start-up story, detail your product and/or services and utilize marketing techniques to reach your consumers in a variety of ways. Create a ‘contact me’ page, where customers can inquire about your services.
Create a logo
As well as your business name, a logo has the power to represent your business as well as being a valuable branding and advertising tool. Read our guide to creating your own logo here.
Set up social media accounts
Be sure to promote yourself using social media accounts too. Business pages on Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn can help you to build a reputation and grow your consumer quickly. Initially, encourage your circle of friends and contacts to review and share your services, using hashtags and ensuring that your website address and logo is visible. As custom develops, ask clients to review your business. This is a highly effective and free marketing tool.
Use print marketing
You can create flyers and place them in popular spots such as coffee shops or bus stations. It is a good idea to select the location of your advertisements based on the target market for your business or product. For example, if you target students, you may give out flyers to parents in front of schools or even ask for permission to introduce yourself directly to parents via emails or classroom discussions.
As your business grows and starts to establish, simplify and automate regular tasks, lightening your load and increasing your efficiency.
- Create a customer relationship management (CRM) platform. This allows you to monitor all communication with clients.
- Organize your email system. Create a specific email location for inquiries and a separate one for you and your employees or business contacts.
- Organize each client’s project. As your business starts to grow, it is easy to lose track of each project. Tools such as Asana help you to organize and manage individual projects. This will also help you to keep track of payments and to close orders on completion.
- Manage your finances. Organize your income and your outgoings using tools such as QuickBooks Self-Employed.
As your business grows and becomes successful, it is easy to become complacent. Stay abreast of current trends that are relevant to your field. In particular, keep an eye on technological advancements, viral trends and social media advancements. Always be open to learning and altering your business or services. Surprise your clients with new ideas and show them that you are willing to advance in line with the evolving world.
Ensure a work-life balance
Working for yourself can make it more difficult for you to establish boundaries as you have the option to pick up your laptop or phone at any time as opposed to working set times within an office space. From the outset, establish working times with consumers/clients. You may want to automate an email with your response times so that clients know when to expect your reply. Furthermore, switch off and take some downtime to prevent you from losing enthusiasm and motivation and to retain your momentum.
Self-employed success stories
There are many success stories that are sure to inspire you. Today, more than ever, the growth and progression of entrepreneurs is increasingly possible.
1. Brian Wong
The founder of Kiip, Brain Wong began as a freelancer specializing in advertisement design using Photoshop, leading to the development of a reward-based app. He now collaborates with Disney, Kodak and Sony.
2. Alex Mangini
The founder of kolakube began by creating and selling designs for WordPress users leading to the creation of kolakube, which now provides services for many bloggers and marketers.
3. Carol Tice
Carol Tice is the creator of MakeaLivingWriting and as the name suggests, she specializes in sharing her tips on how to make money from writing.
Now that you have all the necessary information, you have to start putting words into action. As self-employment requires a change in lifestyle and working habits, stay focused and do not let obstacles derail your objective. Being self-employed is about more than just a job, it’s about having the freedom to live a better life.