Your self-employment checklist

Before you take the leap into self-employment, we’ve put together a few things to think about to help to get you ready.

Regardless of the country or region you are in, there are a wide range of business support offices available with advice and support – to ensure you remain compliant, prepared, and most of all, on a path of success.


Do your market research

Market research enables you to ensure that you can provide what your prospective clients need.  Get yourself up to speed on your competitor landscape, your target audience, the people behind your prospective clients and valuable industry trends.  Failing to plan is planning to fail.

Decide on your business structure

Whether you choose to create a private limited company or just simply act as a sole trader, take the time to understand the benefits of various business structures. You will need to decide on a business structure that suits your new venture.  Speak to government and private bodies who understand how each structure works and find the one that works best for you.

Compose your business plan

Just as you would for any new project, spend time developing a business plan that supports your long-term vision and growth strategy.  Share that plan with a business mentor you can trust to develop insights and affirmation of your goals.

Decide on any training that you may need

 You may have all the expertise you need to start a business but there may be some areas where you need a little extra help.  Perhaps its marketing, or bookkeeping,  or even public speaking,  but whatever is, build this into your business plan to get yourself, and  those who work for you, ready

Decide on whether you need to employ other people

Perhaps you have been working independently for a while and it’s time to take the next step.  Decide on whether that means employing people to work for you.  Once you’ve decided, make sure you are up to speed on all the necessary employment regulations.

Decide your consultant rates

Setting your business rates is probably one of the most important steps you’ll take and you may need to revise your rates from time to time.  Spent time researching what similar businesses in your field may charge, what your clients may deem acceptable, and what you feel most comfortable with.

Develop your personal network

Never underestimate the power of a strong personal network.  If you have spent time nurturing your business relationships, then you will be in a good position to start with business development activities almost immediately.  If not, then spend time rekindling those relationships that may have become dormant.

Keep track of all your finances

Always keep track of every penny you spend and every penny you sell.  Keeping accurate finance records keeps you compliant, and in control of all your business finances.  Research the tools available to you that can facilitate this process.

Keep your pension plan in mind

When creating your business plan and your growth strategy, never neglect fundamental and personal financial obligations such as pension plans and, in some situations, healthcare.

Decide on how to market yourself

Once you know what your business looks like, spend some time thinking about how you aim to market yourself as an independent, self-employed individual.  It may mean that you need to get some help in this area, or it may mean you simply need to update your online profile,  notify your network of your new venture,  and start looking for opportunities where you can promote your services.

Appoint an accountant

Appointing an accountant is a crucial step to making sure you remain in control, compliant and up-to-date.  Find an accountant who believes in your business success, demonstrates the right experience,  and is able to work with your type of business or service.

Explore financing options

 Some people starting a new venture require additional financial assistance.  Many institutions and governments all over the world offer grants and business loans to help you get started.  If you require financing, discuss this with your accountant to ensure you get the best possible option.

Identify the necessary insurance you need

Depending on your business type you may require certain types of insurance.  Whether you require public liability, personal liability, or other health and safety-related insurance, make sure you know what you need for your clients to be able to do business with you.

Seek professional advice

Starting something new is daunting, so find someone who demonstrates expertise experience and know how, and who can serve as a business mentor or coach to help you to get where you need to be.  Make sure it’s someone you can trust and someone who believes in your success.

About the Author

Katy Roberts

Katy is an independent marketing consultant and founded Fresh Brew Marketing out of her love for the cuppa. A seasoned marketer, Katy writes for several global publications and provides outsourced marketing services to businesses throughout the UK. She is a keen geocacher and rates running around in city centres dressed in Christmas lights as one of her most successful Social Media campaigns to date.

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