Going It Alone

How do you know when it is the right time to start your own business or to go freelance? Is there ever a right time and what do you need to know before you do?

Many of us think about setting up our own business, being your own boss and being in charge of our own destiny, but just how easy is it and is it the right thing for everyone?

Is there ever a right time? When is the right time to start a family, when is the right time to buy your first house? When is the right time to set up your business? There are implications both financial and time commitments to many paths we take in life. You will need to take all of these into consideration, as setting up a business / going freelance not only effects yourself but those around you – they can be a huge support, but if you need to give them support ensure the time is right for all parties.

Step one, what is your offering? How long have you been thinking about setting up your own business and do you have a real passion for whatever the service or product is that you are going to offer.

There are many steps to follow and here are a few essentials to take. 

Write a business plan, to include your financial forecasts, marketing plan, competition.

The most important area is to have the passion and belief in what you are offering. Ensure you have the relevant experience and/or qualifications. A doctor, for example, may work on a self-employed basis but wouldn’t be able to start practicing without proof they are qualified. A Carpenter however, may not have taken any qualifications, but may have many years of experience to prove their capabilities. 

If you need a qualifications, add the timeframe to your business plan so you can work towards a launch date. If you need experience and have this, ask for recommendations and referrals that you can use on marketing collateral,

Have you a company name? Logo? Website? Email etc? Are you going to be a sole trader or a limited company?

Understand your competition, do you know how they work, their market place, their costs. If you are going to set up your own business you need to know as much detail as possible about who you are competing with.

Put yourself in your potential clients shoes – how are they looking for your product or services

One BIG thing to remember is, you are sales, you are marketing, you are finance, you ARE the Managing Director – are you prepared to wear all hats at the start? If Finance is not a strong point, look to engage an accountant, if marketing isn’t a strong point, look to engage a PR company, there is a theme here – when you set up in business you are only one person, so in areas that don’t come easy or you lack skills, outsource to someone who does have them. As your business grows, you may decide to take on staff members that have these skills, or you may remain a lean core team and continue to outsource, there are plus and minus for both and you need to ensure you have looked into and planned for what is best for YOUR business and best for YOU.

I’m am a coach, trainer and motivational speaker and I love everything I do and it fits in with my husband’s business. But trust me it isn’t an easy journey but it is very, very, rewarding.

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