Finding work at the moment is still very hard, no matter how often we’re told the economy is picking up the fact is on average there are still 50 applicants for every job in the UK and that figure rises to 70 per job for new graduates. It can be very soul destroying walking into interview after interview trying to convince someone you’re more qualified and what your three strengths and three weaknesses are only to find out it went to someone “more suitable”. At the end of the day job hunting really is turning into a case of it’s not what you know but who you know.
Well one person you do know is you, so why not consider working for yourself. Setting up your own business from home is becoming a viable option for more and more people at the moment and with some determination and some hard work you could soon become the master of your own destiny.
Getting Your Idea
So lofty speak aside you need to have an idea and this for many people is the hardest part. It has to be something you’re going to genuinely enjoy doing and something you know you can succeed at. The chances are you’ve already spotted a gap in the market, at one point or another you must have found you needed something that didn’t exist yet, something that would make your life easier or more efficient whether it’s a product or service you’ve probably already got your business idea there.
Setting Yourself Up
The first thing you need to do is write out your business plan, this isn’t what you’re going to take to the bank or use to get financial backing, this plan is to help you. You need to create a road map or where you’d like to end up, how you’re planning on getting there and what you’re going to need to get there (just like planning a long car journey). This will give you a list of the resources you’re going to need and it will give you an idea of the costs involved in getting your new business off the ground.
Getting That First Sale
This will be one of the biggest hurdles and once you’ve overcome it the sense of accomplishment you’ll feel will be amazing. To start off with you can’t expect the business to come to you and for your first sale you’re going to have to convince someone they want to buy what you’re offering. Draw up a list of people/business that you know would be interested in what you’re offering, and get in touch via email. Next you need to make a phone call in person, stand up and have a smile on your face, even though they won’t be able to see you it will come across on the phone. Be strong and confident and keep going until you get that sale.
Keeping It Flowing
Now you’ve got everything off the ground you need to make sure you keep everything running smoothly. Dropping the occasional ball isn’t the end of the world so long as you pick it up and carry on. Break your time into three, spend a third of your time working on building new sales and contacts, spend another third on looking after the ones you already have and spend the last third keeping the actual business running and taking care of all the admin.
Keeping It Legal
The paper work and admin will vary depending on what exactly you’re doing and where you’re doing it but if you’re self employed and your earning your own money you need to make sure you let the TAX man know straight away, even if you’re making a loss to begin with. You don’t need to let the local authority or the council know unless you’re going to need planning permission. You also need to make sure you’re suitably insured. If you’re going to have any tradesmen coming and going from your property and they trip and injure themselves you need to have liability insurance, if you’ve got expensive equipment like computers or even exclusive data you need to make sure it’s all insured too.