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Four essential tips for the (successfully) self-employed

Estimated reading time: 2 mins

Millions of people around the world are registered as being self-employed. But given how many self-employed people there are, it can be surprising just how little help there actually is out there. The thing is, no one teaches you how to be self-employed. From when we’re at school we are told about qualities for being more employable. But what about more self-employable? Because let’s face it, it isn’t going to be for everyone. But if you are self-employed or are thinking about joining the ranks, then here are some essential tips to help you make the leap.

Treat It Like You’re At Work

It’s great isn’t it? You get to work from your home or any location you choose. You set your hours and decide what you will do and when. But the problem comes when you treat it too much as a constant day off and not like you’re going to work. A lie in from time to time and not having to commute can be great. But if you don’t treat it like you’re going to work each morning, then you can become quite slack in your attitude, which can affect your results. It is still a job, so it does need to be treated like one.

Seek Expert Advice

When you’re self-employed, you do the roles of many people; from the CEO to secretary to the human resources, you will be doing it all. So from time to time, it can be a good idea to get some expert advice. If you have no experience in accounting or filing a tax return, then speaking to a consultancy like Frank Hirth could be a good idea so that you can be brought up to scratch. The same goes for legal advice or even things like website design; don’t struggle and do a half-hearted job if you have no previous experience in that field. Speak to experts to make sure that your business is top notch.

Get Paid

Being self-employed often means chasing payments and sending invoices. Long gone are the days when you get money straight into your bank account, regardless of how much work you did that day. So make a note of everything that you do and what people owe you. Set deadlines for them to pay and chase them up as soon as those deadlines are over. You shouldn’t be working for free, so make sure that you aren’t. Staying on top of your admin is the best way to deal with that.

Banish Guilt

When you go from working for yourself and working from home, it seems to bring with a sudden feeling of guilt. Because you’re at home, you can feel guilty for not being with your children more. But when you are with them, you can feel guilty for not doing more work, for instance. But it is all a lose-lose situation when you do that. But the truth is, you are now blessed with a greater flexibility to create a work and life balance that you want. So embrace it and banish the guilt.

 

About the author /


Simon is a creative and passionate business leader dedicated to having fun in the pursuit of high performance and personal development. He is co-founder of Applied Change, a Business Change consultancy based in the UK. Simon is also an Ambassador for Gloucestershire business. Simon is an Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Professional Development.

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