Your essential guide to self employment

If you've made the decision to go self-employed, you may be feeling a little bit apprehensive. You’d be right in thinking there’s a lot to do but a pragmatic approach will see you through.

Get off to a good start

Starting a business takes a lot to get it going but once momentum is gained you'll be flying. As such, there will be a fair bit of capital outlay from the off. Marketing is likely to take up a large part of your early budget as well as office furniture, equipment and stationery. In order to assist you with these initial costs, there are financial schemes out there including grants and loans.

Business Link is a good first point of contact to assess the likelihood of your company's eligibility for a grant, particularly as some of the grants are very specific to the local area. This is with a view to rewarding companies that are seen as bringing much needed growth to the region.

Get some good advice

The most successful small business owners and entrepreneurs are the ones who never stop asking for help. Knowing what you're not good at is definitely just as important as knowing what you are good at. If you can't do it, ask someone who can.

Remember, there are people out there willing, able (and in some cases, paid) to support you. It may take a little while to adjust to asking for help but do take advantage of the help and expertise available. Depending on what stage of your career you're at, you might also want to consider local mentorship and consultancy schemes to guide you on your way. 

Also if you are a member of a professional body they will likely provide you with invaluable advice and support as well as the opportunity to network with other professionals who are facing the same challenges as you.

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