A Christmas list for the self-employed
Ideas for your letter to Santa
If you haven’t written your letter to Santa yet, you better get a move on. If you’re hoping 2019 will be the year your business takes off, here’s what you should be asking for this Christmas.
Dear Santa, please could I have …
New business and clients
You can’t really have a business without any clients so this bit is pretty important (that’s why it’s at the top). If you’re just starting out, make sure you join some networking groups and utilise the relationships you have with friends and family. Make sure everybody knows what it is you do.
Once you do have a relationship with a client, build on that. Make sure you look after them and that they’re happy with the service or products. If they’re happy then they’re more likely to use you again and they’ll recommend you to their friends.
Recommendations are a great source of business whether you’re well established or just starting out.
There are a whole host of freelancer job websites out there. Find a couple that are right for you and sign up to get notified of new work opportunities.
Being self-employed brings with it a lot of benefits. However, the opportunity to sit back and let someone else deal with all the difficulties a business brings isn’t one of them.
Working for yourself means that you’re the driving force. If you don’t feel in the mood to work on a particular day, you can’t just sit at your desk and expect things to happen anyway. You are your business and your own boss.
We all need a break from the stresses and strains now and again, so taking yourself off for a day is both needed and encouraged. However, if you’re spending more time in the coffee shop (without your laptop) than you are working, the self-employed lifestyle might not be for you.
You’ll need motivation to get the work done, to work through the challenges that come your way and to try new things when you want to grow your business.
An online presence
Whether you’re running a cleaning company, a coffee shop or are a freelance photographer, having an online presence is vital. Potential customers will expect to find something online, either on social media or your own website.
Depending on your line of work, consider which of the most popular social media platforms work for you. Is it Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat or LinkedIn?
If you haven’t got your own website, consider setting one up. It will need some investment in terms of time and perhaps money, but it can really help your business to grow. Find out more about setting up your own website or ecommerce website in our previous posts.
A good accountant
There are some fantastic online accounting software options out there, such as FreeAgent and Xero. Using software like this makes invoicing, expenses and frankly submitting your tax return a hundred times easier.
However, hiring an accountant will give you more than just peace of mind with your self-assessment for HMRC. Here are 12 reasons hiring an accountant is a good decision.
They say Knowledge is power and we think they’re spot on. Don’t let a lack of free time or lack of finances hold you back. Upskilling is an important part of being self-employed. The more knowledge and experience you have, the higher your earning potential.
HMRC has information online to help people set-up and run their own businesses. Reed has a list of free courses as does The Open University, so take a look around to see what’s available and broaden your horizons.
Read more here about how to upskill when you’re self-employed.
Every business owner wants to keep expenses to a minimum. Make sure you check your utilities and monthly contracts to see if you could be paying less by switching provider.
Are there things you are paying for that you could do without? Try cutting them out for a few months to see and if you need it back, just sign up again. You might be surprised at the outcome.
Work life balance
One of the main reasons people choose to go freelance or own their own business is to have a better work life balance. Often, it’s easier said than done. Keeping yourself physically and mentally fit and healthy is important though. Nobody ever went to their grave saying ‘I wish I spent more time in the office’.
Make sure you spend enough time doing the things you love and spend enough quality time with family and friends.
Thanks Santa, from a self-employed believer
We’re not promising that Santa will be able to fit all of this in your stocking, especially, an accountant (it would be nice though)! It means you’re going to have to roll your sleeves up and work on these yourself but you’re self-employed, so you reap the benefits after all
More support for your business
We love meeting new businesses and believe we can offer a one-stop-shop for your business. Spend more time doing what you love and we can look after your finances.
About Liz Cordell
I’m an experienced copywriter, with a great attention to detail. Having previously held positions at a global publisher, a top 100 law firm and a Big Four professional services firm, I now work with clients across a range of industries. Whether it’s new content for a website or creating interesting blogs for my clients, I can create engaging copy that doesn’t take a lifetime to read.