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Going self employed - how hard is it?

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
I think this is my only option.

I am really struggling to find a job whereby the hours are suitable (I rely on public transport) and that I can fit around college and uni.

It seems as though my only option is self employment. I either don't have the experience, the hours are too long (disability means I can't work full-time - whether I was studying or not) or it's in a really crappy location for which there is little or no transport.

My question is, how hard is it to set up a small business and get started? I'm not sure what I'm going to do yet. I do have a few ideas in mind.

Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Entirely depends on you, and how much effort you are prepared to put into this business! Unless you are particularly good at business don't expect to be taking anything like a regular salary for at least 2 years though! and expect to be living off bread and pasta during that time! ;-)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    noog wrote: »
    Entirely depends on you, and how much effort you are prepared to put into this business! Unless you are particularly good at business don't expect to be taking anything like a regular salary for at least 2 years though! and expect to be living off bread and pasta during that time! ;-)

    Yeah, I'm not expecting a regular salary for a while.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I went self employed when I was 17, if you have some money to set things up with be prepared to make a loss in your first year depending on what you are doing.

    Self employment is a cool way of doing things and the experience of doing it is something that sticks with you for a while!


    Practical Stuff:

    The first thing you should always do is completely read up on all aspects of tax and teach yourself how to do your own tax, keep a ledger, and then get an accountant to consult with you rather than paying them to do everything (it is not half as complicated as people say, I learned in 3 hours)

    Avoid working with banks wherever possible, buy a safe and all those nasty bank charges will disappear and you will save yourself >£500 a year in pointless charges. Be sure you actually *need* a business account before you open one.

    If you can avoid officially employing someone, avoid it! The costs, paperwork, hassle is beyond annoying.

    Be ready to worry about work at all times of the day and night, you don't finish when you shut up shop.

    Lastly know everything there is to know about everything in whatever you are doing, for example if you rely on a freezer to work in an ice cream store, know how to take the motor to pieces and put it back together to make it work. Or if you are an Ebay trader know every single clause in the terms and conditions and exactly what your rights are when you sell something. A little knowledge saves lot of money!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    When I was at university I was self employed as a private tutor in maths and science. I worked through an agency who would get me new pupils then I would arrange the lessons. I had to do a tax return but as I was part time I didn't earn over the threshold to pay tax but still had to do the paper work but it wasn't too bad. It was pretty profitable as there were only very minimal costs involved (textbooks and paper, printing costs etc) and I really enjoyed it. I only gave it up when I got too ill to continue working.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Thanks. I've talked to a few people and have been told there's a man who does a similar job and can be put in touch with him.
  • LauraOLauraO ********* Posts: 535 The answer to life, the universe, and everything
    :wave: Melian,

    Just thought I would drop in and see if you've seen the self employment section on TheSite? It might help you think things through and could answer any questions you have.

    Before making the decision it's worth finding out whether you can get some financial support or advice as there are several organisations and programmes who help young people get into business, including the Prince's Trust's Enterprise Programme.

    Check out our article 'Starting your own business' and on the right hand side under 'Next Steps' there are the contact details for organisations who maybe able to support you.

    Hope that helps, and good luck with your adventure :thumb:

    LauraO
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Thanks Laura. There is the enterprise allowance; but because I'm on the work programme, I am not entitled to this.:confused:
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