Going self-employed is an exciting idea but you shouldn't just dive in. Here are six things you should do before going self-employed. This is your best chance of landing success right from the get-go.
You may think you have a winning business idea. But before you jump in with both feet, it’s worth doing some market research to check if it’s actually viable.
The more information you have, the easier it’ll be to figure out how and when to launch your business. You may even discover a gap in the market that you didn’t know existed.
Market research doesn’t have to be expensive. You can carry out your own surveys or focus groups, research what competitors are offering and get sales figures for your market. As you carry out your research, you may even find that your original idea evolves and improves.
A business plan is a blueprint for your business. It can help you test out your business idea, work out what capital you need to get started and highlight any skills gaps you need to fill.
In addition, credit providers will usually want to put their mind at rest that you have a game plan before they part with their money. So you’ll also need a business plan if you want to apply for a business loan or get some other type of business financing.
In your new life as a business owner, you’re going to have to keep on top of your finances. So, before you go self-employed, it’s worth doing a health check. Make sure you know exactly how much you need to earn each month, minimise your expenses and try paying off as much of your outstanding debt as possible.
It takes time for new businesses to start making money. And you may need to reinvest some of your initial profits back into your business to help it grow.
Even if you’re getting a loan for your business start-up costs, having some money saved up for your living costs can be a huge help. It’ll allow you to focus on building your business instead of worrying about money.
There’s a lot to learn if you’re starting a business. You’re unlikely to be an expert in everything.
With this in mind, try identifying areas where you need to upskill (for instance. marketing and social media) and start the learning process before you leave your job. If you can access some of this training through your current employer, so much the better.
If you’re going self-employed, chances are you’ll be spending at least some of your time working from home. While this sounds great on paper, it also has its pitfalls.
Being at home can easily lead to procrastination. And it can also lead to feelings of isolation, as you don’t get to meet colleagues every day. Investigate working from other places but most importantly, learn how to use your time effectively.