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So you want to go self employed

Updated on February 5, 2012

Being your own boss and being able to decide what you want to do, when you want to do it and how you want to do sounds like the easy life right, but is it really all it is cracked up to be?

Almost everyone has sat there at some point and thought “why am I working my butt off for little money whilst my employer is living a lavish lifestyle?” and thought about registering as self employed and going it alone. When you have a bad day at the office it is only natural, if only for a few minutes, to think about jacking it all in and setting up by yourself however is it really viable in reality.

First off, you have to look at your day job and your skill set. Do you have the skills that would be of benefit to the general public? If you work in a specialist industry that services niche companies the answer to this is a resounding no, and unless you have some skills that can be used to benefit the general public you are going to find it very difficult to go self employed. However, if you are a tradesman and have a trade that is high in demand going self employed need not be a pipe dream and you can turn it in to a reality.

Members of the general public often need the help of carpenters, roofers, builders, people who can service and repair central heating systems, people who can service and repair air con systems, auto mechanics, plasterers etc. and if you are skilled in one of these areas self employment may be just what you are looking for.

Once you have identified you have the skill set that members of the general public need, want and prepared to pay for you need to make sure there is enough demand for the type of services in your area. This is not as hard a task as it seems and requires a bit of thinking and a bit of common sense. For example, if you are a builder there is potential work everywhere, but if you service air con units there won’t be the work in cold places.

The next thing you have to consider is the competition in your area. If there are tots of self employed people with your skill set offering the same services you can it is going to be difficult to get work and if you can’t get the work you are going to struggle to survive and pay the bills. To check out the competition in your area you need to get the local town services book, keep an eye out for leaflets and flyers, check the classified section in the local paper etc. etc. If there is little competition, i.e. few people offering the same services you can, your business venture may well turn out to be a goldmine.

Going self employed is not gong to be easy and you must be prepared to put in time, effort and hard work. When you first start out money will be tight and you won’t generate much income whilst you are building your business. During these times you still need to eat, you still need to clothe yourself, you still need to pay the rent and you still need to pay the bills. Before going self employed you need to ensure you have some cash behind you to ensure you can continue to live as normal whilst you establish your business.

So before you register as self employed you need to;

1) Make sure you have the skills that members of the general public need and are prepared to pay for

2) Ensure there is demand for your skills in your local area

3) Make sure there isn’t too much competition

4) Make sure you have some money behind you to allow your venture to take off


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