Owning your own business will teach you a lot of new things. From negotiating deals to managing business finances, every day is a chance to learn something new. It can be a tough learning curve, especially when you’re used to being in a corporate environment. However, once you’ve navigated these choppy waters, you’ll get to truly experience the best bits of being self-employed.
Still, it helps to be prepared. And by being prepared, you can learn a lot of the lessons that people before you had wished they known before. Give yourself the gift of knowledge with some insider knowledge on the things you’ll learn when you work for yourself.
Your work becomes your life and not just a job
Choosing to go freelance or become self-employed is a way to take charge of your own career, your working life, and your finances. However, with everything riding on you now – you’ll face increased pressure to succeed. Getting things off the ground can take a lot of sacrifice, but it’ll be worth it to help your venture succeed. There’ll be tough times, but there’ll also be a lot of happiness and pride.
You need to be bold
Now that you’re the face of your own business, it’s time for you to be bold. Some tips for boosting your confidence as a freelancer could help you to conduct yourself better in front of clients, as well as make sure that you’re not taking advantage of. Without anyone else to hide behind, it can be difficult to have those conversations about money, deadlines, and expectations – but the sooner you gain some assertiveness, the better.
You’ll discover the joys of filing your tax return
If you’ve never filled in a tax return before, you’re in for a treat. Like Christmas, it comes once a year, but there’s rarely any joy to be had from it! Your tax return can be a confusing, frustrating and often stressful process, but the process can be made easier if you hire an accountant to help you complete yours.
It helps to read up on filling in your tax return so that you know exactly what is expected. Do this sooner rather than later so that you can keep your records in order as you go. You can use HMRC’s tax budget calculator to help you work out how much you should put away each month for your bill.
You’ll learn the ups and downs of business expenses
Business expenses can have many positives, ensuring you can recover travel, equipment and other expenses to help you run your business. It’s important that you keep track of them, however, and a failure to do so can cause problems when it does come to filing your tax return.
If you use a vehicle for your business, then you could claim for a number of expenses involved in the cost of running your car or other type of motor. There are many other types of expenses you can claim for, so it’s worth checking the expenses guidelines to make sure you understand what’s covered.
You’ll need to handle problems yourself
While it’s great to have independence running your business, it can have its downsides when you also need to handle the problems that might come your way. It helps to be one step ahead. Protect yourself with the right insurance policies and have some additional savings behind you to cover unexpected emergencies.
Encountering problems can be stressful, especially if you’re used to having someone else help you out. If the car you need to meet clients or carry out work breaks down or is involved in an accident, would you know where to get help to get you back on the road? Breakdown cover and the details for Compass Cars will help make sure you’re not left without a car, ensuring your business doesn’t get interrupted. It’s these little things that you’ll learn on the way, but you’ll soon become a resilient business owner who’s able to step up and take charge when needed.
9-5 might not always be right for you
While 9-5 is still the norm for the majority of business, not all freelancers work in this way, especially if you work in a creative industry. The joy of working for yourself is that you can choose your working hours, and they might not always fit in with a typical working day.
While it will help your routine to set fixed working hours for yourself, there are occasions where you’ll need to start early, work late and change things around to fit in your other commitments. Find the best working hours for you, and make sure you communicate this to your clients so that they know when they can get in touch with you if needed.
You’ll have to teach yourself to be productive
Working for yourself can come with a bit of a Home Alone vibe – the feeling that you can do anything because nobody’s watching you. It’s hard to slack off when you’re in an office and there’s someone watching over you, but when it comes to being self-employed, you now need to be the person pushing yourself to work.
Teaching yourself to stay focused and productive can make sure that you don’t end up wasting your working hours and having to work longer just to catch up. Productivity is a skill to be learned, but once you nail it you’ll find it much easier to get things done.
Not everything will go according to plan
All businesses can experience some setbacks, no matter how carefully you plan. Things like the economy, weather, etc. are out of your control, and it’s how you handle these setbacks that will make the difference. Provided you have passion and a commitment to your business, you can help make it through the tougher times. Plan where you can, especially when it comes to your finances, but if you worry too much about failing, it might be you that seals your fate.
Making sure you celebrate your achievements
Running your own business is a tough job, but those pats on the back for a job well done will have to come from you in the absence of anyone else. Whenever you hit a target or achieve a key milestone, take the time to celebrate your success. Whether you choose to take the afternoon off, treat yourself to something nice or you simply write down and evaluate your achievements, it’s good to take a step back and acknowledge your hard work. At the end of the year, look back over everything you’ve achieved – you could just form your own inspiration to do even better the following year!
Knowing it can get lonely
Working for yourself can often be a lonely job. While you might talk and meet with clients from time to time, you can expect to be alone a lot as a freelancer or a small business owner. Fortunately, there are ways to remedy that. If you tend to work from home a lot, try getting out of the office more to work from other locations, or consider getting yourself a coworking space. Believe it or not, there are several benefits of coworking with strangers that are worth it if it means spending less time on your own.
You’ll need to learn when to take a holiday
The difficult thing about working for yourself is knowing when to take a break. There never seems to be ‘a good time’ and soon you’ve forgotten what it’s like to relax and not think about work. Try to give yourself as many holidays as you would have had in a previous job. Factor it in when you’re managing your finances to make sure you can take a break to rest and recharge like everyone else. When you do get the chance to take a break, communicate clearly to clients that you’re not available, and learn how to switch off for a while. You’ll be a new person after a well-deserved rest, so it’s in your best interests to take some time off.
Staying healthy is vital to keep you going
When you work for yourself, there’s nobody there to pick up the pieces if you were to become ill or have some sort of accident. This is why looking after your health just became even more important. From eating well to making sure you get plenty of exercise, staying healthy is a must to keep your business on track. It’s also worth looking at different health insurance policies to help protect your business and your income in the event of an accident or serious illness.
Running your own business will have its ups and downs, but you’ll grow stronger from the lessons you learn along the way. While there are many things you will only learn from your own experience, there’s still a lot you can take in from the outset. Learn from others as much as you can to help you get the vital knowledge needed to succeed in your business.