If you’re making the move from full time employment to self employment, there are lots of things to consider, and you’ll probably find yourself juggling a new workload with having to learn a whole range of new skills and abilities. 

It’s important you’re prepared to take on new responsibilities like financial management, supplier relations and (a lot of) admin. Doing all this while trying to earn a living can be tough at first, so we’ve pulled together a selection of tips and tricks from some of the experienced self employed people and SME owners we’ve been lucky enough to work with below. You can hear more from each of them on our blog.

1.    Invest in yourself - Harry Compton, Gardener

Although I had a better knowledge of horticulture than most 22 year olds, I still had a lot to learn (when I set up my business). I knew that if I wanted to have a sustainable and profitable business I needed to invest not only financially, but in myself as well. I booked myself onto as many relevant courses as I could. This type of investment has been the most valuable for instilling confidence in myself and my service. 

2.    Think about your location - David Robinson, furniture manufacturer

I would advise any business to consider a range of locations when setting up a business. Getting to know where your customers are coming from and - most importantly - not restricting yourself when it comes to weighing up different options can help make your business more agile, community-centric and drive genuine cost savings too. 

3.    Take time out to manage your time - Peter Nowlan, business coach

How much of what you do at work, on average, is low-value, very low-value, or no value at all? Take a moment to write down as many thingspiece of paper that says self employed on it you can think of that are more or less a waste of time. Most people write down five immediately, and quickly get to ten. Whatever you have written down, have a look at your list and ask yourself:

●    What percentage of my time does this represent?
●    What am I going to do about it?

Peter recommends taking 5 minutes each morning to assess this list and think about how you can eliminate time-wasting activities, before taking 5 minutes at the end of each day to evaluate whether you saved time or not, then adapting and improving the process. 

4.    Focus on your community - Andrew Davis, Antiques Dealer

If you’re able to build a reputation in your community and nurture this with a range of reliable services, your business can grow exponentially with minimal marketing effort, helping you focus on what it is you actually want to do. 

There are areas of my business where I know my time will deliver a far higher return on investment than things like social media accounts or digital marketing. 

5.    Get to know your suppliers - Bella Starkey, framer

Good communication with suppliers is invaluable. Get to know them, build a rapport. You never know when you might need a favour or something sent to you a little sooner (than you planned), and if you get on with them they will want to help you out. 

6.    Look after your mental health - Lara Baker, music consultant

Don’t let your work define you. Put your all into your new business but remember that your work doesn’t define you. I make a particular effort to get work in perspective , it’s what I do but it’s not the be all and end all. I can take a night off. I can skip a gig. I can run a bath instead. 

For more tips on taking the leap to self employment visit www.asto.io. Asto is dedicated to providing small businesses with simple tools and products to manage their money and keep their cash flowing.


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