Working as an employee for another’s business has its perks. You receive a stable wage that is guaranteed to meet national minimum requirements; your taxes are sorted out for you; you become entitled to sick pay, holiday pay and pay during maternity or paternity leave; your job roles are outlined and you know exactly what is expected of you. But then there are the drawbacks: you have to request time off, your working hours are often non-negotiable, you’re tied into contracts to prevent you from leaving if something better comes along. Perhaps worst of all? You spend your life working towards building somebody else’s dream. So, if you’re feeling brave, why not consider going self-employed? This can involve setting up your own company or simply working freelance. Being self-employed gives you so much more freedom over your own life. You are entirely in control of who you work for and when. You can also place your own value on your work, charging what you think is reasonable for your input. It’s not all necessarily plain sailing though. The hardest part of becoming self-employed? Starting out. During your first year, you will have to work extremely hard to get your name out there. People will need to take notice of you before they will take on you as a freelance worker. You will also need to establish yourself as a competitive force within the market or your field of specialism. Your reputation will precede you, so you will have to focus on building up good reviews and recommendations. Unsurprisingly, many people will make a loss in their first year working self-employed. But don’t worry, things usually perk up down the line as you begin to make a name for yourself. It is important, however, that you remember to protect yourself during the rocky first steps by minimizing your personal and professional outgoings. This will tide you over until you start making profits. Here are a few key areas to focus on.
Saving On Essentials
There are certain aspects of living that are essential. You need these things to get by, so they can’t be cut from your budget. However, that’s not to say that you can’t reduce their overall cost. It’s time to reevaluate your essential outgoings and see whether you can make cuts without compromising on the quality of what you’re paying for. First, food shopping. Obviously, we need food to eat. But are branded products really necessary? Often, you will be able to purchase lesser known and cheaper branded goods and not even be able to tell the difference. So, next time you’re out shopping for food, throw your usual shopping list out and try alternative products. Next, car insurance. Chances are that driving makes your life easier, allowing you to get to meetings and appointments easily and on time without the common disruptions of public transport. You don’t necessarily have to scrap your car to save. Instead, check out alternative motor insurance policies. The market is extremely competitive and you could receive the same cover that you receive from your current provider for much cheaper elsewhere. Take a look now; start a quote to save money on your auto insurance policy.
While we wouldn’t recommend isolating or ostracizing yourself from your social life, now may be a good time to temporarily cut back on your big weekend spending. You may think that one night out a week doesn’t cost much, but if you total up the cost of meals, taxis, entry fees and drinks over the period of a year, it really does mount up. Use the weekends to focus on expanding and grounding your self-employed career and try to keep big nights out to special occasions. To maintain your social life, consider asking friends round for an in-house dinner date or movie night. This will ensure that you keep on top of your social relations but don’t splurge your cash in the process.
Sometimes it’s true that you have to spend money to make money. This will definitely apply to you as a newly established self-employed individual. You need to get your name out there and the most effective way to do this is by advertising. This can include distributing business cards, leaflets or even putting posters up. But be savvy with your expenditure. Targeted advertising reduces waste and will see you bring in more custom. Identify where your target consumers spend time, then advertise in these areas. They will be more likely to see what you have to offer than if you randomly place advertising materials all over the place.
These are just a few tips to get you started. Always be on the lookout for potential places to cut costs. Not only will this tide you over while you’re starting out, but it’s a good business habit to get into in general.