Working for yourself
Working for yourself and starting your own business can be an exciting option while you are a student or after graduation. Some of the main benefits to working for yourself include:
- Independence – the freedom to make your own decisions
- Personal fulfilment – building your own business
- Flexibility to choose your own hours of work
Building blocks for success
Thousands of new businesses are established in the UK each year, however, success in working for yourself or running your own business is dependent to a large part on the skills, knowledge and personal attributes that you have.
Typical skills that are required include:
- A strong drive to succeed – self-employment is hard work. The hours can be long and you may be faced with difficult decisions. You will also have to perform many of the functions yourself such as: buying supplies, maintaining equipment, administration etc.
- Risk taking: choosing to go it alone is less secure than earning a regular salary as an employee
- Self-reliance, time management and organisation skills: you will survive by your own efforts and need to be able to set and meet your own deadlines
- Self efficacy: you will need self- confidence and belief in what you are offering
- Financial awareness: to generate profits by optimising your income and minimising costs
- Planning ahead: you need to be able to plan the direction of your business in order to maintain a necessary level of income
- Flexibility and adaptability: you will need to change the focus of your business to keep up with changes in the economy or your market
- Networking and negotiation skills: it is important to be able to establish networks in order to build up a base of potential clients. You also need to be able to identify, and negotiate effectively with, customers and suppliers
- Presentation and communication skills: you will need to be able to represent yourself clearly and effectively in all business situations, from applying for a loan to negotiating contracts
Tips on starting a business
Here are some of the points to consider when setting up on your own.
Write a business plan
This pulls together your ideas about the product or service you want to sell, your markets and how you will reach them, and how you will finance your business. It will help you focus your business idea, long-term objectives and strategy for how to get there.
Managing your finances
Discuss your financial situation with a bank – they will be able to provide advice on planning your business and organising your accounts. It is essential your business keeps accurate accounts for taxation purposes. Tax returns can be done using the forms provided by HM Revenue and Customs, though many self-employed people prefer to use an accountant.
Locating your business
Depending on the nature of your business, it may be possible to operate from your residence. Consider however whether you will be able to effectively divide your time between personal and business matters. There are a large number of business incubation spaces in the Sheffield region which can offer further support for businesses.
|Deciding on the type of business||
The format of your business will largely depend on the type of service or product that you are offering. Types of business include:
|Useful resources to get you started||
Do your research so that you consider all the options before you start a business. The following resources should help.