Be your own boss

Apr 4, 2017

We are breaking free from the shackles of corporations and entering a new phase where we are seeing a vast number of people drop their 9-5 jobs to be their own boss. The resurgence of the ‘Be Your Own Boss’ generation has been coupled with consumers wanting to support local trade and businesses. Consumers are seeing past the corporate charades and are looking to their local communities for creative, bespoke products and services on their doorstep.  It’s an exciting time to be an independent business. You may be one of these people about to embark on this exhilarating yet daunting task of setting up your business. So we have put together our guide to getting started.

Make your business your passion

Before you start anything you need to define your proposition. It’s really important that this is something that you are passionate about. Setting up a business is hard work, it requires discipline and working antisocial hours as well as dedicating most of your time to making it work. You will be your own accountant, marketing department, sales team and PA all in one person if you decide to go it alone. So make sure you love what you are selling.  If you don’t have a genuine interest in the product or services, then you will struggle.

Branding made simple

Brand Name:

So you have defined your proposition and are looking for a business name. We have seen hundreds of companies fail here because their name choice is wrong. The first name you pick will unlikely be the one you will choose in the end. You need to be SMART.

Firstly, write a list of names. Try not to be too clever with the name and instead make it simple and avoid name conventions like SN3AK3RS or using symbols. Your brand name needs to be available on Companies House, as a website name ideally (.com and .co.uk) and have the right social media anchors. You will want to increase your Search Engine Optimisation as much as possible and having all three of these communicating the same brand name is a good start.

Sole Trader vs Limited Company

There are many benefits and drawbacks to both. Here are just a few you may want to consider:

Paperwork and Accounting

There is paperwork with both options, however becoming a Limited Company is a little more complicated and requires formal accounts – which also drum up accounting costs as a consequence. Also, doing paperwork incorrectly when you have a Limited Company can leave you with a hefty bill.

Perception and clients

Trading as a Limited Company gives the perception that you are a bigger organisation and some larger companies or clients may not deal with sole traders. So you need to decide whether being a sole trader will restrict your success.

Tax

There are different levels of tax based on whether you are a company or a sole trader. If you earn over a certain amount it may be beneficial to register yourself as a Limited Company.

Setting up a bank account

Now you have decided what you are doing, the next step is to decide on a bank account. Some banks will allow you to have up to 18 months free of charge on your business account and free transactions. Also other banks will provide you with free business tools and seminars to help you learn about business. So it is worth looking at all the perks of joining.

There’s a lot to consider once you start to unravel what’s involved in setting up a business. Watch out for a series of articles that cover a range of marketing topics to get your company noticed, from PR to branding right through to content generation and sponsorship.

Awwwards