Bitten the bullet and finally decided to go self-employed?
While we've previously written about how to approach this from a tax perspective, what about building your brand? How about promoting and selling yourself? Networking and identifying potentials customers?
We've got your back. Here are some points for consideration if you're just starting up.
Establish your brand
Whatever your speciality, a great place to start is with your brand. Your brand encompasses everything your business stands for: your values, your voice, your look, your style.
What are you trying to promote? What is it you're passionate about? You should think of your business as a person. It’s important that you are original and avoid mimicking other brands.
Great brands have longevity and become recognisable, and establishing your brand helps you become deliberate in how you handle everything from advertising to communication, to recruitment.
Make use of social media
Social media is free, accessible, increases brand exposure and helps you humanise your brand.
While LinkedIn is a major game player in business promotion and connections, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter also have their place. Depending on the nature of your business, there is an abundance of opportunity available from these platforms from advertising and promotion, to networking and customer service.
Networking helps you connect with potential customers, partners or useful contacts that could help facilitate further connections and take your business to the next level. Try seeking out and attending relevant networking events, to push yourself out of your comfort zone. The more often you do this, the easier if will be become.
Be finance savvy
Once you've registered as self-employed, it's vital to have a handle on our finances - both the long term and short term. Always plan for the worse, especially if your business is dependent on external factors such as the weather or the economic climate, for example. Setting up a separate bank account is a start, but a plan that forecasts your financial objectives for the foreseeable future gives you a foundation on which to build your goals. Keep in mind that these goals should always be S.M.A.R.T. (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely).
Find your space
Find an environment that is conducive to your working style.
Whether this be a home office or a rented space, finding an environment that is right for you and your business can help you to focus, find inspiration or creativity. It also serves as a backdrop for your business if you are meeting with clients, prospects or partners. Keep that in mind and pay attention to the finer details.
Create a website
Having a website presence, whether e-commerce or promotion is an absolute essential. Many businesses now operate entirely through their website with no physical presence, which enables them to operate and sell remotely and broaden their reach internationally. A website should be one of your biggest investments, particularly at a time when we find ourselves moving closer towards remote and online services and sales.
Taking the first step into the world of self-employment is incredibly daunting for anyone. Whether you're an experienced soloist with several businesses in tow, or you've left a full-time job to pursue a passion, there will always be unknowns and uncertainties to face. The Chamber of Commerce are here to advise, guide and facilitate valuable connections and relationships where we can. Please feel free to get in touch at any time.