Helpful advice for people looking to become self-employed

In the UK, more people than ever are choosing to work for themselves. Becoming self-employed can bring many positive changes, from creating a better life/work balance right through to helping the environment by cutting down on commuting.

Although it is relatively easy to make a successful go of being your own boss, there are some basic bits of information everyone should know before they take the plunge. So here is some advice that you might find helpful if you are considering going it alone.

The buck stops with you

Although many people might complain about working for others and having ‘a boss’, many actually like the idea of not having ultimate responsibility. Going to work, doing your tasks to the best of your ability and picking up a pay cheque at the end of the month can be ‘the path of least resistance’ that suits many. However, when you work for yourself you take on the full responsibilities of running a business. Even if you are a sole trader or one-man band contractor, the buck stops with you on everything concerned with your working life.

Types of work

There are many traditional types of work that are associated with self employment, such as owning a shop, being a tradesman or taking on freelance roles in an area that you have an existing work skill. When you work for someone else, your time is usually scheduled for you, so for some it can be a shock to the system finding out that every hour in the self employed day needs to be filled productively. For most people this won’t be a problem, because even if you are between projects or waiting for new clients to come on board, there’s always plenty of paperwork that needs to be done.


This can be one of the most daunting aspects of deciding to become self employed, as you may not be confident in your own abilities to look about the book keeping and accounting side of running your own business. Fortunately, third party solutions such as can do all the heavy lifting for you in this area. Companies like this offer complete small business accounting services that can look after everything from invoicing, payroll duties and dealing with HMRC.

Money matters

Of course, in an ideal world, most people might like the sound of the idea, but not everyone has the ambition and drive to work for themselves. Even if you don’t have skills that are obvious ones for setting up on your own, a good idea and a willingness to learn the entrepreneurial ropes will often take you a long way.

Whether you want to create the next Facebook or your ambitions are slightly more humble, working for yourself can give you a deeply rewarding sense of job satisfaction. At the very least, you will certainly gain a greater degree of control over your time and leave behind the long hours of commuting.

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