It has been said, although we can’t verifiy it, that two thirds of businesses fail in their first year and that one third of businesses fail within the first three years.
Here are some tips for succeeding as a soletrader.
- Do something that you love doing!
Now this is a little cliche but it matters. That’s why it is our headline point. If you do what you love then when things are hard, and you will have hard times with tough decision, it makes getting out of bed that little bit easier.
- Is it viable?
Doing something you love is important but so is the financial viability of your business. If you charge too little, have too few clients, sell too few products, or work too much for too little profit, then your business will not succeed. Profit isn’t a dirty word, some say it is, but the reality is if you don’t make a profit, then you and your business can’t thrive.
- Know your responsibilities.
As a soletrader your have specific legal responsibilities. That ranges from keeping accurate records of your business, to submitting an annual Self Assesment to HMRC. If you are in any doubt of what the law asks and expects of you as a soletrader then contact your solicitor and accountant.
- Learn to say no!
As a soletrader, and as a freelancer, you will need to learn to say no. Saying no will help you manage your business.
- Don’t under sell or under charge.
One of the biggest pitfalls for new soletraders is not under selling your work and not under charging. There will be people who want something for nothing, that want an impossible deal or want mates-rates. It is important that you, as above say no when it’s not worthwhile, but that when you say yes, you say yes to something that will keep your head above water, be profitable and help you thrive.
- Get business insurance.
Getting insured will mean you are covered from some of the potential risks of running a business. The type of business insurance you may need can include: professional indemnity insurance; and public liability insurance. Insurance is optional but to be completely honest a good insurance policy will mean that you are covered from some of the daily risks you will encounter. Always read the terms correctly and get the right insurance.
- Get accountancy software.
A good bit of accountancy software will save you many many many headaches and make your life so much easier. We recommend using FreeAgent as it is the software we have used from day one and in all that time it has only made running a business that little bit easier. You can check out our FreeAgent Review including a lifetime 10% off discount code here.
- Get a website,
Most people now google businesses, products and services. Get online and get found on Google to make the most of this free organic traffic that is potentially looking for the things you sell.
- Brand is important!
First impressions. Don’t judge a book by its cover. The reason these phrases exist is because people judge things on what they see. There will be the instant impression, there will be the experience, there will be the recommendations, and then there will be the ongoing relationship. All of these in one way or another come down to your branding. Think long and hard about branding and invest in a solid brand will pay dividends in the future.
- Have fun.
This goes back to the first point. You have to enjoy what you do as a soletrader. There aren’t going to be any handouts, you will have to do everything yourself, and there will be some tough times. But with all of that you will have the freedom to create, you make your own work, and be your own boss. All of this is worth being happy about. Just don’t forget to enjoy being a soletrader. Have fun and go be a success.