Is your business starting to fall flat

Often when we set up our own businesses, we hit it hard for the first couple of years. After the initial novelty has started to wear off it is very easy to fall in to the trap of of becoming complacent and just letting your business tick over. Sometimes it’s ok to do this, if you have a lot of other commitments at that time or if you need to take things slowly for health reasons. Sometimes though, we just need to give ourselves a quick reminder of what we are trying to achieve and why we’re are doing the job we are.

Being self employed is not always easy. There are many downsides to being self employed that may sometimes make you question of it is really all worth it. At times like that it is important to think about what the positives are. For example, if you have younger children at home it may be that you are able to work around school hours so can be there to pick them up and drop them off. This is actually a huge advantage and one that you are u likely to get if you were working in an employed job.

Job opportunities in a rural area

When living in a rural area it can be hard to try and find employment opportunities. There are a lot of benefits in living in a small town or village but this can hinder finding work.  Often smaller areas have a lower cost of living, tight knit communities and picturesque views but when it comes to job vacancies you may find that there are very limited options available to you.

Many people find that setting up their own business can work well if you are able to connect to the locals. Businesses such as hairdressers, electricians and gardeners are often always in need in rural communities.

Be sure to carry out some market research to find out what people are looking for and what prices they would be willing to pay. Social media can be a great way of doing this if you do not want to approach people face to face or simply do not have the time.

When searching for employment, be sure to have your CV up to date. You may need to be willing to travel a little further afield to find employment opportunity. If you do not drive then you may need to look for buses or trains that fit in with your working hours.

Is school going to be the same when the pupils return in September

Teachers and students alike have had so much to contend with over the past 18 months. There have been lockdowns where they were only open for key workers, home schooling, isolations and bubbles to prevent mixing. All of this has taken a huge amount of planning and preparation.

Many are wondering what the next 12 months are going to hold but the truth is we simply do not know. It is likely that when the schools return in September all the social distancing rules may have been lifted so bubbles will be scrapped allowing the children to mix once again. This means that whole school assemblies can now take place again and staggered start and finish times are likely to be dropped. Schools may still have a say as to what rules they want to keep in place and when so you will need to check what is going to be in place for your child’s school.

Although it may be a worrying time for many as the social distancing rules get scrapped, it will be nice for the pupils and the teachers to be able to get back to some sort of normality again and fingers crossed there will be no further lockdowns.

Setting up your own business during the pandemic

With many employees being furloughed over the past 12 months or made to work from home, it comes as no surprise that the number of people wanting to set up their own business has increased. This could be due to the fact that they have realised they like working from home or maybe whilst they were off work, they have managed to find the time to plan out how they can bring their product or service to market. Depending on what industry you are wanting to start up it, now may be a great time to open a business. Businesses which are within the hospitality and worldwide travel may be a little worrisome, but businesses that are predominantly online and offer a service or products that are going to be used now and, in the future, may do really well.

Before stating up any business, it is a good idea to have a business plan and work out what risks are involved. See how much money you will need to put into it to start with and what your return is likely to be. You may be able to get a start-up loan or you may be able to find investors who would be willing to put up the capital to get the business off the ground.

Ever seriously considered self-employment?

It has been a challenging time recently for anyone trying to find employment but as hopefully life begins to become more normal job seekers are beginning to question whether they actually want to work for an employer or whether they would like to be their own boss instead. For some people looking for work the idea of working a nine to five job in an office or factory may fill them with dread and so they may look at alternatives to this way of earning a living and realise that there are other options out there.

Becoming self-employed is an option for many people if they have the suitable skills and experience that will be required for their chosen career path, but specific training may be all that is needed to pursue this ambition. If you have been unemployed for a while or made redundant from a job there is help available to retrain in a new trade or for the initial costs of setting up your own business.

Once you have decided what your strengths are and what your business is going to be you will need to register as a sole trader with HMRC so that they know that you will be completing a self-assessment tax form and paying class 2 and class 4 national insurance contributions. You will of course need a name for your business. It is important to give some thought to this and to try to make the business name easy to remember for clients. If the name reflects your business then that will be beneficial for example if you run a hair salon there are countless names that play on words related to cutting or colouring of hair. Checking online to make sure that there is not another business with exactly the same name is essential to avoid being challenged by other business owners.

The financial aspect of starting up your own business can be daunting for some self-employed business owners and a visit to the bank is essential so that you can set up a business bank account. Do not be afraid to look at other banks rather than simply going to your usual bank as some offer special rates for the newly self-employed.

Legally you will need to arrange public liability and professional indemnity insurance to ensure that you are covered against any injury or damage you may inadvertently cause in the course of your work. Quotes for these insurances can be found online and are quite reasonably priced but make sure that you read the small print to ensure it covers aspects of your particular business.