If 2020 taught us one thing, it’s that curveballs can be thrown our way when we least expect it.  Many of us have spent the last year furloughed (who even knew what that word meant a year ago!?), many have been made redundant, and some have taken the time to learn new skills and gain qualifications.  We have a new year ahead of us and now is the time to sit and really think about what you want YOUR future to look like.

There are 4.56million self-employed people in the UK, based on ONS figures, which equates to 14% of all employed people.  4.56million people who all had that moment when they decided to go for it and set up their business. It’s a huge step to take, but there really is no time like the present.

We have below covered the most common objections and stumbling blocks people come across when deciding whether to take the plunge into the world of self-employment and we hope this helps give you the push needed to just do it!

You Can Do It!

I’m just not good enough to do this…

Yes you are!! You may have come to think about starting up your own business because you have recently gained new skills to do this or are already working in the profession and working for somebody else.  You would not be considering going self-employed if you were not good at your job and did not enjoy what you do. We all have moments of doubt, which is perfectly OK but do not let this step in the way you do something you love.  By the way, there’s even an official diagnosis for this, and it’s called ‘Imposter Syndrome!’

Imposter Syndrome Image

Where To Start

A great starting point is making a plan in writing of what you want to achieve. A useful tool for this is writing a SMART Goal whereby you break down your goals to ensure they are achievable and relevant.

You can find an example SMART goal here that includes a blank copy for you to print off and complete yourself.  Just make sure to keep reviewing and measuring your achievements.

Smart goals image

There are also a huge number of resources available on the internet and many business start-up courses offered by local government and enterprises that are often free to attend. These workshops start you from the very beginning and cover items such as the legalities of starting up, keeping your accounts (yes you can do it yourself!), and allowing you to meet others who are starting out on the self-employed journey. Visit LEP Network to locate your local Growth Hub.

Will It Work?

If you put in 100% effort, there’s no reason why it wouldn’t.  Research is vital when starting, and to be successful, you need to know exactly where your place is in the market.  Do not let the fact that there are similar businesses in your area stop you!  Think about how many supermarkets are out there.  There are several successful chains, and they are all busy all the time.  They may just attract different people at different times based on what their offering is.  You need to work out what makes you stand out from the rest.

Start by finding out who your competition is, what they offer and read their reviews.  Really think about what will make you different.  It could be a particular service or experience that could attract different types of clients.  It really does pay to know who you are working next to in your local area.

There are also vast amounts of Market Research conducted by various organisations that are incredibly useful when wanting to know facts, figures and lots more on the industry you are starting out in. Many of these Market Research reports can be accessed online (for a charge) or head to a larger library where you can access these free of charge through their business centre.  Reports to search for are:

COBRA – for business information, opportunity profiles and start-up information

IBISWorld – for in-depth UK market research

MINT – for information about companies, directors and industry research

This research can be used to help determine who your target audience could be, how much you should charge for your services and what your clients will be expecting which will provide an excellent starting point when it comes to marketing your business.

We hope that this has helped give you a nudge in the right direction and provided you with some useful information on how to get started and overcome your own objections.  Yes, it’s a big step and starting your own business takes a tremendous amount of effort, time and positivity, but the rewards are more than worth it.

Good Luck!

If you require any further advice or assistance with marketing your business, please contact us.