Having your own business, being your own boss and going self-employed can be a super exciting prospect. Now, more than ever, individuals are taking the leap into self-employment and utilizing the tools we have available in order to create and maintain successful businesses.
Photo by STIL on Unsplash
There seems to be a wave of bloggers, creatives, artists, YouTuber’s and online business owners all making money from their own creations and that’s absolutely brilliant, being self-employed myself, it’s always encouraging to see people succeed in such a difficult industry because I know how hard it can be sometimes. Here are some of my own tips for people who are thinking about or in the early stages of self-employment, which I wish someone had told me right at the beginning too!
Note absolutely everything down
Whether you hit the tax threshold or not with your business, if you’re self-employed, at the end of every financial year, you will have to fill out a self-assessment tax return which includes adding up all of your payments received over the course of the year and anything you’ve spent yourself towards your business.
Depending on which type of business you own, it might be helpful to keep receipts or confirmation emails of all the sales you’ve had but personally, I have a dedicated notebook where I write down all my blogging payments, the date, who it’s from and the method of payment. Might seem old fashioned but it does the job! And speaking of self-assessment…
Those can be really tricky. Really tricky. Like pull your hair out and cry into a pizza type tricky. Especially if you’re new to them and don’t really understand what the jargon means. Like I didn’t (and still don’t to some degree). And unless you have someone in your family or friends who works with this sort of stuff and can help, it can be a pretty stressful thing to do it alone.
Anything HMRC related can be complicated but there is information and help you can get to make it that little bit easier on you! Talk Tax * are a great website which provide hard to reach HMRC contact numbers and write helpful articles are self-assessment, policy changes and more.
For my friends in the United States, you face an equally challenging adversary in the realm of taxes — the IRS. Otherwise known as the Internal Revenue Service, the IRS is a government agency tasked by the Department of the Treasury to collect taxes and enforce the tax code.
With tax legislation being so complicated and ever-changing, the idea of filing taxes can induce anxiety in even the most savvy of financial gurus. The good news is that there is TurboTax Live, an online program that allows you to get money-saving answers and advice without ever having to leave your home in New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, or anywhere else in the United States.
If you’re working for yourself then it’s down to you to keep organized because nobody else is going to do it for you. That sounds awfully blunt and pushy but it’s true (unless you have like, a business partner or a family member who helps out).
Going at it alone is great but it can certainly take its toll if you find yourself un-organized at any point and letting things get on top of you can make you feel like you’re drowning. I find really constructive ways to keep organized is making sure your work “space” is tidy every day, make lists, keep notebooks and make sure the folders on your laptop (if you work predominantly from a computer) are in good order.
Have a routine and look after yourself
Something I’ve been really guilty of when it comes to working for myself is letting the work take over and not giving myself any time to do anything else and being in constant GO mode all day, every day. I found myself thinking about work related things all the time, not focusing on the movie I was watching and shoveling my lunch down so I could get back to it and I know that’s such an unhealthy approach.
Thankfully, I’ve learnt ways to take care of myself better now, which include getting up earlier, doing Yoga in the morning, always taking a break at lunch and watching something I enjoy and not doing work late into the night.
Are you self-employed? If so, do you have any tips to add onto this list? Would you like to be your own boss or do you prefer to work for a company? Any plans on starting up a business? Let me know!
* This is a sponsored post