Going it alone

Discussion in 'ARRSE Social, Events & Networking' started by Speedy, Jun 1, 2009.

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  1. Today is the big day. Today is the day I hand my notice in and in 2 months time I shall be working for myself running my web site as a full time job.
    I have the office, a comfortable, steady income from the site (or I wouldn't be doing this), which has been on the up for more than 2 years now.
    I just can't shake a nagging feeling that I shouldn't be doing this though. Is this normal? Just nerves?
    Combined with the magazine coulmn I write, the income I shall be receiving will be far in excess of my current salaried wage, which does seem to provide a kind of 'comfort blanket' in these troubled times. Is anyone else here self employed and loving it (I just need some reassurance!)?
  2. I'm self employed and loving it.
  3. Speedy,

    I'm not self employed and hating it. Good luck to you mate.
  4. It's normal to have some doubts when you're accustomed to a regular salary coming in.

    However, I've been self-employed for three years now, loving it, and I'd hate to go back to being a wage-slave again.

    Good luck :D
  5. Thanks all. I'm just about to write 'the letter'.
  6. Working for yourself is great. Much higher risks but much higher rewards and those "rewards" don't just include salary. For example, I'm working at home today writing a report while sitting in my back garden with my laptop.

    Also, I only work "paid" for 2-3 days a week, the rest is either chasing new contracts or doing freebie work for charities and other organisations who could never hope to afford an external consultant like me.

    It's fantastically satisfying:
    - being able to set your own working conditions,
    - being able to reject clients who you can't stand,
    - being able to buy a higher quality bit of kit because it's higher quality and not having to justify the cost to anyone,
    - being able to say "yes" to an unprofitable deal on the spot because it's an interesting bit of work without having to justify the lack of "profit" on the deal
    - being able to reclaim VAT
    - being able to guarantee a standard of service to a client knowing that no other f***wit in your company can over-rule you
    - knowing that the harder you work the more you're likely to earn rather than pay rises going to the work-shy but "visible" bumhole lickers
    - knowing you never have to deal with internal politics
    - knowing that the quality of work you deliver is 100% your responsibility and 100% your credit

    I could go on for ever with that list!
  7. Aside from all the other good advice in the posts, it takes a while to readjust and realise that the buck stops with you. I've been self employed for some 30 years and still get the jitters from time to time.

    Remember the old saying....in times of war prepare for peace and in times of peace prepare for war. Make provision as soon as you can for when the ka ka hits the proverbial fan....and it will. Just like the mob....plan plan plan and then expect the unexpected. Then sit back and enjoy what amounts to one of the best moves you will ever have made.
    This is mine but it took a while to get there.
  8. Bit late to be jumping on this thread but...

    I left the forces three years years ago and for the last two have been self employed. Work in the IT industry and life is really, REALLY good. Things are hard when you have no work for a week or two but you should be able to compensate for that squirreling away a few pennies wach time you get paid. Be careful with the taxman etc and make sure your books are really well kept. A good accountant wont rip you off because the will know if they do a good job once, you will use them again and again.

    It's well worth the big step in the long term but you need to be goo dwith money and always have a contingency plan if things start to fall apart around you (which in this current economic climate is always going to be a threat).
  9. Ord_Sgt

    Ord_Sgt RIP

    All thats been said above. The risks are greater but the rewards far outweigh them. If you're good at what you do then you should have no problem finding work. Best of luck with the future.
  10. Been self employed for over 4 years now .... do not think I could work for someone else. 24 years mil service and then 2 years in Bedroom No 3 setting the business up along with putting approx 2 stone on.

    Biggest step was moving the business out of the bedroom and employing my first employee.

    Now looking to loose 2 stone .... any ideas most welcome.
  11. Don't eat pies? :)

    Re the going it alone thing, it's great but it can have equally as big a downside as an upside.

    I have run a very successful business for the last 11 years since leaving the mob and not blowing my own trumpet (although I could, it is large enough) I got to the stage of having a 7 figure turnover and a 6 figure salary.

    That's the upside.

    The downside is that due to Liabours abysmal running of the country and the demise of many of my clients that relied on (somewhere along the chain) large ex state owned companies such as LDV etc, or were crippled by HMRC (state help my arrse!) last year was an absolute mare of mares, which has had major knock ons in this years finances.

    End result is that after years of the goodies, the baddies are just about being held off and that is only because of a certain ex member of this site (I can't mention his name, the puffs got him banned) who happens to be exceptionally good at financial dealings and the like and is doing financial wizardry on my behalf.

    I would never put anyone off going it alone and indeed would rather hold on to what I have now, even knowing that I am at personal financial risk (banks never lend companies anything unless they know they can bleed the directors at some point), rather than go back to work for someone else.

    So, my advice would be.

    1. Choose your bank carefully. Very carefully. Ask someone that has been in business for a while that has been through the good and the bad. Asking someone that has only been through the good is pointless, whilst you are coining it in the bank needs you, ask someone that has been through the bad and has needed the bank, that will be your best indicator of which ones are good and which are bad. This even spreads down to Branch and then Business Manager level.

    2. Don't go with Lloyds TSB. Complete cnuts. Read above for my justification. You could speak to MDN about that if he hadn't have been banned.

    3. Prepare for the bad. Bank your VAT and PAYE in another account and don't even look at it until it is due to be paid. While the good times are rolling it won't even be noticed but if you pay quarterly it will also be a good upfront pot to finance jobs that will be paid to you prior to your next VAT bill being due.

    4. If you fall behind with PAYE or VAT don't ignore HMRC. Ring them and explain the situation, they will be pretty tolerant as long as they think they will get their money. Bury your head in the sand and they will drop on you like one of Barnes Wallises's inventions. Trust me, I know.

    5. Get a good accountant that comes to see you and continually gives you advice even when you didn't ask for it. If the only time you see or speak to him is just before and just after he is preparing your accounts, he's a cnut that's only interested in his bill and not your company.

    And there are a load of others but I would say that the above are the top tips that I have picked up so far.

    Oh, one final one, if the link on your profile and sig block is your actual business (directed at Speedy now), make sure it works cause it didn't 5 minutes ago :)
  12. Hi Aunty Stella

    Great entry, you must write a book. Any chance you letting slip what your business is?
  13. I bank personally with Lloyds and they have been GAG. However I am currently banking with Alliance & Leicester commercial. Their on-line services are just the dogs bollox and I would unreservedly recommend them (i.e. Santander). On no account (see what I did there?) have anything to do with Nathaniel Westminster or Barclay's...they lie, cheat on charges and have a vast arnmy of mediocrities who sit through presentations about business plans but then refuse to lend money even when the risk level is very low.

    Nat West refused me a sub-up to get from Size 1 to Size 2 in my last business venture so I used my own cash. When the turnover went to Size 2 they had the bare-faced gall to call and ask if I wanted to see if they could possibly advance me a loan. I explained that I didn't need a loan anymore as I had successfully weathered the leap from Size 1 to Size 2, with all the problems of cash-flow versus wage bill and new capital et cetera. To which they seemed a bit surprised, as in their check through my account they had noted I had requested a loan three months earlier but my turnover was now of a size where they probably could grant me one.

    I don't bank with them anymore and furthermore told the bank manager that he was a cnut for spending his company's money (i.e. my money) on attending Bath RFC functions...He became a littl edgy at that point but luckily he wasn't really brave enough to bring it...knob.

    So good luck OP - you may have awkward times but you should not regret taking this step.
  14. Having been on my own after retirement and then being wooed back into a bureaucracy at a big uni, I encourage you to go for it. While(st) as the other wise posters have said, you never are without some kind of stress, whether on your own or in a company, at least with the former it is of your own making usually and thus is more easily addressed than having it imposed on you. Cheer!
  15. Own your own business and want to turnover £1,000,000? Value your time. In fact value your time by the hour, to be precise £400 per hour.