Starting out as a self-employed tradesperson can be an exciting prospect – you can set your own hours, choose your own clients, and specialise in a field you know and love. But it’s not necessarily an easy process – it can be a daunting and challenging experience that requires a lot of consideration and preparation in equal measure.
There’s a variety of factors that you need to consider in order to ensure success, and we’re here to help you on your way.
Here’s a handy step-by-step process:
Assess Your Skillset
The first step in considering self-employment as a tradesman is to assess your skill set. Take a long hard look at your previous work history and personal knowledge, and evaluate your existing skills, experience, and interests.
Consider whether you have the necessary expertise and passion for the trade you want to pursue – you’ll need to evaluate factors such as your physical abilities, aptitude for problem-solving, and willingness to work independently. Choosing a trade that aligns with your strengths and interests is essential to increase your chances of being a self-employed tradesman.
Find Your Niche
Understanding the current market for your trade is crucial to the success of your self-employment dreams. Research the overall demand in your area for what interests you and consider factors such as current market conditions, competition, and potential customers.
Take time to evaluate whether there is a demand for your services and if you can reasonably expect a steady stream of work to sustain your business. If you find that you might be lacking in work in the short term, you might want to see if there’s a specialisation you can focus on to support you while establishing your trade.
Take it Slowly and Plan Your Finances
Planning your finances is a critical aspect of transitioning into self-employment as a tradesman – it’s vitally important not to run before you can walk. Assess your current financial situation and determine if you have enough savings or access to capital to cover initial costs, manage fluctuations in income, and sustain your business until it becomes profitable. Work on creating a budget and set aside funds for taxes, insurance, and emergencies.
If you don’t have enough cash flow to get you going initially, consider starting your business as a side gig. The hustle economy is always booming, and you can start slowly and build substantial relationships and experience before heading off on your own.
Promote Your Business
Promoting your trade plays a crucial role when considering the long-term viability of your business. You should work on developing a marketing strategy to promote your services effectively. You can start small by advertising on local social media groups and sites like Facebook and Gumtree. Further down the line, you can work on creating a professional website to showcase your work and use local advertising channels to raise awareness about your services.
It also pays to consider networking with other professionals in your trade and building relationships with potential clients can also be quite effective in its own right.
Understand Legal and Regulatory Requirements
Before starting your self-employment venture, it’s essential to understand the legal and regulatory requirements for your chosen trade. Take time to research the laws and regulations that apply to your new business, including registering your business with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), obtaining necessary licenses or permits, and complying with health and safety regulations.
Make sure you understand the legal obligations and responsibilities associated with self-employment in your chosen trade to avoid any potential trouble or legal issues in the future.
Plan for Potential Risks
Like any business, self-employment as a tradesman comes with potential risks. Planning for these risks is essential to protect yourself and your business. Take potential risks into account, such as fluctuating income, liability for damages or injuries, and other unforeseen expenses. You might also want to invest in tool insurance. Considering that you make your living using your tools, if they break down or, even worse, get stolen, you might find yourself in a tricky situation.
Proper planning against the most obvious risks will help you manage uncertainties in the long term and protect your newfound business from potential setbacks.
If you take time to do your research and put hard work behind it, self-employment as a tradesperson can offer a fulfilling and rewarding career path. Remember to seek professional advice and take steps to protect your new venture.
Good luck with your self-employment adventure!