Working for yourself – make it work for you


self employmentSelf-employment can be an appealing career path; the flexibility to work whenever and wherever you want, the unlimited earning potential, the freedom to work with the clients and projects of your choice.

There are many different types of self-employment nowadays. Some of these include:

Interim Management – An interim Manager is an individual who works within an organisation for a period of time. They are not a permanent employee of the organisation, they are either registered as self-employed or paid through the company’s payroll for a fixed period.

Consultancy - A Consultant is an individual who provides professional or expert advice in a particular field to either an organisation or individual.  This advice may be ad-hoc and not required for a fixed period of time.

Portfolio Careers - A portfolio career is working multiple part time jobs simultaneously. This may include a combination of an interim contract, consultancy or freelance support.

Fractional Employment – Fractional refers to the practice of hiring employees for only a portion of their time, rather than on a full-time basis. These employees can be hired for specific projects or tasks, without having to commit to a long-term employment contract and can fit into a portfolio career.

Whilst working for yourself can be an empowering career decision, it can be a huge risk and proper preparation is key.

Here are some factors to consider before launching your own business.

Research & assess your options

Decide on your strategy and be clear on your offering - conduct market research and identify your target market and the most effective way in which to sell your services. You will need to think about:

  • What’s the problem your business or service offering is addressing?
  • Who will be your potential customers?
  • What services do they need and when?
  • What is your USP and how will you market this to your potential customers?

A business plan or a SWOT analysis will help assess your business strengths and weaknesses, while analysing business opportunities and threats is a useful technique to help you clarify your business idea, spot potential problems and set out your goals.

Setting up your business

If you start working for yourself, it’s important you get the right business set up. You need to think about whether to start out as a sole trader, a limited company or through an umbrella company. Once you have decided on your structure, make sure you research your tax, VAT and IR35 responsibilities.

Once your business is registered, you can set up a business bank account. This is the best way to manage your finances effectively. You also need to create an invoice system, record your transactions, and find an Accountant.

Remember self-employment comes with a risk; if something goes wrong, you may be held responsible. Make sure your business is properly insured. Look into self-employment insurance such as Public Liability and obtain relevant licenses.

Marketing your brand

As you are working for yourself, you must be proactive in marketing your business and services. It is important to remain consistent in your image and how you present yourself to your existing and potential clients.

Choosing the right name is essential. It’s the first piece of information most people will have about your business, so it should make a good impression.

You may want to consider buying your Domain Name and if you’re starting your business on a tight budget, consider building your own website – there are a variety of platforms that can help you create your own.

Social media is one of the most effective and affordable ways to promote a business and connect with potential customers. Make sure you pick the right platform for your business and post relevant and interesting content on a regular basis so that you engage with your customers. This will help to build trust, confidence, and strong relationships.

Alongside social media, networking with new and existing contacts is essential if you are working for yourself.  You can use your network to get advice, help provide you with referrals, or possibly to secure leads or work.

Renovo is the UK’s leading outplacement and career transition specialist. We work with both organisations and individuals to support all their career transition requirements. If you would like to understand how Renovo can help you, please email

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