Indie Biz – Can I Go Self Employed? Part I

Self Employed

I’ve read a lot of articles about why and how to be self employed, articles with very generalist advice, not much of which I found very useful. So I thought I’d share the specific steps I took to decide if I could actually be self employed, full time.

My Personal Situation
There’s nothing special about my situation compared to yours; I worked on my business for just over three years before I became fully self employed and for the purpose of full disclosure: I live with my boyfriend who has a full time job. Now he doesn’t earn a lot of money by any means, but he has been able to cover one or two bills for a few months until I stopped falling over my own feet.

We rent in an expensive area, we have a dog, we have Sky, Netflix and Spotify accounts. I pay for extras like contact lenses, Creative Cloud and I have a very expensive phone bill that allows me to have the latest smart phone for work. My point here being: we spend a crapload of money every month. So far, I haven’t had to cancel a thing.

DIY Acorn Necklace

So to begin with, I wrote up every single outgoing I have, such as:

Gas & Electric
TV License
TV Subscription (eg. Sky)
Phone Line
Water Rates
Council Tax
Insurance (Contents, Pet, Car)
Credit Card Repayment
Store Card Repayments
Loan Repayments (Inc. Student)
Charity Donations
Subscriptions (eg. Netflix)
Mobile Phone
Web Hosting/Other Business Expenses

// I didn’t include food, simply because it’s hard to estimate, but if you can figure out how to include this it’s best that you do. Alternatively I have been working out the cost of individual meals we cook and shopping around for the best deal.
// As you can see, though, I don’t have a budget for clothes, records, nights out or anything I class as a luxury. This is my personal choice, if you feel you can’t live without these things for your first year then budget them in.

Add these all up to get your monthly outgoings. This is the amount of money you absolutely need to be able to earn from your profit, not your turnover.

Income Streams
Secondly I wrote a list of each of my income streams. I cannot stress the importance of having more than one way of making money. Generally Summer is a quiet time for selling products, but much busier for freelance work. Once freelance drops off towards Christmas, your product sales will absolutely leap!

How To Be Self Employed

I also wrote a list of possible income streams if the above failed to provide, such as licensing my photographs or opening a craft supplies shop. More projects will dilute your focus, but it’s always good to have an idea bank – especially if ideas can go hand in hand with established income streams.

Thinking this would be a lot of information to take in all in one lump, I took to Twitter and you folks asked for the content to be split into two blog posts. Don’t worry if you’re super eager (like me!) the second instalment will be here on my blog this Thursday. In the meantime, do your homework; Get a notebook to dedicate to your budget and start following the steps above – A pretty one! ;)

Don’t miss Part II (It’s here!!)! Make sure you’re subscribed by email, RSS or Bloglovin.

Loves x xx

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