Page 1 of 1 [ 12 posts ] 

savvyidentity
Velociraptor
Velociraptor

User avatar

Joined: 15 Jul 2013
Age: 33
Gender: Male
Posts: 469

21 Jul 2013, 12:30 am

I had this idea to start a business a while ago and it's something I really want to do and have it as my only source of income - that is I don't want to explain myself to the jobcentre or someone else. I'd much rather be just earning £10 a week than let someone tell me what to do. What my self employed business would do is PC repairs primarily involving going to peoples houses (so as not to have a cost of premises in the beginning).

Ok so here are the issues:

First I don't know all the details of how I would manage a business. How to deal with legal side etc. I'm not asking advise on that but I'm saying I'd have to learn all this and it kinda hurts my motivation to do it when I don't know much about it. And I'm not sure where to get all the advise I would need on that (I'm in the UK btw). So is there maybe somewhere to go to get that advise that is not the jobcentre because then suddenly I "have" to take some course or another if I want help from them and I don't care about or even want enterprise allowance or anything like that.

Second I'm not sure I'd want to go to into peoples homes to do all this. Whilst I think I could manage that I don't think I would really want to. Also I would need advise on public liability insurance and maybe other factors I haven't thought of. That and getting/making phone calls all the time I think would be somewhat annoying.

So it kinda seems like then my only other sensible option is to trade (like an ebay shop) and again I don't know where to get that kind of advise.

Now obviously I'm not asking for business advise directly on this forum just maybe a point in a direction where I could have a face to face chat with someone who can tell me the ins and outs of it all and answer any questions I have. The jobcentre was not useful on this apart from offering to give me a course I don't want because it involves extra involvement with them. The net is not useful because nothing I could find answered my questions.

Any opinions on this? Is there a book maybe?

Thanks for reading :)



ablomov
Velociraptor
Velociraptor

User avatar

Joined: 19 Jul 2008
Age: 61
Gender: Male
Posts: 485
Location: northern hemisphere

21 Jul 2013, 1:47 am

keep records of all money in and all money out, list it on paper ... the difference is yr profit (or loss).

phone calls are easy .. you will have your 'business hat' on.

sit down and visualise what a successful business would be ....

who will gladly pay for it / you ie no defaulters.

ask yrself ... what is it that ppl really want?

learn to recognise a) bullshitters .... b) timewasters and those that want something for nothing.

manage yr time effectively, learn to cut short those wankers that want to tell you their lifestory.

i found most books are useless.

yes, I know how u feel ......



savvyidentity
Velociraptor
Velociraptor

User avatar

Joined: 15 Jul 2013
Age: 33
Gender: Male
Posts: 469

21 Jul 2013, 2:13 am

ablomov wrote:
phone calls are easy .. you will have your 'business hat' on.


Yes I get what you mean, I have that kindof 'mode'.

ablomov wrote:
who will gladly pay for it / you ie no defaulters.

Yes I want only necessary expenses that I have to have by law. I think that wont be a problem once I find a place that will let me know the details.

ablomov wrote:
learn to recognise a) bullshitters .... b) timewasters and those that want something for nothing.
manage yr time effectively, learn to cut short those wankers that want to tell you their lifestory.


I guess you mean customers wasting time? Yeah I thought that would be a problem because someone would want free advise and I don't want to be an advise line (literally not at all) unless it has to do with something I provide or provided.

Lifestory.. do you mean people will phone just for someone to talk to? That's kind of an awkward one. Is it common?



ablomov
Velociraptor
Velociraptor

User avatar

Joined: 19 Jul 2008
Age: 61
Gender: Male
Posts: 485
Location: northern hemisphere

22 Jul 2013, 2:24 am

re 'lifestory' ... I was going to say not phone-callers only when u enter their homes but when i think about it yes there will be some on the phone that will 'go on' a bit ... or a lot !

remember .. they will have 'practiced' their monologues many times on other poor saps .... yr time is precious and u will 'kick yrself' later fr having listened to their practiced drivel....



Kelspook
Pileated woodpecker
Pileated woodpecker

User avatar

Joined: 6 Jun 2011
Age: 45
Gender: Female
Posts: 181
Location: South East Scotland

22 Jul 2013, 3:58 am

Duport is a good place to start if you're looking at setting up a registered company with Companies House in the UK- We registered ours a few weeks ago. They have packages that include all the legal gubbins you're likely to need. We were setting up a limited company though, so you may want to look elsewhere. The HMRC site has lots of info, but it can be rather confusing.

File everything neatly. Keep everything, receipts, the lot. There are a huge amount of things that you can run through your business that are then tax deductable (fuel expenses, telephone bills, electricity, broadband, tea and coffee even part of your rent if your utilising part of your home as a workshop, basically business running costs). Don't allocate 100% of a room to the business if you own the property though, as this would then make you liable for capital gains tax should you sell your home.

Get yourself a reputable accountant. You'll save yourself a lot of trouble in the long run. If you screw up the tax returns that you'll have to put in then it can cost you a fortune. The taxman is a swine.

If you're going into IT services, and you decide you want to go beyond word of mouth advertising, make sure your website is clean, simple and professional, and if it's doing well and you decide you want expand, look into search engine optimisation (SEO). This is where you get someone to sort out your website so it appears far higher up the search lists.

Finally, expect to make a bit of a loss in your first year, though you should earn enough to eat, hopefully! This happens with the huge majority of new businesses. How it usually goes is 1st year loss, 2nd year break even, 3rd year profit. There's exceptions to every rule though, and the fact that you won't be paying for overheads like premises will probably help.

The folk that want something for nothing are unavoidable, sadly. Try not to fall into the trap of doing stuff for friends for free.

Barclays Bank offer a service called credit focus, which allows you to check the credit of other companies before you trade with them. They also seem to be the best bank for small businesses, so I suggest you speak to them. We did, and they've been great.

Good luck!



ablomov
Velociraptor
Velociraptor

User avatar

Joined: 19 Jul 2008
Age: 61
Gender: Male
Posts: 485
Location: northern hemisphere

22 Jul 2013, 12:39 pm

thirty years self employed... bought a good house out of it .. Barclays are a bunch of *[email protected]%**.. probably all High Street Banks are .... I've been with 'em 40 years ... counts fr nothing!

you should look to make a profit from day one, every day. this first year 'loss' lark is baloney. you have at least 2,000 hours to sell per annum.....

realise the difference betwwen fixed and variable costs.

maximise the difference between money in and money out.

keep it simple, clean.

I am a registered 'sole trader' status and works fine for me.

if yr UK ...avoid the 'Simplex D' accounts books... rubbish and confusing and yet so often recommended. I can show you quicker easier better ways. The tax people are fine with me.

You'll soon find out better than any credit search who pays there bills and who doesn't



Last edited by ablomov on 23 Jul 2013, 3:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

savvyidentity
Velociraptor
Velociraptor

User avatar

Joined: 15 Jul 2013
Age: 33
Gender: Male
Posts: 469

23 Jul 2013, 1:06 am

Thanks for the replies, I'd have gotten back to this sooner but I didn't know how to keep track of threads on the forum.

Actually I didn't consider the idea of letting people pay in ways other than cash. The way I'd like to do that is in a way I take payment from them immediately rather than a payment plan. I know some people aren't good on their word so I don't want that risk of loss of time or capital. Unless I get into building custom PC's too (in which case I'd want full deposit on parts). So is there some way I could take immediate electronic payment from a customer that doesn't cost me much, or hopefully nothing at all? Particularly I wouldn't want some kind of contract I have to pay for with whoever could set that up. Like I'd be happy for someone to take a percentage of something that went through their system if such a thing exists.



Last edited by savvyidentity on 23 Jul 2013, 1:24 am, edited 2 times in total.

savvyidentity
Velociraptor
Velociraptor

User avatar

Joined: 15 Jul 2013
Age: 33
Gender: Male
Posts: 469

23 Jul 2013, 1:17 am

There is another issue too now I think of it and that's licensing fees for windows and in some cases maybe microsoft office. What I mean is I don't have / couldn't afford some kind of contract with microsoft to license copies of windows for people - the details of how to do that are also very vague. I'm happy to mention to customers they should have those cd's ready and if they don't have them that they might need to go out and buy it, but wouldn't they mean a loss of business for people who just don't want the hassle?



savvyidentity
Velociraptor
Velociraptor

User avatar

Joined: 15 Jul 2013
Age: 33
Gender: Male
Posts: 469

23 Jul 2013, 1:19 am

Kelspook wrote:

Get yourself a reputable accountant. You'll save yourself a lot of trouble in the long run. If you screw up the tax returns that you'll have to put in then it can cost you a fortune. The taxman is a swine.


Oh yes I definately want an accountant, as there are probably more liability issues if I do it myself. That's a one off fee I'm happy to pay. What I wonder about these kind of issues is if I can introduce something I own as an asset. Like I have a cupboard full of spare stuff for different makes of PC and wonder how to introduce that because I'm supposed to have receipts for bought goods and show that etc.



ablomov
Velociraptor
Velociraptor

User avatar

Joined: 19 Jul 2008
Age: 61
Gender: Male
Posts: 485
Location: northern hemisphere

23 Jul 2013, 2:22 am

can be inc under 'capital and assets introduced into business'



Kelspook
Pileated woodpecker
Pileated woodpecker

User avatar

Joined: 6 Jun 2011
Age: 45
Gender: Female
Posts: 181
Location: South East Scotland

23 Jul 2013, 5:36 am

ablomov wrote:
thirty years self employed... bought a good house out of it .. Barclays are a bunch of *[email protected]%**.. probably all High Street Banks are .... I've been with 'em 40 years ... counts fr nothing!


I'm not saying they're all sweetness or light, I just meant that of all the banks I spoke to, they were by far the most positive and helpful. You also have a business manager you can speak to face to face with them. Not sure if any others do that, certainly none of the ones with branches round here do.

ablomov wrote:
you should look to make a profit from day one, every day. this first year 'loss' lark is baloney. you have at least 2,000 hours to sell per annum.....


That's a very difficult thing to do- you won't be in profit until you've recouped your setup costs, earned enough to cover running costs and of course paying yourself a salary! I'm not saying it can't be done, far from it, but it's a good idea to be prepared for that possibility.


savvyidentity wrote:
Thanks for the replies, I'd have gotten back to this sooner but I didn't know how to keep track of threads on the forum.

Actually I didn't consider the idea of letting people pay in ways other than cash. The way I'd like to do that is in a way I take payment from them immediately rather than a payment plan. I know some people aren't good on their word so I don't want that risk of loss of time or capital. Unless I get into building custom PC's too (in which case I'd want full deposit on parts). So is there some way I could take immediate electronic payment from a customer that doesn't cost me much, or hopefully nothing at all? Particularly I wouldn't want some kind of contract I have to pay for with whoever could set that up. Like I'd be happy for someone to take a percentage of something that went through their system if such a thing exists.


Our business account allows for BACS payments at no charge. The customer would need online banking to do that though. The money is then transferred straight from thier bank account to yours. Paypal is another option, though there are fees with that.

savvyidentity wrote:
There is another issue too now I think of it and that's licensing fees for windows and in some cases maybe microsoft office. What I mean is I don't have / couldn't afford some kind of contract with microsoft to license copies of windows for people - the details of how to do that are also very vague. I'm happy to mention to customers they should have those cd's ready and if they don't have them that they might need to go out and buy it, but wouldn't they mean a loss of business for people who just don't want the hassle?


If you're doing comp repairs, the customer should be able to give you the existing product key for their computer, so even if they have no CD, you should just be able to download it for them :) Office should work the same, though not sure :)



savvyidentity
Velociraptor
Velociraptor

User avatar

Joined: 15 Jul 2013
Age: 33
Gender: Male
Posts: 469

24 Jul 2013, 3:53 pm

Ah yes you just reminded me, but that seems only possible if you have an msn/hotmail/passport account, I guess I could do that if they have an OEM version though. Or perhaps instruct them to get the CD so that there isn't complications about "would it be cheaper if I just got it myself".
I'm just thinking perhaps I'd lose business on that side of it compared to someone who just has some kind of licencing scheme - though I know that's not something I'm going to be able to do in any case to start out with.

I'm sure there was an advise place with full on advise for people considering self employment just it's slipped my mind.