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Any Guidance for going Self Employed


Lillpete

Question

I am in the process of sorting myself out to go self employed and am looking for guidance.

I know that the current climate is not the best to be launching a new business into however I am currently earning such a low wage I feel I haven't got much to lose.

I have been an electrician for around three years after retraining (yes it was a fast track course but I have been an a steep learning curve ever since). I have now been offered semi regular work from a couple of familly members which, although nowhere near enough to live on by itself has spurred me on to give it a go.

I've been looking into various scheme providers (notably BSi and NIC) and know I will need public liability insurance but was wondering where people tend to get the best rates for this and if there is any other insurances I should look at??

Are there any guys on here who have gone self employed only to not get enough work and end up going back on the books??

Any guidance and advice would be gratefully recieved.

Cheers ;)

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londonleccy

I'm in the same boat Lill Pete.Working for a firm but picking up bits and pieces.I staerted about 3 months ago and now i'm seriously considering going full self employed.As you start doing small jobs ,if you do a decent job,word gets around and work does start coming to you .

Got my NICEIC assessment in2 weeks,I decided to sign up when I had to blow out a couple of jobs for builders who wanted work notified through a scam provider.

I currently work 2-3 evenings and most saturdays,mostly small jobs but hopefully carry on building up work.

Good luck with your business

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SPECIAL LOCATION
I have been lookiing at the options for Part P, is there a reason why I shouldn't apply to the NIC?? as they are the best known and appear to be similarily priced to the others, is there something I'm missing??

Personally I am with the NIC.....

I have NO complaints and I am happy with the financial return I get from my investment with my membership costs......

Others have different experiences... It is an INDIVIDUAL choice!

But that said....

Unless you have been a member of EVERY scheme...

it is impossible to fully assess the Advantaged -vs- Disadvantages of

A to b to c etc.....!

:|

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The Godfather

Pete, consider the following:

1 Your personal monthly outgoings.

2 Your business monthly commitments.

3 Your Net income from self trading.

If the latter (3) is higher than 1 + 2, then you should be comfortable.

Hopes this helps.

The Boys

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Pete, consider the following:

1 Your personal monthly outgoings.

2 Your business monthly commitments.

3 Your Net income from self trading.

If the latter (3) is higher than 1 + 2, then you should be comfortable.

Hopes this helps.

The Boys

I know exactly what 1, is, have a fairly good idea of what 2, will be but no idea of what 3, will be which is where it gets a bit scary :(

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The Godfather
From a previous career as a financial advisor I know exactly what 1, is, a fairly good idea of what 2, will be but no idea of what 3, will be which is where it gets a bit scary :(

What you expect/anticipate to earn realistically.

The Godfather

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Just got the call :o

I have a job to go and look at that would be starting mid September, which suddenly makes it all rather real and scary as I need to resign by the end of this week if I am to be available to do this work.

I think I need a drink

Guiness Drink

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I wouldnt quit your job for the sake of one job. Do it in your spare time, or take a 'holiday' you need your private work to be filling every bit of your spare time before you make the switch. I work every weekend and usuall one or 2 nights a week and i need more and more work before I even think about the switch.

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Due to a company enforced Christmas break I haven't got any holiday to use and I wouldn't want to miss out on my 18 month old sons development by working every weekend, I'm fortunate in that my outgoings are relatively small and I have enough savings to tide me over for quite a while.

Although this is one job, provided I don't mess it up there should be more to come and on average a decent chunk of my current earnings should be earnable each month plus any other work I can get, so it shouldn't be too bad ( I Hope)

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The reality is that business will always be a rocky road who ever you are and you will find that it requires a hell of alot more hours than your normal job. You will be the electrician, accountant, buyer, tea boy etc, etc.

Having said that, if you don't have ago then it will eat away at you.

There is a true saying - 'theres no time like the present' and if you are serious about your own business then you will make it work.

My advice to you would be to look very carefully into what you want to achieve and make sure you complete a business plan, even if you are not seeking any financial support.

A business plan will help you to achieve your goals and work as a map for your business and the future. You will be surprised by the things a plan will make you think about your business.

Don't be fooled by companies that ring you up very soon after you start up in business seeking only one electrician in the area or only one electrical contracting company in the area to advertise in their broucher, calander et,etc do some research first before parting with any money.

The best business will always be word of mouth and based on your own work. The best representative for your business is you, but you will only be as good as your last job, so do it right and professional. Choose the right scheme provider that will support your business.

Rome wasn't built in a day but if you make it happen it can be built very quickly.

A quick tip is (and might appear obvious but when people have never been in business before, they can be a little too keen) send all your customer invoices by 1st class post and your suppliers invoices cheques (after 30-45 days) by 2nd class post.

I also insure my company with Trade direct (Zurich) and have Public Liability, Employers Liability, Professional Indemnity, tool insurances etc.

And for what its worth, I am personally choc-a-bloc with work at the moment and haven't had a day off for about 2 months including the weekends. My wife still thinks that we are going away for a long weekend next month but I now have worked booked in - thats business!

Good look with your venture!

WarrenG

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I know a couple of guys who have seen their work dry up and had to take a job, ask yourself where you see the rest of your work coming from. If you have an answer then go for it, if not then try and get an answer.

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Have you read the buisness page we have on here?

http://www.electricianforum.co.uk/soletrader.htm

Thanks I just had a quick scan, that looks really useful Applaud Smiley I'll check it out in more detail later.

As for where the work would come from I've been looking into advertising in the local Parish Magazines and will cost up one of the local free papers. But obviously I don't know what sort of responce I'm likely to get? other than this and contacting local lettings/estate agents it would be friends/word of mouth.

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Apache
Thanks I just had a quick scan, that looks really useful Applaud Smiley I'll check it out in more detail later.

As for where the work would come from I've been looking into advertising in the local Parish Magazines and will cost up one of the local free papers. But obviously I don't know what sort of responce I'm likely to get? other than this and contacting local lettings/estate agents it would be friends/word of mouth.

Do you think you could continue working and build your customer base up a little more? I would be very worried about dumping a job at this time. It has been said on here before when your job is getting in the way of your work that's the time to go it alone! Not too prematurely. You don't want to go bust.

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betty swollocks

think its all been said before in other posts but in my experience you should try to build your customer base, be as varied as possible,

share your bread and butter(regular work) around a few builders, not the best payers and yet expect you to be there yesterday, but its experience, regular work and if you choose wisely you get paid and make a potential customer from the property your working on, you'l be surprised how often they give your number out to relatives and friends,

perhaps try a few letting agents, again, not great money but it could be a regular job every week, try conservatory installers, very easy jobs which time wise could be done t-time(when people are home from work) and only take a few hours, try to get on with everyone you meet, joiners, plumbers, brickies, kitchen fitters, be nice, go that extra bit further and you potentially have several other trades who will be asked during 'their' work if they know a decent spark, i know im always asked if i know trustworthy plumbers/tilers/joiners/builders and that alone could get you a job a week,

eventually by doin this you will (like i did) reach a point when you have no time to do your 'employed job' .... and thats the moment you go,

present climate i would go for this approach for that extra security and peace of mind

eventually you will get a regular workload and you will then be in a position to then seek out more lucrative work/jobs and knock back not so well paid jobs or 'nightmare jobs'

dont forget doing it this way over time and you spread the cost of tools, insurance and other set up costs, rather than all in one big expense.

as for what you will earn? well in my view you need to be sure you can double at the very very least your weekly employed wage because you will be doing far more hours, either in the van, on the tools or at the desk...

but the theres no better feeling than viewing a job and thinking to yourself..

' hmmm i dont really wanna do this one' and moving on to the next

but be aware that there will be time when you absolutely dont want a job for whatever reason so you price it high to make sure you dont get it only for them to give you it anyway...headbang

bad job/good money?!?!? ohh thats a bit like looking at yer wifes younger sisters bottom and thinking 'i shouldnt, its just plain wrong' but also feeling the rewards far outway the consequences...Blushing

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I'll probably give them a go first then ;)

What proceedures will I need to have in place for paperwork etc as I noticed on their website that this is part of the assesments?

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Andy™
I'll probably give them a go first then ;)

What proceedures will I need to have in place for paperwork etc as I noticed on their website that this is part of the assesments?

H&S policy (if applicable)

risk assessments

complaint procedure...

...

...

...

and my mind has gone blank... someone else can fill in the missing spaces

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Although I completely agree with what you are saying, the issue I have is that I work for a very small local company (there's me and my boss, thats the whole company) he's been good to me but just can't pay me bigger wages. I just wouldn't feel right actively seeking private work whilst working for him as it would be right on his patch and would be in competition, also one of my contacts is a kitchen fitter so all the work would be registerable and just simple things like being available for assesments to join the NIC would be very difficult to organise.

What I am hoping is that I will be able to still work for him as a contractor on day rates, when required, but this is by no means gauranteed as I do not know how well he will take my setting up just down the road.

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Evans Electric

I was about to answer with great pearls of wisdom but the thought of Betty's wife's younger sister's bottom has thrown me for the minute. :|;\

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Although I completely agree with what you are saying, the issue I have is that I work for a very small local company (there's me and my boss, thats the whole company) he's been good to me but just can't pay me bigger wages. I just wouldn't feel right actively seeking private work whilst working for him as it would be right on his patch and would be in competition, also one of my contacts is a kitchen fitter so all the work would be registerable and just simple things like being available for assesments to join the NIC would be very difficult to organise.

What I am hoping is that I will be able to still work for him as a contractor on day rates, when required, but this is by no means gauranteed as I do not know how well he will take my setting up just down the road.

Ask him you may be suprised.

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whats the best way to get in with builders??

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Evans Electric

Right where were we ? Liability insurance, try Gladiator on 0870 040 3310. I have a

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Go for 2 mil public liabiliy as thats what the part p schemes want to see.

Mines 10quid a month, hardly noticeable

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Andy™

scam providers want

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Andy™

not sure of the legal side of it, but your holidays should be when you want, not you must take at certain time. if your planning to have left your company by then, take your holidays now. if your still havent left by xmas, then youll have to either work or take time unpaid, or just have your 3 bank holidays off

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