Things you should do before entering self-employment

By Henry Brown

So, the time has finally come for you to become your own boss and ditch your current day job. It feels a little strange, right? Those feelings of fear and trepidation are perfectly normal, but if you want all this to go according to plan, you need to put those feelings to one side and focus on preparing properly. There are some really important things that you need to do before becoming self-employed if you want to have any chance of succeeding. Read on to learn more about these vital things.

Make a business plan

Business plans are essential because they allow you to lay out your plans in an open and coherent kind of way. You’ll then be able to make sure that you know what you’re going to do and how you’re going to respond to certain issues and problems as they arise. That’s something that really does matter so don’t underestimate its importance.

Clear your debts

Clearing the debts that you currently have is one thing you should definitely be looking to do before you start self-employment. There are simply too many risks that come with carrying debt into this kind of career. You should try the snowball debt method if you want to get completely debt free in a reasonable amount of time. It could be just what you need.

Learn from and talk to other self-employed people

Talking to other people who have already been in the position you’re in right now can be really helpful. It will tell you a lot about what you can expect and the issues you’re likely to face as you get started. Talk to and learn from as many of them as you possibly can because it’s impossible to have too much knowledge and guidance when you’re starting in self-employment.

Also, you might consider getting a copy of The Self-Employment Survival Guide: Proven Strategies for Succeeding as Your Own Boss, a new book just published by Jeanne Yocum, the founder of this blog. It is based on her experience over nearly 30 years of self-employment.

Create an emergency fund to fall back on

There are so many things that can go wrong when you start working for yourself. All the risk is suddenly on your own shoulders and there is no one else to protect you. It’s therefore essential that you create an emergency fund that you can call on and dip into if you are having problems. There are always financial issues early on, so you need to be ready for them.

Ensure you have the right working environment

If you’re going to be self-employed, it means that you won’t be able to make use of a company office or workplace anymore. So do you have plans for how you’re going to find a working environment that’s right for you? If not, this should be one of your top priorities. Some people focus on working at home, while others have to rent out work spaces, so explore the options. The new trend toward co-working spaces have made renting space far more affordable for newcomers like you than ever before so check to see if such space is available near you.

Becoming self-employed is both incredibly exciting and also very scary indeed. There is not much middle ground here, and those competing feelings can lead to confusion and bad preparation. Don’t let that happen; instead, make sure that you have the foresight to make this transition as smooth as it can be by putting solid plans in place first.


Henry Brown is an online marketing executive. When he isn’t talking shop he’s roaming the streets of London, uncovering the extra-ordinary in the ordinary.

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The Self-Employment Survival Guide can help you succeed. Learn all about it here.

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