WELCOME ADVICE FOR HOMEWORKERS FROM ENDSLEIGH INSURANCE
Posted 13 Mar 2012
Top tips for would-be entrepreneurs setting up their own home-based businesses
“We’re getting more and more enquiries from people setting up in business on their own for the first time,” says Kate Jenner commercial team manager at Endsleigh Insurance. “The internet has made it easier and cheaper for people to trade, but so many are naive about how to go about it.”
Endsleigh’s top tips include:
• Benefit from business accounts. It may not seem like a priority if you’re not expecting to make much money initially, but it’s important to separate your personal and business finances - also, there are free gifts and other benefits to enjoy. All the main high street banks will be competing for your business and will offer all manner of perks and gifts to get you to bank with them.
At the same time, get your mobile phone transferred to a business account so you can take advantage of the improved customer service and special deals that only apply to business users. Moving your mobile phone to a business account can be a great money saver. You might be able to combine with a broadband package and benefit from attractive phone upgrades, as well as free calls between business users.
• Put all ‘sundries’ through the company account. Working from home can mean sitting at a computer or driving around your local community - either way you are going to clock up a lot of payments for small items. This can mean paying for tea bags, buying a new computer keyboard or simply stocking up on pens. Make sure you get a VAT receipt for all payments, as it all stacks up.
• Use your social networks to market yourself as cheaply as possible. Advertising in the local paper or online might be necessary to get yourself started, but there’s nothing like using your network of friends, family and former business contacts to find work. This isn’t the time to be bashful - make sure everyone knows about your new business by updating your LinkedIn profile and sending out messages through Facebook and Twitter.
• Join relevant groups and organisations. Is there a union or organisation that covers your particular sector? Joining up can reap huge rewards such as discounted training and advertising opportunities, and widening your network of contacts. As well as official bodies, look out for collectives that work with people like you.
• Protect yourself. Whatever service or product you are selling, you are liable for its safety, accuracy and general adherence to the law. Whatever your line of business, you will need cover for business and office equipment, stock, business travel, revenue protection, tools and goods in transit.
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