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Kate  
#1 Posted : 16 January 2022 17:00:34(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Kate

Quite recently I have moved into self-employment as a consultant, something that I'm not at all confident about and where I have many gaps in my knowledge and skills, especially on the legal side of running a business.

I did get some help to set things up and to my continual amazement I am now a director of a limited company.  I have done some e-learning on marketing topics and am currently in the process of creating a website.

Can anyone point me to some really good resources that would be helpful at this stage, or give some advice from experience on how to go about the business side of things?

stevedm  
#2 Posted : 18 January 2022 12:33:17(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
stevedm

Hi Kate..

You will see a wide and vast range of competencies out there so from your responses on the forum I wouldn't knock yourself down there...there is no need to ;'stick to what you know' to a degree yes but you can go in whatever direction you want...do what you enjoy..

Get an accountant that you can trust...set up payroll for your company...

https://www.ukfinance.org.uk/news-and-insight/blogs/ir35-explained#:~:text=IR35%20rules%20ensure%20that%20off,insurance%20as%20an%20employee%20would.

Use other sub contractors for websites and marketing on People per Hour or something like that (no affiliation)...I looked into websites and search engine optimisation etc when I first started and if you have the inclination it is fairly easy to do, but for a few quid an hour it is best to get an expert.  Marketing is the same, however you will have your own network, use it to get you card and contact details out there...in my experience subtlety is better than mass emails etc...

Have a good set of terms and conditions setup from the beginning and make sure you issue them with all of your proposals...

ALWAYS check out your clients before starting any job...just google them...check companies house etc, even facebook...but do the research.if they have put company after company down in the past 12 months you could do the work and not get anything.. red flags are 'accounts over due'...work with who you want to work with...I am sure you would but uphold your own integrity...generally if it doesn't feel right it isn't...

..oh and above all, enjoy it :)    

thanks 2 users thanked stevedm for this useful post.
Kate on 18/01/2022(UTC), peter gotch on 18/01/2022(UTC)
kwaddington  
#3 Posted : 27 January 2022 12:25:12(UTC)
Rank: New forum user
kwaddington

Hi Kate I used to have my own business.  I struggled with the accountancy side of things therefore; strongly advise you to get an accountant.  If I was to start up again, an Accountant is a must!!  I also fell foul of a couple of clients who had me in to do work and never paid for the work!  One client was moving to another area/location so I never go paid.  I think someone has already said, research your clients.  That is what I will do in the future I go down this route again.  All in all, I loved working for myself.  It can be lonely sometimes so if you have someone that you know who is a safety professional, keep them at your side to bounce stuff off.  Good luck.  You will enjoy it!

thanks 1 user thanked kwaddington for this useful post.
Kate on 27/01/2022(UTC)
Mark-W  
#4 Posted : 31 January 2022 14:44:12(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Mark-W

I run my own consultancy, by choice 3 days a week is a busy week for me. And all of my work has come through word of mouth. I don't have a website, I don't do business cards, I don't do brakfast groups etc. But I mention what I do when ever I meet anyone. I always work what I do into the conversation.

As a Ltd company, you have to have an accountant IIRC. Mine does most of my number work for me. He does my VAT return, I collate and account for all receipts and invoices on a spreadsheet and email it in, he then gives me a VAT return that he's filed and I have a DD set up with HMRC to take the VAT.

At year end most of the work is already done. So just expense sheets and a few other bits of info and job done. He does my pers tax return and that of my wife. She's a director of my company. 

I insist all clients are on 30 day payments. I'm that small I can't afford to run on 60 or 90 day terms. 

I also don't have any contracts, so rolling monthly contracts. I do charge a retainer to my smaller clients, If I don't do any work for them in that month they pay the retainer, if I do work for them, I reduce the first days work by the cost of the retainer, day 2 and onwards is at full rate. 

This encourages them to use me every month

If you have any questions please feel free to contact me direct and I'll help out where I can. I must be doing something right as I've been operating for 10 years next month

thanks 2 users thanked Mark-W for this useful post.
Kate on 31/01/2022(UTC), peter gotch on 31/01/2022(UTC)
macejkovic  
#5 Posted : 07 February 2022 09:31:38(UTC)
Rank: New forum user
macejkovic

Originally Posted by: kwaddington Go to Quoted Post

Hi Kate I used to have my own business.  I struggled with the accountancy side of things therefore; strongly advise you to get an accountant.  If I was to start up again, an Accountant is a must!!  I also fell foul of a couple of clients who had me in to do work and never paid for the work!  One client was moving to another area/location so I never go paid.  I think someone has already said, research your clients.  That is what I will do in the future I go down this route again.  All in all, I loved working for myself.  It can be lonely sometimes so if you have someone that you know who is a safety professional, keep them at your side to bounce stuff off.  Good luck.  You will enjoy it! bubble shooter

I totally agree with you because I also made the same mistake like that and everything was messing up. The numbers drove me crazy
chris42  
#6 Posted : 07 February 2022 09:53:41(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
chris42

Reported the post above for adding a link at end, too dumb to note that when you quote it shows up with a grey background, so white writing shows up. I would suggest they get a real job.

With regard Kates Post

So what areas of H&S are you in? ie generalist, or something more specialised ( not which part of the country -I think you are in Bristol area anyway).

Best of Luck with your endeavours

Chris

Edited by user 07 February 2022 09:56:36(UTC)  | Reason: wish I could spell

thanks 3 users thanked chris42 for this useful post.
RVThompson on 07/02/2022(UTC), peter gotch on 07/02/2022(UTC), A Kurdziel on 07/02/2022(UTC)
peter gotch  
#7 Posted : 07 February 2022 11:51:19(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
peter gotch

Chris, well spotted. I could only see the white writing by tilting my laptop to an ergonomically unsound angle!!

Kate  
#8 Posted : 07 February 2022 12:40:11(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Kate

I'm in QHSE not just H&S, definitely of a jack of all trades not a specialist in any.

Bigsunny  
#9 Posted : 20 March 2022 20:30:16(UTC)
Rank: New forum user
Bigsunny

Originally Posted by: Mark-W Go to Quoted Post

What range is your retainer fee?

I run my own consultancy, by choice 3 days a week is a busy week for me. And all of my work has come through word of mouth. I don't have a website, I don't do business cards, I don't do brakfast groups etc. But I mention what I do when ever I meet anyone. I always work what I do into the conversation.

As a Ltd company, you have to have an accountant IIRC. Mine does most of my number work for me. He does my VAT return, I collate and account for all receipts and invoices on a spreadsheet and email it in, he then gives me a VAT return that he's filed and I have a DD set up with HMRC to take the VAT.

At year end most of the work is already done. So just expense sheets and a few other bits of info and job done. He does my pers tax return and that of my wife. She's a director of my company. 

I insist all clients are on 30 day payments. I'm that small I can't afford to run on 60 or 90 day terms. 

I also don't have any contracts, so rolling monthly contracts. I do charge a retainer to my smaller clients, If I don't do any work for them in that month they pay the retainer, if I do work for them, I reduce the first days work by the cost of the retainer, day 2 and onwards is at full rate. 

This encourages them to use me every month

If you have any questions please feel free to contact me direct and I'll help out where I can. I must be doing something right as I've been operating for 10 years next month

AOB  
#10 Posted : 05 April 2022 15:49:17(UTC)
Rank: New forum user
AOB

Hey Kate,

How have you got on with your consultancy business?? I'm keen to know as I'm on the same path, just started out too... 

I'm open to any advice or collabrtaive working? 

Thanks, Anya  Anya O'Brien - CMIOSH, DipNEBOSHOK | LinkedIn

Mark-W  
#11 Posted : 19 April 2022 07:19:25(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Mark-W

Originally Posted by: Bigsunny Go to Quoted Post

Originally Posted by: Mark-W Go to Quoted Post

What range is your retainer fee?

I run my own consultancy, by choice 3 days a week is a busy week for me. And all of my work has come through word of mouth. I don't have a website, I don't do business cards, I don't do brakfast groups etc. But I mention what I do when ever I meet anyone. I always work what I do into the conversation.

As a Ltd company, you have to have an accountant IIRC. Mine does most of my number work for me. He does my VAT return, I collate and account for all receipts and invoices on a spreadsheet and email it in, he then gives me a VAT return that he's filed and I have a DD set up with HMRC to take the VAT.

At year end most of the work is already done. So just expense sheets and a few other bits of info and job done. He does my pers tax return and that of my wife. She's a director of my company. 

I insist all clients are on 30 day payments. I'm that small I can't afford to run on 60 or 90 day terms. 

I also don't have any contracts, so rolling monthly contracts. I do charge a retainer to my smaller clients, If I don't do any work for them in that month they pay the retainer, if I do work for them, I reduce the first days work by the cost of the retainer, day 2 and onwards is at full rate. 

This encourages them to use me every month

If you have any questions please feel free to contact me direct and I'll help out where I can. I must be doing something right as I've been operating for 10 years next month

Sorry just seen this, And only just caught your post inside of mine.

My retainer is commensurate with the company and day rate I charge. My smallest is £40 my biggest is £75. The bigger end do tend to use me monthly anyway so not really an issue.

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