Double your chances,

Choosing to work for yourself is a bold decision. Gone are the benefits, the monthly pay-cheque, the health care, the security. Only to be replaced by the uncertainty, the hard work, the expensive mistakes, the 24/7 week.

Yet self-employment is something that countless individuals pursue. Yes some fail, but then the employment market is hardly rock solid these days, and for every attempt that has to be consigned to the ‘back to the office’ list, some make a real financial success story out of their efforts.

There is no secret formula, and countless hard realities. If ignored these can signal a messy end before your first quarter is through, but if embraced, if understood from the very start, they can provide the tools to tackle a new and challenging world of financial freedom and self-sufficiency.

If time is money, then you’re in debt

Every second of your day is now part of your working week. You often hear success stories from billionaire entrepreneurs of how they went without sleep, food and other core bodily functions, all for the glory of that first big sale. Although such examples can feel like they are drawn from the business of book mythology, there is no reason why you should expect your first year or so to be any different. If starting a business was easy, then everybody would do it.

However, despite this jolting and potentially uncomfortable reality, there is one person in particular who can be a friend to you. After all, you may be self-employed, but there is no reason to suggest why this has to be done completely alone.

This person can help you understand the most important element of your business’ future, the money. Keeping track of the awkward in’s and out’s of money, can at times feel too fluid and abstract to conceive. Despite this, it is absolutely fundamental to understand, ignore it and you are almost certain to fail. By fortifying this first line of defence and taking on the services of an accountant, you are giving yourself a great head start.

Taxing times

We already know that you are most likely pushed for time and money, but that’s fine, as long as you can put all your efforts into pushing your business. Marketing, networking, streamlining the delivery of products or services, growth and reinvestment.

These are all features that will require heavy management. What you do not need to be doing however is sitting with your back to the action, calculating the amount you’ve spent on ruled ledgers and business cards. Petrol, software, tools, equipment, dinners, hotels. These may all form an important part of your expenses, and calculating what you can claim back on the business in the form of tax is a useful feature of being self-employed, but it can also be painstakingly time consuming.

An accountant can do all this for you, whilst making your business as tax efficient as possible. In the early stages of your business every penny is vital for reinvestment, and an accountant can help you make the most of your assets.

Secondly an accountant can give you something much more valuable, time.

By freeing you from the drudgery of complex calculations, an accountant can give you the freedom to concentrate on the things you’re good at. Try to remember why you wished to be self-employed in the first place. Was it because you wanted to earn money from your passion? Was it because you wanted to use your skills to make a difference to you future? Was it to have fun whilst you earned? Or was it to count the tax on pens?

The level to which you employ their services is always down to you, but an accountant can be one of your closest allies in the first few years of your businesses lifespan. They can give you advice, they can offer financial clarity, and their understanding of your expenses can provide sage advice as to where to take your business next. Allowing you to step away from the calculator, put down the spreadsheets, and get back to the heart of your business, it may be the place you’ll find success.

Rob Wells writes for Juniper Accountancy, a chartered accounting firm that specialises in working with small to medium-sized businesses.