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How to smooth the transition from employee to self-employed

Whether you’re a plumber, plasterer, carpenter or spark, leaving your job to become a self employed is a big step – and one fraught with uncertainty. Once you quit your job, there’s no safety net. You’ll need to get your business up and running as soon as possible, and start growing your client base post haste.

It can all feel very daunting, yet thousands of tradespeople make the transition every year and begin reaping the rewards of working for themselves. If you’re planning to make the jump, here are a few tips which will help to ease your transition & ensure that you hit the ground running.

1. Plan ahead

After a hard day’s graft for your employer, the last thing you’ll want to be doing is more work in the evenings and on weekends. Yet, the more thorough your preparations, the better the footing you’ll be on when you leave your job.

Invest your free time in making preparations for becoming self-employed, from setting up a website and registering on trades directories online, to setting up spreadsheets for your accounts, sorting out insurance and printing business cards. There’s a lot to be done, and the more you can get sorted while you’re still earning a wage the better.

2. Make contacts

If you’re currently working in a profession related to the trade you intend to offer on a self-employed basis, it’s a good idea to start building up contacts before you go it alone. Make sure you tread carefully as some employers may not take too kindly to you cosying up to their clients. However, approach this in an open and honest way (without poaching anyone’s business) and you should find yourself with a phonebook full of helpful contacts when you leave.

3. Start saving

No matter how prepared you are before you make the switch, your first few months are going to be lean while you build up your client base and get everything up and running. Before you quit your role, it’s recommended that you have at least two months savings to tide you over.

Have you made the switch from employment to self-employment? How did you find the transition and what