Getting Set Up – Freelance Diaries

Yesterday was spent doing a couple of things.

  1. Starting this new blog on my experience of becoming a freelancer
  2. Connecting with more people via email, LinkedIn and a variety of other social networks
  3. Meeting an accountant to “Get Shit Set Up”

The “Getting Shit Set Up” aspect of freelancing is probably the bit I have been most concerned about. I have spent a long time creating digital marketing strategies, doing the work, project managing and dealing with clients. All of that is well within my comfort zone. I have zero issues walking into a room filled with high-level executives for big brands and helping them to understand how they can better understand their digital marketing efforts. Not because I am fearless and brave, but because I have done it many times over many years and, in many cases, done it well.

In all of those situations, I had one thing on my side. I didn’t have to worry about understanding how much tax I had to pay, how much money I could put into my bank account or indeed submitting a tax return. These are all things that I know I now have to deal with and I’ll be honest, it is a pain in the arse.

For a little while I considered incorporating my business and dealing with my tax returns etc. personally, but 2.5 seconds later I remembered I am not an accountant and expecting to get all of that right first time with little to no experience is too much to expect of myself. Especially as HMRC aren’t renowned for their empathy or understanding and mistakes are rewarded with large fines.

I just don’t want the hassle. My focus needs to be on growing my business, my brand and my revenue. In order to do this business development and delivering amazing work has to be my first port of call.

With all of that in mind, I decided to consult a professional and handed the reigns over to them to set me up.

There is a little bit of pride that comes with setting up a company and the conversation with the accountant made me realise the potential for growth as time goes on. As long as I am freelancing, it means I am personally responsible for my income. This gives me more control than having my fate in the hands of an employer. It also means I am going to, at some point, going to end up being my own bottleneck.

That means, in order to expand, at some point I will need to recognise that the business will become a separate entity that will need other people to help it grow. Running some kind of agency has been a dream of mine ever since I stepped into my first job as an account manager. Every single job taught me something, not just about digital marketing, but about the businesses themselves.

In many cases employment made me realise what I didn’t want my future company to be. As an employee, I have managers that treated me incredibly well and in some cases, they treated me badly. Every time I was treated badly, I made a note in my head that it was something I would aim to never do if I had the chance to employ people.

I’m not saying I have never made a mistake as a manager and treated people in a way I regret. I absolutely have, but I would like to think I always tried to rectify the situation and regain the mutual respect of my colleagues.

There will certainly be a lot to learn, especially in terms of running a business, but at least now I have dedicated myself to that.

Having the accounts managed for me has lifted a weight off my shoulders. I still want to have a more in-depth understanding of the finance side of the business so I am not completely in the dark but I would much rather have an expert on my side.

Until next time…

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