So yesterday and Monday I ventured out to Bristol, for two seminars hosted by Justin Ricks of BRAVE, supported by Barclays bank. Over the two days I gained some really useful information, and met a few new contacts in the networking opportunities (hello if you’re reading!). I now have a much much clearer picture of what I need to get sorted to get myself setup and off the ground as a registered sole trader, and as I’ve recently started invoicing, I need to get onto Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs pretty sharpish, else I have no doubt the taxman will come-a-knocking. Best keep everything above board right from the start really. Good news is, I have up to three months to register once I’ve begun properly trading.
I’ve been in contact with Lloyds, the local SME manager should be getting back to me after a training course she’s on over this week, and I should be able to get a business bank account setup through there – I’ve been told it’s very easy as I’m already with them and have a stellar account history… *adjusts and polishes halo*
Speaking of banks, I don’t intentionally publicly go about slating anyone (honestly, I don’t), but I know Lloyds also has a really good online banking service from experience, unlike other services I’ve signed up for of late who have two very long ID strings and eight pieces of memorable information to remember. *cough, pause for clarity* Nationwide *pause for clarity, cough*.
But back on topic.
Other useful tidbits included a pretty comprehensive summary of the types of business to trade as – as mentioned, I’ll be going with sole trader for the time being – along with insurance, expenses in the context of profit and loss, and a basic guide to self assessment tax and national insurance, and more information on working from home and claiming for that on the business. I also learned I don’t have to worry about VAT until a turnover of £68k p.a. is on the cards, and I think I’ve got a little while before that’s even a possibility, though one can dream.
Marketing was covered, the importance of networking made clear again, along with having a USP (unique selling point*1) I almost had a heart attack when I heard FABA**2 from my old O2 sales training mentioned, at least it’s nice to know I’m already on top of that one I suppose!
LinkedIn was mentioned by a few of the people I’ve met, which kicked my behind in gear to getting it set up – I now have a profile – http://uk.linkedin.com/in/sheerman
In other very brief news, I’m still trying to get a work placement sorted at Carsonified, Performance Solutions‘ (link to existing) shiny new website (link to proposed new) is having the very last finishing touches put on it, and the Horsham Leisure Link template is coming along nicely, content to be added in the coming month(s), I’m reliably informed.
That’s all for now,
*1Mine’s being a young designer, with enough experience to know what’s what, but still being fresh enough for all my ideas to be original and not being churned over and over for every project – and the fact I try to be available pretty much 24/7 for content management. (There’s a simple, catchy way of wording things for you)
**2 Feature; Advantage; Benefit; Ask – If you don’t know what it is, thank the lord you’ve never sat through a training seminar about it! (Though that’s not to say it isn’t a really effective way of selling)
Lloyds online banking for business is actually very poor compared with, say HSBC. For example, it doesn’t even operate in real time.
And Lloyds service for business customers is also the worst of the major banks so readers would be better advised to shop around.