August 27, 2021

Five boxes to tick if you’ve recently become self employed.

It’s little surprise that one of the most identifiable outcomes of COVID-19 has been a reprioritisation en masse of what we prioritise in life. Work and career ladders have lost much ground to family, passions, relationships, and wellbeing and if the data is anything to go by, it’s a trend worth following: In the year to March 2021, New Zealand experienced a 7.5% increase in self-employment, a startling number considering we already have among the highest rates in the developed world.

Another factor paving the way for this rapid growth is the fact that not only is New Zealand consistently rated the easiest place in the world to do business, it’s consistently getting easier, with an abundance of services and technology platforms demystifying tasks that, in another decade, would see the dream of working for yourself in the too-hard basket. But this is 2021 and you’ve made the decision to go out on your own, so here’s a few things to remember:

  1. Promotion doesn’t have to be expensive. If you’re just starting out and don’t have a marketing budget, there are a couple of great options for drumming up early business

    - For tradies, builders crack is a good place to get jobs directly from homeowners - they have a great website and it’s very user friendly, but bidding for jobs can be time consuming.

    - Trademe services is a fairly cheap and localised place to advertise your services to the general public, make sure to be creative with your page so you stand out!

    - Workable is a new platform where contractors can create profiles showcasing their abilities. Businesses contact you directly through the app with offers of work that suit you. They even have contracts you can use to make sure you’re legally protected in all the work you do.
  2. Marketing is worth it, if you do it right. There are 1001 different ways of marketing your new business, and for each of those there are 10 people who will happily take your money to do it for you. Make sure to carefully consider your options before making decisions on a marketing agency; just because your mate went to school with him doesn’t mean he’s the best.
  3. Look after yourself! The freedom of being self-employed is amazing, but it’s not going to be a walk in the park: You’ll be taking risks, balancing work and marketing, you’ll have obligations to creditors and maybe even employees. All of this gets exponentially harder if you’re not taking care of your physical and mental health.
  4. Don’t neglect your finances. One of the biggest things that trips up new business owners is their tax obligations. Fortunately XERO has made company accounting cheaper and more affordable than ever, whilst HNRY makes financial management for sole-traders literally as easy as being employed (they’ve also got amazing accounts for advice on tap)
  5. She’ll be right, until she isn’t. So get good insurance. Don’t fall into the trap of assuming all insurance companies are the same - do some research, and use and adviser, they won’t charge you anything and they’ll be there to help if you need to make a claim, and if you’re in it for the long run, you almost certainly will.

Going out on your own is an exciting, challenging, and rewarding adventure. Making good decisions early on will lead to success and growth down the track. One of the biggest challenges we see is that when people are starting out, finding work isn’t as easy as they thought - getting started with Workable takes only ten minutes, and connects you with a whole community of businesses and other contractors with great opportunities available across the construction and tech sectors.

Download it on the app and play stores or get in touch (its still free, and we’d love to hear from you!)