Key tax dates and deadlines for 2018/19
It is an inevitable reality that, for anyone earning a livin...
By Jonathan London on 9th June 2015
For self-motivated people who want to be their own boss, taking the self-employed route over an office-based role can be a dream come true. When you’re a contractor or a freelancer, you have a real opportunity to set your own schedule, pursue your own goals and do the work you truly enjoy, without having to answer to anyone else.
However, if you don’t manage your workload correctly, your dream job can quickly turn into a nightmare. When you run your own business, it’s easy to get into the mindset that the more work you take on, the better, as more clients means more revenue. However, if you bite off more than you can chew, it’s inevitable that the quality of your work and your service will suffer, making this a potentially disastrous long-term strategy.
Of course, most sensible entrepreneurs will be well aware of this fact on an intellectual level, but it’s when you’re preoccupied with the daily grind and hurrying to meet deadlines, it can be hard to see the wood for the trees, making it tricky to see where you’ve gone wrong before it’s too late to fix it.
As such, it’s important to look for the telltale signs that things may be starting to go awry with your business, so you can get out of the habit of overworking yourself and nip these potentially fatal problems in the bud.
Escaping the rigid structure of office-based work is often a key factor motivating people to become self-employed, but if you’re starting to feel like your day has become entirely structureless, then it’s a clear sign that things are going badly.
You should be starting each day with a defined set of tasks, goals and objectives laid out, even if you do leave yourself room to be flexible. Feeling like you have so much work that you don’t know where to start is indicative of a problem that needs to be fixed, as is the sensation of being dragged from task to task to meet endless deadlines you can’t keep up with.
Producing a clear return on your investment is a basic business principle that should never be ignored, and it applies to your time and energy just as much as it does to your money. If you have your nose to the grindstone all day with little to show for it in terms of tangible progress, then you need to review what you’re doing.
If you’re in this position, it’s worth considering whether you’re charging enough for your services. Small start-up businesses often fall into the trap of undercutting themselves to attract customers, but in the long term this will mean you need to clock more hours to stay afloat, while encouraging customers to undervalue your services.
Your mobile phone and email inbox are likely to be the bedrock of your business communications if you work freelance, but it’s important to ensure your relationship with these tools remains healthy and balanced.
If you find yourself terrified of checking your inbox or voicemail due to an expected deluge of messages, or spending more time responding to client queries and requests than doing your actual work, it’s probably time to review your workload.
Self-employed people are extremely motivated and proactive individuals, but there’s a difference between being a hard worker and having to completely forsake your own personal needs to service the endless daily requirements of your business.
It’s vital that contractors have some time for themselves to switch off, disengage from their work, pursue their own interests and get some much-needed rest, as all of these things are essential to working productively, as well as being a rounded person. If your job is making these things impossible, that’s a bad sign.
As mentioned earlier, the ability to enjoy your work, control your destiny and be in full control of the important decisions in your life is, for many people, the whole point of being self-employed. If you’ve taken on so much work that you’re no longer able to enjoy these benefits or see the point of what you’re doing, you aren’t just letting your clients down – you’re failing yourself.
It’s therefore vital for contractors to ensure they can spot these issues when they arise and correct them in order to get their careers and lives back on the right track. Here’s some other reasons why you might want to turn down the offer of new work.
Our guide to choosing the right accounting software walks you through the market leaders to help you choose the right platform for your business
Take a look at our recent blogs below.
It is the time of year again when HMRC are sending out Self-Assessment Statements. These show all pe...
Published: 6th July 2018
To stay on the right side of HMRC’s expenses and benefits legislation, P11Ds need to filed by 6th ...
Published: 3rd July 2018
HMRC are dogged in their efforts to recoup unpaid tax through schemes that they view as tax avoidanc...
Published: 29th May 2018
GDPR – the General Data Protection Regulation, comes into effect on 25th May and is the bigges...
Published: 24th May 2018
As a business owner, your time is way too precious to spend hours dealing with HMRC or Companies Hou...
Published: 14th May 2018
“Never do tomorrow what you can do today. Procrastination is the thief of time” Charles Dicken...
Published: 11th May 2018
Congratulations! The very fact you clicked this far shows you are considering employing staff, and t...
Published: 17th April 2018
It is out with the old and in with the new when it comes to tax relief on childcare costs from April...
Published: 9th April 2018
The Boox accounting app has always been at the forefront of helping our clients understand their com...
Published: 26th March 2018
Spring has officially sprung and the start of the 2018/19 tax year is just around the corner –...
Published: 23rd March 2018
If your business is employing staff, you should already have a workplace pension in place, under the...
Published: 23rd March 2018
If you need a little help to find the right accountancy service, don’t worry.
Thousands of contractors, freelancers and locums turn to Boox for help and advice with their limited company accounting. They love our personal service and app.
Specialist accounting for sole traders and the self employed, Boox combines easy online tools with expert support to take away the stress of handling your accounts.
Our combination of market-leading accounting software and expert personal advice gives you greater financial control and more time to grow your business.