Self-employment is often a great lifestyle choice, and it offers you the opportunity to benefit from a wide range of advantages. You have the freedom to shape your own work schedule; hire and collaborate with people you get on with; actively pursue your passions and ambitions; and grasp an array of diverse, fulfilling tasks.
However, it is also fair to say that, especially at the start of your self-employed career, you may be inundated with hefty expenses. Ultimately, as with most things, journeying on a new adventure conceals some initial challenges. If you are learning a new language, you will have to tackle tricky grammar. If you are training for a half-marathon, the first few runs will lead to achy calves and leave you breathless. If you are setting up your own business or taking up a solo-working role, you will have to tackle some financial hurdles.
The good news though, is that there are several steps you may want to consider to help you cut down on costs. From hiring your business vehicle to working from the comfort of your home, the options are numerous. Here, we discover a few of the most effective ways to safeguard your finances as a self-employed worker.
If you are a plumber, an electrician, a florist, or a dog groomer, there is a chance you are always out and about, hitting the road on a daily basis. According to recent figures sourced by Statista, company car drivers in the UK rack up an average of 18,000 miles every year. But spending countless kilometres behind the wheel can, in the (not so) long term, become rather pricey.
From wear and tear and maintenance issues to depreciation risks and regular vehicle changes, owning your own company vehicle comes with some unexpected costs. To save precious money, which you can then invest differently within your own business, car or van leasing could present a valid option. It is, in fact, a cost-effective solution that will benefit both your company and your pockets.
One of the biggest advantages is that you won’t have to splash out a large sum of cash from the outset to get hold of a vehicle. For instance, if you are after a Vauxhall Vivaro L1H1 van, the RRP of a basic version is £28,105 (ex. VAT). By leasing it, you can expect to pay £220 per month for three years, which makes for a total payment of £10,560. That is almost a third of the price!
If you prefer the features and looks of a Ford Transit, renting the 350 Leader LH2H model could cost you £315 a month per three years – in total, that adds up to £15,120. Wondering what this van’s recommended retail price is? The answer is £39,582 (ex. VAT).
Additionally, leasing gives you the chance to tailor both contract length and mileage allowance to suit your needs. What’s more, the cost of maintenance mishaps (e.g., dead battery, flat tyre, etc.) will be covered by the leasing company, and you will never have to worry about depreciation risks.
Depending on your new business or solo job, you will require a number of different tools and equipment. Buying everything at once can be a costly procedure. Good sector-based equipment does not come cheap, and your purchases will have a considerable impact on your wallet.
To protect your finances, why not consider renting some of the tools you need? You may not become their actual owner, but you will certainly enjoy a substantial range of other benefits. Again, you will not have to pay the asset’s costly price tag upfront.
Moreover, the beauty of hiring tools is that you are not tied to them for lengthy periods of time. With the constant evolution of technology, equipment can easily become outdated in the space of a couple of years – if not months. When a new, innovative option appears on the market, you can return your current asset to the rental company and pick a tool that better suits you and your business. Of course, you can do this at the same, advantageous price.
Work from home
As you commence your brand-new, self-employed career, you may feel the urge to find a workspace that can host you and – possibly – your team. However, investing in an office can be an expensive choice. Is it really necessary?
As flexible and remote working becomes the norm, carrying out duties from your kitchen or living room can be a comfortable, money-saving option. Not only will you be cutting costs on avoidable daily commutes to the main office, but you will also not have to deal with additional utility bills. Furthermore, with plenty of free software available, you have the opportunity to keep in touch with your employees and work collectively towards your goals.
Alternatively, renting a container office could be a temporary and affordable solution too. Not only is it cheaper than a traditional office space, but it can be customised and easily transported if you ever need to move. Additionally, as your business flourishes and grows, you can place new containers next to your ‘original’ one and slowly but surely expand.
Self-employment, especially at the beginning, comes with an extensive set of bills and costs. But this should not scare you off! By taking specific steps, from flexible working to vehicle and equipment leasing, you can save precious money and boost your career as a self-employed worker.