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Starting out

If you’re starting out as a subcontractor or have a small business with a few fellow tradesmen, you will probably be lost in all the advice that you’ve heard on site or from your friends and colleagues.

There are no strict rules. Being self-employed or running a small business is not only far from easy but also not suited to everyone. So many questions with so many optional answers. Business plans maybe? Do I need to be VAT registered? Should I go Limited? Should I employ or subcontract my men? How about vehicles? The list is endless……

We can’t pretend to know all the answers and the answers will vary dependant on each and everyone’s individual circumstances but what we can offer is a little advice based on our own experiences running businesses from grass roots level and up.

Set your stall out – decide your target audience and client base best suited to your own aspirations, experience, funding and knowledge. May be consider writing down the pros and cons of working for another subcontractor, the private/retail sector or builders perhaps. We say funding because it’s likely all the client areas for potential work will have different payment term expectations.

Get ‘with it’ – get with the programme. If you’re going to make a success of your chosen area of work think about your branding (business name & logo) – does it fit? Does it look and sound sufficiently professional for your target client? Does your branding fit with you??

Get ‘proper’ – get some insurances as a start. Cover yourself and those around you with an honest insurance that meets exactly the needs and turnover of the business. It’s no good getting an individual insurance if you’ve got regular bona – fide subcontractors working for or with you under your umbrella. Everything may be fine until that fateful day when it isn’t. Try to avoid penny pinching when it comes to setting up a business in such critical areas.

Go ‘legal’ – get a half decent accountant. Experience tells us that you usually get what you pay for in the world of accountancy and we know this for all the wrong reasons. Inform the HMRC – do it. It’s a must.

In the member’s area we’ll go on to expand on the very basic advice here with the introduction of a flow chart at the very least.

The advice on this page are the very basics. We ask that you look at where you are in life and where you’d like to be? Do you have the self-discipline, drive and ambition to make those very brave first few steps? If you can keep hold of the paperwork side of things you will be some way toward fitting the criteria.

The writer of this page was told way back when that you’d never succeed in business until you’re 28 years old. I feel the writer and the readers out there already know that age should be no boundary. It’s far more about application, desire, discipline and direction, The Right Direction……
There’s further advice on the links here:

Here at FATE – The Finishing & Associated Trades Equity we’ll look to uncover and expose simplified ways of running your own business or being self – employed. We offer you an easier route to documentation and procedures that will go toward making your experience of working in the finishing sector within construction more beneficial.


This page is proudly sponsored by T & T INTERNAL FITOUTS LTD.

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