Top Tips for starting as a Sole Trader

Top Tips for starting as a Sole Trader

I have been self employed for six years, I don’t earn a fortune, but we get by.  Somehow I have managed to carve out a living that works around the children most of the time and allows me to have a semblance of a work/life balance.

I am lucky enough to have turned a hobby into something I love and make an income from it.

But it was hard work; when I first went into business by myself I was quickly overwhelmed by the volume of things that suddenly appeared on my to do list.


Setting up the business wasn’t horrendous; it just took some logistics sorting, and a bit of admin.

My intial start up list looked like this….


Sort invoicing

Create invoices

Discover a filing system for expenses

Create a spreadsheet for expenses.

Get an accountant

Get insurance

Sort branding

Look at marketing


The list felt endless to begin with, however, like all self employed workers I quickly realised that the internet is a great source of info, and most of my list could be solved online.

I downloaded an invoice template and tweaked it to make it my own.  I smiled sweetly at a family member until they created an excel spreadsheet for all my financials, then I paid them in wine.


Soon I got on to the more fun stuff like branding and marketing.  This was more of what I engaged with.

I have found customers really buy into the personal touch.  I have worked with Logojoy  to create a business logo which is eye catching and reflects my work.

My business is multi faceted, so trying to get the branding right is important.  A logo is your brand, and needs to be professional.

I offer (just in case any future clients are reading…)

Blogging Services – On Northernmum, I host advertising, reviews and love working with brands who fit in with the blog.

B2B & B2C Blogging – I write for a number of clients, providing engaging, detailed blog copy about a variety of topics…

Recruitment Training – Yup, that used to be the day job and I still work with businesses as an external consultant training their teams in how to be amazing recruiters.

Recruiter – Need a short term recruiter or an executive search professional  – I have 16 years experience, give me a call….

All of that is pretty hard to try and brand into one business, so I run everything under the branding JP Ltd.

Other tips for branding a new business include using your local Facebook groups for free marketing and taking out cheap adverts in the local press.  It is old school, but still works!

So if you are contemplating setting up a business or working self employed,  my advice would be to go for it – it is not as scary as it looks.


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