Entries Tagged 'Cloud computing' ↓

Business Basics for Freelancers

The following guest post was written by Carlo Pandian. The author’s views are entirely his own and may not reflect the views of FreelanceCopywritersBlog.com. If you are interested in producing a Guest Post for this blog, please get in touch with your ideas.



Working for yourself is one of those things that can seem like a good idea at the time.  However before taking the leap into self-employment it’s worth planning ahead.  There is a great range of resources online from both local and national government to help you get started and it’s worth considering the following issues.

Attitude matters

Successful businesses of any size rely on their people to create that success.  So before starting out it’s important to decide if you have the right qualities to run your one man business.

  • You’ll need to be prepared to make some sacrifices, particularly in the early days.  This can include cutting back on your expenses, holidays and free time.  If you have a family this latter can be a big issue (or it can become one) so consider the impact it will have not only on you, but the rest of the family.
  • Common sense and a sense of humour.  You’ll need both of these in relatively large amounts to start off with.  No amount of business studies courses or management technique manuals can replace either.  That’s not to say they don’t have their uses, but sometimes a little common sense and the ability to laugh (usually at yourself) will make life a lot easier.
  • Do you have experience of running a business?  Even if this is at management level in somebody else’s firm.  This is crucial if you are looking for bank loans or grants and will smooth the path to finding finance if you need it.
  • Management skills and people skills.  You will need both of these if you plan to run your own firm.  If you are starting out as self-employed you may think you won’t have staff to manage, however, there will be you.  In this sense simple things like time management skills are essential.  People skills are essential for dealing with clients and suppliers, and will come in handy when you do start to employ other workers.

Practical tools

Most businesses today believe that a website is an essential tool for their firms.  To a large extent this is true although, depending on the type of business you run, it may not be crucial to start out with.  However, in the long term it offers visibility to a vast range of potential customers and it’s also largely expected by consumers these days.

Premises, again this will depend very much on the type of firm you run.  The key is to find appropriate premises in the best location you can.  If a cupboard under the stairs will do, then go for it, but if it’s a shop, office or manufacturing premises that you need then don’t stint on the cost if at all possible.  A High Street location will repay the investment in the way a back street one simply won’t.  By the same token a pre-cast concrete firm does not normally suit a narrow, residential street.  Think sensibly and then rent or buy the best premises you can.

Most computer software can be sourced in cloud format these days from data and document storage to online bookkeeping and accounting software.  The latter is one thing you can’t afford to be without and you should ensure you have good software in place, as well as an accountant.  Both may seem an unnecessary expense, when starting out, but it’s essential to keep the books in order from day one if you are not to fall foul of the dreaded HMRC.  If you need advice on this contact either the dreaded HMRC (they’re actually quite nice and very helpful) or Business Link.

From accounting software to the ability to laugh at yourself there are a range of practical tools and skills you’ll need to run your own business.  Preparation is normally the better part of valour before setting up on your own, but with the right attitude it can be the most rewarding lifestyle of all.

About the author: Carlo Pandian is a business graduate and freelance writer. He blogs about freelance work, personal development and technology covering everything from QuickBooks Online accounting software to Android apps. Aside from his daily job, he loves reading great entrepreneurs biographies and writing payroll software manuals for small businesses.

Essential Tools for Start-ups and Small Businesses

When starting out in buisness, whether you’re a copywriter, PR expert, social media advisor or anything else for that matter, getting the basics right is essential. This guest post by Simon Wilson gives new businesses some great advice.

Information technology has come a long way in the last twenty years.  Starting up a business has been made far easier because of these advances, allowing an individual to work more efficiently and eliminating the need for staff to help complete some basic, but essential, functions.  When it comes to essential IT tools for start-ups the first investment you should consider is you.  Modern businesses, both large and small, rely on IT.  If it’s not your ‘area’ put IT training top of your to do list.  Once you are confident in basic IT skills you will be able to harness the power of IT and the internet to put you ahead of the game in the business world.  There are a huge number of essential IT tools that can make your business easy to run, some are more overlooked than others.

A Website – Professional Presence

A website should be considered essential to any business these days.  Even if you don’t plan to set one up straight away it is worth buying a domain name.  But why pay for a domain if you aren’t planning to use it straight away?  With a domain name will come a professional looking email address, usually you’ll get a whole set of them; admin@; sales@; enquiries@ and so on.  You might be tempted to run your business from a Gmail or Hotmail account which seems like the free and simple option.  It is, but it is also the virtual equivalent of running your business out of the back of a van – and that’s exactly what it looks like.  A professional company email looks like a professional company email, whichever way you look at it.

Cloud Computing – Clever Computing

Cloud computing solutions are the most effective ways to manage your business and will increase your efficiency and therefore your productivity.  Cloud computing is basically the delivery of software over the internet.  A good example would be accountancy software or file sharing software.  Both of these have huge advantages in that they allow you to access documents from any PC with an internet connection.  Using cloud based software can also free up space on your hard drive and it means you don’t need an IT team to install, update and maintain your company software.  File sharing and data storage hosted remotely also means that in the event of a computer meltdown your company information, client records and accounts are safely stored out of harm’s way.

Antivirus Software – Safety Measures

With a reliance on the internet comes the risk of attacks by computer viruses.  Skimping and saving on antivirus software has led to many a minor nervous breakdown.  If you rely on the internet for business then always prioritise antivirus software above all other costs!  This is probably one area to concentrate on well-known brands and avoid cheaper versions.  There’s an old saying about buying cheap and buying twice and it’s one you can’t afford to ignore in this case.

An Accountant – Show Somebody Else the Money

Accounting has already been mentioned above but in addition to accounting software it’s sensible to consider employing an accountant from the start.  You can wait until the end of your first tax year and then, armed with a folder full of scraps of paper, beg a frazzled accountant to take you on!  If, however, you find an accountant before, or when, you set up they can advise you on the types of information you’ll need to retain and for how long.  They may also be able to help with advice on appropriate accounting software.  Different accountant’s charges vary and it is worth contacting several firms to find out how they charge before making a decision.

Author Bio

Simon Wilson blogs about small business, technology and being an entrepreneur, covering everything from payroll software and online accountancy software to increasing website traffic and tips on leveraging social media for businesses.  When he’s not online Simon enjoys early morning swims, ice climbing and visiting his local cinema.

The author’s views are entirely his own and may not reflect the views of FreelanceCopywritersBlog.com. If you are interested in producing a Guest Post for this blog, please get in touch with your ideas.