Looking to start a business

Discussion in 'General Business Forum' started by Hyzer373, Mar 1, 2019.

  1. Hyzer373

    Hyzer373 UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    11 0
    Hi everyone I’m new to the forums.
    Basically I’m looking for some advice, to try keep things brief I’ve had a very bad last 4-5 years in life which resulted in me being out of work for the last 3 years with depression and totally out of a job, the job I had was at a powder coating factory.
    I now feel ready to get back into the working world but from being out of work for all those years companies are obviously put off, I’ve tried applying for any jobs really but haven’t heard nothing.

    I have felt for a long time I’d really love to work for myself but the issue I’ve had is what could I do?
    The only qualification I have is a foundation pass in ICT... barely worth mentioning tbh.
    I do have a car and about £1,000 spare to invest in something if it’s worth it.

    The only ideas I’ve had is
    Man with a van - would just require purchasing a second hand van, advertising, leaflets etc (worry being trying to get a good working van for cheap, getting work)
    Becoming a painter and decorator - would have to pay for a few weeks course and buy tools. (Worry being I’ve never really done proper decorating and I’d imagine it might be a bit daunting pricing up jobs, getting everything right etc)
    Start a window cleaning company - Buy ladders and equipment, advertise. (Negative being I can’t see it earning me much)
    Start a cleaning company - Buying equipment and advertise. (Only ever done house cleaning really but I’d imagine this one is simple enough)

    These are the only ideas I’ve had, can anyone give advice on these ideas or have any better ideas, would be much appreciated.
    One other thing is it quite simple to be self employed and sort you’re own taxes etc, is it just done once yearly?
    Many thanks.
    Posted: Mar 1, 2019 By: Hyzer373 Member since: Mar 1, 2019
  2. WeblinkPlus

    WeblinkPlus UKBF Ace Free Member

    2,755 939
    Our window cleaner earns plenty for an unskilled guy. He started with a photocopied hand drawn leaflet, bucket and squeegee and now runs a van with a pole system and an assistant. Didn't take him long to get there either. I understand he makes between £60 & £80 per hour.

    However, if you want a real business, think in terms of other people doing the work. i.e. you find the jobs, and get other people to clean the windows, clean the house, etc...

    Try this.
    Pick an industry, let's say window cleaning.
    Find a window cleaner and offer to find him jobs for a split of the fee.
    You spend all day finding the jobs, he/she does the work.
    Then expand by finding other people who will do complementary work for the same clients. e.g. house cleaner, lawn mowing, handman... You take a split of each fee, for no significant extra work.

    Usually you pay your taxes quarterly. More record keeping than employed and you have to do your own marketing - marketing is probably the most problematic part of self employment for most.
    Posted: Mar 1, 2019 By: WeblinkPlus Member since: Sep 13, 2009
  3. Scalloway

    Scalloway UKBF Legend Free Member

    14,495 3,102
    Only if you're VAT registered.

    If you are self employed you do an annual self assessment return and pay tax in two installments, one in January and one in July.
    Posted: Mar 1, 2019 By: Scalloway Member since: Jun 6, 2010

    I_DO_MARKETING UKBF Regular Free Member

    278 66
    WeblinkPlus has already pointed out what I would say is the most important test - look for something that's repeatable and expandable.

    If I do it once I make £x, so can it be done 10x 100x 1000x 10,000x?

    If you apply that test to each idea and try and work out what the Implications and barriers would be to multiplying the business you'll soon get a fairly good feel for what can be grown to become a nice profitable larger business and was can't.

    Good luck!
    Posted: Mar 1, 2019 By: I_DO_MARKETING Member since: Oct 24, 2015
  5. AllUpHere

    AllUpHere UKBF Ace Free Member

    2,709 957
    I have helped many window cleaners with their marketing and don't think any of them have earned less than 40 grand a year, which isn't bad money for unskilled work.

    From your list, I'd go with painting. It's very cheap to get into, and from a marketing perspective it's so easy it's a bit of a gift. Again, I don't think any painters I've helped ended up earning less than 30 - 35 grand a year.
    Posted: Mar 1, 2019 By: AllUpHere Member since: Jun 30, 2014
  6. Ashley_Price

    Ashley_Price UKBF Legend Full Member - Verified Business

    7,103 1,307
    Here's something to think about...

    Do you have any family/dependants who are relying on you to bring in a wage?

    If so you need to make sure you have their 100% support - especially if it takes longer than expected before the business takes off. The last thing you need when trying to start a business is family who aren't supportive, because the negativity can be very draining.

    We have a "man with a van" in Lewes and he is very popular. But then he is also involved a lot in the community, so he gets well known (and his van is plastered with his advertising)
    Posted: Mar 1, 2019 By: Ashley_Price Member since: Feb 9, 2008
  7. bodgitt&scarperLTD

    bodgitt&scarperLTD UKBF Contributor Free Member

    61 22
    In OP's first sentence he says he's been out of work with depression.

    OP, if you want to do it by the book, speak with the jobcentre about your plans- they can be supportive. Personally, I'd just go at it without them breathing down my neck untill I was making the same as they were giving me.

    You don't sound like a typical 'dole dosser', and I have every confidence in you that you'd not continue claiming after that. Your main concern should be avoiding anything that could start the spiral back into depression- and as such, Ashley makes a good point.
    Posted: Mar 1, 2019 By: bodgitt&scarperLTD Member since: Nov 26, 2018
  8. Mark T Jones

    Mark T Jones UKBF Ace Full Member

    2,697 754
    Can’t help much with the choice of what to do, though something like window cleaning should certainly bring some decent short term cash in

    As you are unemployed, the NEA scheme should give you quite a lot of support and advice any the practical and legal aspects of running a business
    Posted: Mar 1, 2019 By: Mark T Jones Member since: Nov 4, 2015
  9. Lucky8

    Lucky8 UKBF Contributor Free Member

    76 10
    May I go back one step?

    If both were possible right now, which would you prefer to do: work for someone else or start your own business?

    Are you turning to this feeling of working for yourself because your job applications have failed? I wonder that since job applications were your first action when coming back into work, and you didn't devise a plan whilst off (some people in the midst of depression create great busines plans!), whether working for yourself is what you really want to do and what you need, or is it making better job applications?
    Posted: Mar 1, 2019 By: Lucky8 Member since: Jan 17, 2019
  10. serendipitybusiness

    serendipitybusiness UKBF Enthusiast Free Member

    976 174
    If you are coming out of a time of depression I would look at those options and imagine yourself doing any of them, which one makes you happier/causes the least anxiety. Do that, you can always switch it up later but it gets you taking those baby steps. The last thing you need right now is to put too much pressure on yourself so you end back up in the grey with it all being too much. So write down what you need to do so that you can tick each one off the list. Personally I think the window cleaning would be the easiest to set up and as each job is a little win as you grow it may give you the boost you need to keep you going and grow it.

    Hook up to quickbooks or xero for your taxes and plan to hire an accountant at the end of the year. It will help lay things out for you and you can do it as you go along rather than having a big bulk of work to do at the end of the year. The first accounts can be a bit scarey in the face of it (but they are always easy once you get stuck in) so having something like that will help take the fear away as these systems hold your hand to an extent.

    Good luck, you never know, this time next week you could be in the sun, with a pocket of cash, smiling at a job you have just done! Just put one foot in front of the other and keep going!!
    Posted: Mar 1, 2019 By: serendipitybusiness Member since: Jun 27, 2008
  11. Hyzer373

    Hyzer373 UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    11 0
    I don’t have any family or dependants who are relying on me, all I really need to do it equal or beat £100 a week so I can get off benefits, I really want to get off benefits.

    Overall I would prefer to have my own business as I know I’d prefer being my own boss but if I can get a stable permanent role at a company I’d take it for now but I’m not being given a chance to be honest.
    Posted: Mar 1, 2019 By: Hyzer373 Member since: Mar 1, 2019
  12. Hyzer373

    Hyzer373 UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    11 0
    Thank you for the replies everyone I have a few more questions if that’s ok.
    If I were to do window cleaning would I need a van or could I use a car?
    Same with paining/decorating I could use a car couldn’t I?
    If I needed to buy a van could I get an ok one for like £500-800?
    Also is there any other business ideas anybody has other than my ones?
    None of mine seem to be fully grabbing me, I only need to make over £100 a week for starting out to make more than my benefits which I want to get off!
    I don’t mind if it’s some part time business idea or anything I basically just want something that can make me over £100 a week.
    I have a car would be good if I could do any sort of courier type thing but I’d need a van right?
    Is there any online type business that is simple, cheap to start and can make money?
    I’m open to any business ideas, my budget is £1,000 but I’d preferably like to spend a few as little as possible to start off.
    Any help is much appreciated.
    Posted: Mar 1, 2019 By: Hyzer373 Member since: Mar 1, 2019
  13. AllUpHere

    AllUpHere UKBF Ace Free Member

    2,709 957
    You can beat 100 quid a week by working one day a week doing pretty much anything self employed. Any of the suggestions above will make you more than 100 quid a day. I dont have any gardeners as clients who charge less than 36 quid an hour.

    Edit. Don't be a courier, that's one thing that you may really struggle to make money with.
    Posted: Mar 1, 2019 By: AllUpHere Member since: Jun 30, 2014
  14. Hyzer373

    Hyzer373 UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    11 0
    You make it sound so simple but I’m just being honest here maybe it’s my confidence but it doesn’t seem like that to me, I have a friend who done window cleaning for about a year trying to build his own round and he was making about £60-70 a week as houses are like £6-8 each and he told me he always had to waste fuel driving to them on evenings to collect money, he said he wasn’t making barely anything.
    Posted: Mar 1, 2019 By: Hyzer373 Member since: Mar 1, 2019

    I_DO_MARKETING UKBF Regular Free Member

    278 66
    There's one thing that separates people who make it in business, and the ones who don't - whether or not they give up when the going gets tough.

    success in business is just like in a boxing match. All you have to do is get up again each time you are knocked down. Do that, and you will eventually win.
    Posted: Mar 1, 2019 By: I_DO_MARKETING Member since: Oct 24, 2015
  16. Liam-a

    Liam-a UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    29 3
    Instead of wasting £500-£800 on a van why not go round your local estates with your ladders on your shoulder and your bucket find a house that will let you fill your bucket up and wash there windows for free then you can do rest of estate, if getting money is an issue ask.them to bank transfer it end of every month?
    Posted: Mar 1, 2019 By: Liam-a Member since: Mar 16, 2018
  17. Hyzer373

    Hyzer373 UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    11 0
    I have a car so I’m thinking if I can get a roof rack for it to put ladders on, once I have ladders (how much would they be & where’s best to go) bucket, step ladders and chamois/clough I’ll be all set basically.
    What would be the best way to get work at first? Knocking on doors handing out leaflets?
    Posted: Mar 1, 2019 By: Hyzer373 Member since: Mar 1, 2019
  18. Liam-a

    Liam-a UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    29 3
    That's what i'd do, get a hoodie or jumper with your name on aswell, business name not your actual name. Then just say your a window cleaner taking on more clients. Someone posted that exact thing on Facebook and had people booking like crazy! Window cleaners must be most sought after trade where I live!
    Posted: Mar 1, 2019 By: Liam-a Member since: Mar 16, 2018

    I_DO_MARKETING UKBF Regular Free Member

    278 66
    I know, I know, health and safety gone mad and all that jazz, la, la la, don't shoot the messenger...

    .. but cleaning windows with a ladder, alone?

    I'd recommend reading the HSE guidance on working at height first, and possibly get some strong life and public liability insurance.
    Posted: Mar 1, 2019 By: I_DO_MARKETING Member since: Oct 24, 2015
  20. Hyzer373

    Hyzer373 UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    11 0
    I have got my cousin who is willing to start it with me so I wouldn’t be working alone, something that sucks is I’m looking at roof racks for my fiat punto they are around £60-80 and ladders are over £60 from looking online, I thought it would be a lot cheaper for ladders and a roof rack to be honest.
    Posted: Mar 1, 2019 By: Hyzer373 Member since: Mar 1, 2019