How to be a successful self-employed in the UK?

According to the Office for National Statistics, there is a strong growth of self-employment in the UK. The latest report related to the trends of self-employment describes increasing tendency, the level of self-employment rose from 3.8 million to 4.6 million between 2008 and 2015. That means, more than 100,000 people start an own business every year. 

There are numbers of advantages and disadvantages of self-employment. Some differences between being an employee or working for yourself are listed below. 


Employment   Self-employment
  • You do not risk your own money
  • You risk your own money
  • You have specified role
  • You have to perform various roles
  • You have clarified level of responsibility comes with your position
  • You have overall resposibility among the business
  • You do not make decision or only on limited bases
  • You are the decision maker in every aspects of the business
  • Some one tells you what to do and when
  • You organise your time and tasks
  • You receive salary on regular basis 
  • You receive payment for your job if you got one
  • You do not need to provide or use your own materials, equipments, tools, office, etc.
  • You use your own materials, equipments, tools, office, etc.
  • You have no resposibility for budgeting
  • You carry the cost if yor price is too low
  • You are not responsible for others
  • You are responsible for your employees if have any (wages, training, mistakes, etc.)
  • You can claim overtime pay
  • You are paid an agreed sum no matter how long the job takes
  • You work agreed hours a week
  • You can decide when to work
  • You meet with the same people
  • You meet large numbers of different people
  • Your routine is usually the same day by day
  • You do various tasks and jobs 
  • You receive benefits such as holiday, sick pay, etc.
  • You are paid only when you work


The above table illustrates a bit the complexity of self-employment which requires a set of skills and competencies. It is usually not enough to have a great idea or being qualified or having experience in a field. All of them you need to succeed as a sole trader, furthermore, you need confidence, management and leadership skills, change management skills, being familar in budgeting, HR, marketing and so on. However, we have not mentioned a word about business strategy or ethics yet. 

As a summary, we would like to emphasise that being successful in managing and growing your own business mainly depend on your willingness of learning. As you develop, most likely your business will develep with you. Learn about yourself, learn new skills and become confident. 

If you need help to develop yourself and your business or your idea of business, please let us know.