Careers Perspectives – from the Bath careers service

Focus on your future with expert advice from your careers advisers

Do you want to be your own boss?

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📥  Advice, Entrepreneurship

There are lots of different routes to self employment, we wanted to summarise key pathways and signpost any Bath students considering self-employment to useful resources.


  • Freelancing: there are a number of roles where freelancing is common. These include many creative jobs such as journalism, web design, photography and also areas such as translation, proof-reading, computer programming and consulting. Usually freelancing
    involves working on a specific project for a client. Some freelancers work for an agency which will match them to clients and there are also sites such as Freelancer where candidates can advertise their skills.

  • Franchising: this is where you buy into an established business. The company provide the raw materials, training, support and a recognised brand name. Beyond this you are largely autonomous and responsible for generating your own profits at a local level.
    Franchise Direct gives you an insight to the range of opportunities on offer.
  • Business owner: here you set up and run your own company, either as a sole trader or in partnership with others. www.gov.uk has useful information on the processes and advantages of different kinds of business arrangements.

If you are considering self-employment, here are out top 5 considerations:

  1. Get the legalities right - the HMRC website has lots of useful information on how to register your business as a sole trader and the tax requirements. If you want to set up a limited company you will need to register with Companies House.
  2. Expert advice - the process of starting your business can be a bit of a mind-field, to make the process easy to navigate consider getting expert advice. The Prince's Trust are a useful starting point as are Start Up Donut.
  3. Funding: according to the Federation of Small Businesses, over 90% of businesses are started on less than 10k. Some common ways of funding are  Crowd Funding and Hubbub, matching services like Funding Store and banks and building societies.
  4. Research and test the market: its important to make sure your business idea is actually viable, and refine it if necessary. Start Ups UK  provide some excellent tips on researching the market.
  5. Create a business plan: a  business plan will not only provide your start-up with a clear direction and contingencies in the case of unexpected events, but it can also be vital in securing investment. The Prince's Trust website has some excellent advice and you can download templates.

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