How To Start A Very Small Business

Business ToolsAlthough I have returned to full time work I am still keeping my own business going in my spare time. I was surprised at how easy it is to start a business and so I have held off writing this post for quite a long time to make sure that I haven’t missed anything important…

Please bear in mind that I am certainly not an expert. I just thought you may be interested in what I have found so far in my adventures into self employment…

If you want more details there are loads of websites full of great information out there but I found the best place to start was the Business Link site. This is an official government run website with loads of useful hints and tips on where to start. This site can be a bit daunting as there is such a plethora of info but I regularly find reasons to return here for tidbits to help me clarify certain things.

Anyway the reason for this post is to explain the basics required to get started as a very small business. There is no real reason this should require loads of money, in fact you can get set up as a Sole Trader without any outlay at all.

This is great news if you are just creating a small sideline business. For example buying stuff to sell on eBay, rather than just selling you own used goods…
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Facebook Timeline Image Dimensions

Facebook timelineRecently Facebook introduced their new timeline feature. This shows items in date order, against a central ‘time’ line running down the middle of the web page. You can now add milestones into the timeline which can be useful to populate a bit of historical info…

The layout has also changed requiring a cover image that goes at the top of the page along with a larger profile image, which is used as the thumbnail against any comments you make, and lastly the apps you make available are also shown just under the cover image, using new sized images.

As the timeline feature is optional some of my Facebook friends have already started using it, but some haven’t. I resisted the urge to change as I didn’t see anything wrong with the current system…

Then Facebook decided to force all Pages—like my peteoshea page, not your personal profile—to use timeline. I thought it might be useful to record some of the important sizes for anyone else about to move to timeline.
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Returning To Work?

Rusted Farm MachineryA while ago now I mentioned here on this blog that I was quitting my 9–5 job. Even before leaving the job I started questioning the decision

Having been working for myself for 18 months I still haven’t achieved anywhere near as much as I had hoped. Now don’t get me wrong I have done a few things in that time that I am very pleased with. The problem is that I just haven’t found nearly as much time as I had wanted to, to spend on the personal projects I had envisaged.

Over that time I have had some good months and some not so good months…

Then I was offered some extra work for my old company but this came with some extra restrictions. This got me thinking as to whether I would just be better off returning to full time employment. Am I really cut out to be my own boss?

Time to reflect on my original decision and see if my feelings have changed in any way…
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Taking Back Control

Look Out!This whole working for yourself thing is a huge learning curve. I really pushed myself with lots of late nights to reach my recent deadlines. One night I was up till 5:30 in the morning getting ready to deliver a new program to someone the following morning.

So two out of the three projects were delivered pretty much on time. I released the Ski Pad iPhone app last week and it seems to have gone down well. The second project I was working on was a desktop program, developed in Delphi, to track jobs and print tickets for a skip hire company.

The other project… Well every time this project gets discussed there seems to be more issues that add to the workload…
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The Importance Of Solid Deadlines

Rugged TreeI have overextended myself a bit in recent weeks. I had three big projects that are all due to come to a head at pretty much the same time.

My mistake was that for two of these projects I left the target date pretty much open. This seemed like a good idea at the time because then I could work on them as and when I had the chance. As with all things that aren’t extremely urgent I didn’t find as much time as I would have liked.

Time passed and as there was no deadline I had no urgency. This is not a good situation to be in.

I should have known better than this as I have experienced it over and over again when working for other people. Jobs are not important until someone starts to push for them. Then you start getting questioned about what you have been doing and why it isn’t ready yet…

Once you get to this stage then all of a sudden the job becomes very urgent if you want to keep the customer happy.
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Business Website Redesign

Website DesignA redesign for my business facing website, over at peteoshea.co.uk, has been on the cards for a while now.

I did try and set up a second blog with the idea of keeping more technical posts separate, at least that way the website would have some useful content.

That didn’t really work out though as I didn’t have time to come up with twice the content. In the end I thought it best to try and keep all of my content in one place anyway so I ported the handful of posts back to this site.

So once again the website on my business cards pointed somewhere that wasn’t very useful or informative…

The challenge then started to create a simple, static website to explain what I can offer.
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The Art Of Non-Conformity Book Review

Whenever I Visit Tigers, I Always Bring Along Some Good Reading MaterialI have recently finished the book The Art Of Non-Conformity by Chris Guillebeau so I thought I would write a review of it!

Overall I thought the book was pretty good, definitely worth a read. I would recommend it to everyone out there especially anyone who has the nagging feeling that there must be more to life than the normal life that seems to be forced upon you.

There is some common ground with The 4-Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferriss as this book also tackles the idea of living the life you want but instead on focusing on how to reduce your time spent working on stuff you may not enjoy the focus is on doing what you really love, working harder than before but on stuff that you really enjoy…

In other words the book helps you create, or at least helps you realise that it is possible to create, your ideal lifestyle based around something you are really passionate about.
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