How should I prepare myself for self-employment?

Before you take the plunge, there’s plenty of research you can be doing about self-employment, in books and online, including legal, financial, and marketing advice for creating and maintaining your own business. Ask people who work for themselves already what advice they can offer someone starting out.  

Then think about your product or service. Who are your clients going to be? Do you have a plan for how you are going to advertise to them? Who are the competition and what are they offering? What makes you different?

As soon as you no longer have a regular wage coming in from your steady job, you’ll quickly notice how you are leaking money left, right and centre. And your earning potential is at its lowest and most erratic when you are just starting out and not knowing how much work you’ll get from one month to the next. It’s important to build up a small survival fund, enough to last you a good few months while you get your business off the ground.