Some Tips for the Self-Employed

I have been self-employed since September 2005 after a long and lucrative corporate career.

In January 2009 I dropped Sony South Africa as a client (I was doing freelance corporate sales for them), as the energy required to maintain that relationship was not worth the income. Since then I have focused on online marketing and music-related ventures. For example I am the content editor for Rhythm Music Store.

So here are some of the things that I do, that you should find useful.

  • I love music and technology and I am very fortunate to be able to generate income from both these passions. Try to earn money from doing what you love, then it isn’t work.
  • I use Gmail for my email. Have been using it for years. Its free and can be accessed from any computer connected to the internet. And I can send from any of my various email addresses, just by choosing from a drop-down list.
  • I have started using Billy to do my quoting, invoicing and statements. That’s Amazing web-based system.
  • WordPress Blogs are incredible and they are free … and I can blog by simply sending an email. Facebook helps you to talk to your friends, a blog helps you talk to the world.
  • I always ask for a 50% deposit and I don’t start on a project until I have received payment. Unless you are an accountant don’t spend your time chasing the money.
  • I broke my one man business down into separate corporate divisions: Sales, Marketing, Accounts, Production. It makes it so much easier for the allocation of my time and energy.
  • I try not to spend money I don’t have to, especially not on staff or outsourcing.
  • I have refused to accept certain clients and have even refunded clients on the rare occasion. Sometimes the money is just not worth the frustration.
  • I avoid people who give me bad energy.
  • I use a number of Google products, such as Calendar, Feedburner, Analytics, Adwords and Adsense.
  • I use OpenOffice for my document and spreadsheet requirements. It’s free and compatible with Microsoft Office.
  • I subscribe to blogs by thought leaders like Seth Godin and Jeff Bullas. These guys, and many others, talk a lot of sense and have helped me greatly.
  • Reassess and re-strategize your business often. I do it every two weeks at least. I sit quietly in a coffee shop away from my computer and other distractions and do mind-mapping on sheets of paper. And from that I generate action plans. Writing this blog post was one of those action plans that came from a recent meeting I held with all my divisional heads.
  • I have an accountant that is my buffer with SARS. I don’t fix my own car and I don’t do my own taxes.

If you would like any help with being self-employed and / or working from home, or training on understanding new media, please contact me for a consultancy quote:




2 thoughts on “Some Tips for the Self-Employed

  1. Brian Currin Thursday, 4th February 2010 / 2:35 pm

    Thanks Martin

  2. martin myers Wednesday, 3rd February 2010 / 12:11 pm

    very good read and great points thank you

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