Tag Archives: working tax credits

How do I fund my business?

5 Nov

The easiest and cheapest way to fund your business is to provide the money yourself from savings.  You may need to start out offering limited services to make some money without too much expenditure, and then put your profits back into the business to buy more stock or equipment.  Try to get a couple of jobs before you do any real marketing so that you can get a bit of money coming in, as well as some feedback!  You don’t want to market too early and have to turn people down because you don’t have the right equipment.

Many people do employment alongside self employment when they’re getting started.  This is a great way to have some regular income to support the more unreliable income of a new business.

Speak to your Job Centre Plus advisor to find out if there is any funding available for your business.  Ask for a benefits calculation, or do one yourself using the Benefits Adviser Service to see if you will qualify for any Tax Credits when you are self employed.

You can also look into getting a bank loan, but this can be expensive, so it’s worth trying to avoid this if possible.  It might be that you start out very small, and look into bank loans when you are confident your business will be a success and you need funding to grow and expand your business.

Business profile: Gosling

8 Oct

Today brings the start of the third annual International Babywearing Week, so today’s business profile is about my own business, Gosling.  I started the business in August 2010 after trying out several baby slings and finally finding a combination that I thought was suitable for anyone, worked from baby to toddler, and was reasonably priced.  I want to be there to show parents how to get the most from a sling from the start.  The business has grown over time and I now also teach Mums to make their own slings, they learn a new skill and make something pretty and practical that helps make life easier with a baby.  Gosling is a micro-business that I love running as it has been a real confidence boost for me.  Whilst on maternity leave, it was great to have something aside from childcare to focus on and to challenge me.

I am hosting a sling walk on Friday 12th October 2012, meeting at 10.30am at Teignmouth Pier.  Please feel free to come along if you’d like to try out a sling with your baby!  (Pregnant ladies and pushchairs welcome too!)



This is the full story of how I got to this point:

After having my first child, Oscar – now three, I returned to my job as an Employment Coach, helping disabled people into work, for two days a week.  Unfortunately with my employer, two days amounted to 15 hours and meant I didn’t quite qualify for Tax Credits.  So I decided to take my newly discovered love of babywearing (or carrying your baby in a sling) and try and start a little business – Gosling – to top up my hours to 16.  My business started off with me making simple ring slings for friends, and I was quite happy plodding along making a couple of slings a week on top of my other job and looking after Oscar.

Then I got pregnant again, and then all of a sudden we found out that our office was going to be closing down and I would be made redundant!  This actually timed pretty well for me as I still qualified for Statutory Maternity Pay, and it meant I could start my maternity leave early and really relax and enjoy the last few weeks of pregnancy.  I was really glad to have Gosling though.  Although it was never going to make me huge amounts of money, I still had an answer when people asked me what I did, and I had something other than children to put my energy into.  I was also very aware of how hard it would be to find a job on a part time basis when I had small children, let alone one that was rewarding, well paid, interesting, and varied.

I got in touch with Opportunity Plus South West, and explained my situation, and that I wanted to look at turning Gosling into a bigger business.  Opportunity Plus South West helped me obtain funding from Unltd to run sling making classes, and they are more successful than I could ever have hoped for!  It is incredible seeing these Mums who have never sewn, and have never even thought about using a sling – after an hour or two with me they’ve made their own beautiful, unique sling that they’re immensly proud of, and they’re carrying their baby round, kissing and cuddling and chatting away with them.  I’ve also trained as a Breastfeeding Peer Supporter and a Babywearing Peer Supporter.  My main aim was to help Mums to enjoy those early weeks, to remind them that there is more to life than milk, poo, and sleep!

Best of all, I have now started working at Opportunity Plus South West as well, so I have the security of a regular, predictable income and a job I love, alongside running Gosling.