In an age of zero-hour contracts, long working hours, and diminished job security it is easy to see why becoming a tradesperson and setting up your own business is appealing. A tradesperson’s skills are often heavily in demand, as not everyone can do the job. There are many benefits of being self-employed, such as choosing work hours that suit you, escaping office politics and setting your own prices. However, being self-employed also brings with it responsibilities, including sorting out your taxes. If you’ve been dreaming of starting out on your own as a tradesperson, then here are some of the essential factors that you may need to consider before getting started.


It goes without saying that skills, qualifications, and knowledge are all essential for any tradesperson. Having recognised qualifications is vital, and having lots of experience is necessary too, after all, a commercial plumber that doesn’t know the difference between a Barrel Nipple Stainless Steel and a Stainless Steel Street Elbow may not be the best person for the job.

It’s worth bearing in mind that if you are self-employed, then you need to feel confident in your work, as there will be no one else to help you out. Starting off as an apprentice is a great idea and allows the opportunity to develop your skills and knowledge on the job and learn from others with more experience.


Don’t forget to put together a business plan when you are starting out. A business plan will help you stay focused on what you need to do to get your business started and should also include details of the start-up costs that you will incur when setting up.

Costs that should be budgeted for before starting your business up include the money needed for essential equipment such as tools and a van, for example.


As a tradesperson, your reputation is crucial. It’s your reputation that will help you to build up your business and to gain repeat customers. Your reputation depends on you having excellent customer service skills, and delivering high-quality work for your customers. Being polite, considerate and doing a great job go along way towards establishing a strong reputation.

The importance of your reputation should never be underestimated. When choosing a tradesperson that they trust to come into their home, many people will first seek out reviews from other customers to gauge whether the plumber/electrician/heating engineer, etc. is trustworthy, reliable and also does a great job.

Organisation Skills

 The ability to stay organised is essential for all self-employed people, and tradespeople are certainly no exception. Being able to plan your workload is vital, as you will have a variety of tasks to perform. You will need to plan your time effectively so that you can make it to different jobs on time, stay on top of paperwork such as invoices, and also be able to take time to focus on office duties such as arranging your insurance and completing your tax return.

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