self employed skills

What skills do I need to be self-employed?

As well as the relevant qualifications or certifications for specialist professions, to start your own business you’ll need to possess most, if not all of these traits in order to succeed as self-employed.


Being passionate about what you’re doing is key to the success and personality of your business. If you’re not really that bothered about it, you won’t feel motivated to succeed which will inevitably cause your business to fail. It can be hard to stay motivated to succeed which will cause your business to fail. During times of stress and insecurity it can be hard to stay passionate, but remember that it’s all worth it to be doing something that you love and look forward to daily.


Everybody is looking for gaps in the market and your business needs to fill a gap in some way. You need to think of a unique idea or product in order to compete with established companies. Even if your business is not reinventing the wheel, put a fresh spin on an existing idea or product or take it in a new direction.


If you want your business to succeed, you’re going to have to work hard for it. This might mean working 60 hours plus a week, living, sleeping and breathing your dream. This can be stressful and essentially exhausting. However, commitment to your company could be the difference between success and failure.


Initially you may be tempted to slack off as the lack of rule and restrictions can give you a huge sense of freedom. This means you have to mentally prepare yourself to be dedicated to what you’re doing and to stay on track of your work rate.


No business venture ever succeeded by playing it safe. The trick to taking risks is to find the balance between adventurous and reckless. Don’t be afraid to push yourself at the present time to better yourself in the future. This also means living with any consequences of mistakes at the beginning.

Be Realistic

You’re not going to be a millionaire overnight. Having clear goals and milestones that are realistic and can be achieved in a reasonable amount of time is essential. Running your own business and achieving success is a marathon not a sprint!


As the owner and boss of yourself and business, you will need to remember to take care of everything, from replacing the ink in the printer to replying to emails and keeping a record of sales. Juggling multiple tasks can be tricky especially when it comes to incorporating personal stuff into it as well. Sticking to self-set deadlines is a must when running your own business. Organisation is key!

 Market knowledge

Amongst everything else you will also need to understand the market that you’re in and how it works. Do you know how to attract the right customers? How to retain these customers? And can you turn your product into a profit?


It’s ok sitting in front of your laptop for 12 hours every day but networking is key to achieve recognition. Social events and gatherings are a perfect opportunity for you to market your business or product, plus a chance to meet existing customers or speak to potentially new ones.




Kara Copple
An experienced business and finance writer, sometimes moonlighting as a fiction writer and blogger.