Having a 9-5 job is frustrating – office politics, toxic co-workers, commuting and the corporate drudgery. I’ve been coming up with a plan for years now on how to escape the cubicle farm and set up my own business. I’ve been working on a plan that will allow me to spend more time with my family, travel more, live in cheaper countries and get more out of life. I’ve learnt a lot while planning my escape from the 9-5 that I thought I’d share some tips on how you can do it too.


Set-Up a Small Business

If you’ve got a skill or trade that you’re passionate about working for yourself in your own small business is the way to go. It’s not easy to wrap your head around the management side of a small business if you’ve only ever been an employ. There’s a lot to think about banking and tax are the big ones. How are customers going to pay you? How are you going to invoice them for your services? What payment terms do you use? What software do you need to manage & track payments? How much tax do you have to pay? Have a look on the Lloyds website to start with - they offer free business banking which will really help you in your first year. The logistics side of setting up a small business can be quite complicated but once it’s done, it’s done and you’re free to continue with growing your business and brand. You might need an initial input of cash to get your business running – supplies, equipment, raw materials can all be difficult to fund until you have customers or clients. If you’re interested in loans for business check out this site.


You Don’t Need One Big Thing

Lots of small things can add up into a decent income outside of a regular job. If you don’t have enough of a client or customer basis for just one business then consider multiple revenue streams. Start a website or blog that you can monetize down the road, write an ebook or pick up freelance work on sites like Odesk and Elance. If you have several smaller income streams trickling in, you can form a decent income. Be prepared for the ebbs and flows of this kind of lifestyle though. Some months are inherently better or worse than others. If you’re working as a consultant or with people in the normal business world, bare in mind that Christmas and Summer holidays which can impact your work load. If you’re selling a product, identify where seasonality effects that product. Planning for these ups and downs in income is key when you’re working for yourself.


Consider a Move

If you’re striking out on your own and worried about the cost of living while you’re slowly building your business, consider a move to somewhere cheaper. That might mean moving back in with your parents while you temporarily set up a physical business but, if you’re plan is to work digitally, moving to a cheaper country all together could really pay off. Chiang Mai in Thailand is a mecca for young, online entrepreneurs who want to build a digital business and live comfortably for a minimal amount. You can easily exist on under $1000 a month in Chiang Mai and still have a great apartment, eat out in restaurants and work online. There’s also the added benefit of being around inspiring like-minded individuals.


Feature photo credit: Lost In The RP via photopin cc