There is always something truly special about that first coffee of the morning, and one of the few – and they are few – benefits of unemployment is to be able to enjoy it from my bed. It doesn’t quite make up for a day without work (or, if I am to be completely truthful, without pay – the work is just a means to an end), but it does mean at least that the day starts more pleasantly. Today is no different and I get to sign on at lunchtime.

I have been looking at self employment as an option. From a distance, it would seem ideal, being able to choose my own hours, my own salary and so on, but obviously it’s not that simple. Even to be only breaking even, it’d need to net me £71 per week. Not too hard you might think, especially in IT support, but as a startup it’s less simple. One needs customers, paying customers, and regularly. It’s ok having a friend of a friend who needs a virus removed, and who will pay £20, £40 or even £100 to do it, but unless this is a regular thing (and remember tax, insurance etc comes out of this) then it’s not going to keep me fed.

To this end there is advertising. Obviously word of mouth is the simplest, and I have this blog and associated website, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Twitter… I can make business cards and flyers to post around. I’ve probably missed something however, I invariably do and part of the reason for this post is to solicit advice. Effectively I need to be working daily, and earning enough that I don’t need to rely on benefits.

Now, I have skills. I can set up and configure PCs with a variety of operating systems. I can suggest software for many different purposes. I could, indeed, build that PC, though it wouldn’t be any cheaper than buying it pre-built. I can repair them, and remove (or at least acquire software to remove) malware. And, though rusty, I can write programs, design and build databases, and put together websites. I want to add skills to program for smartphones etc, and update my coding and web skills.

The question is, what have I missed? I know there’s something, and I know that someone out there reading this will be able to add something. If it’s you, then please comment.

Posted by Siobhán using WordPress for Android