starting a business: part 1

As I venture into this new season of freelancing I thought I would write specifically about the tasks, questions, challenges & choices I am making. I am offically 3 weeks into this so this post will detail what I have done to date.

Week 1

The first step was to register for a limited company with Companies House. Fortunately they have an excellent step by step guide here which makes the whole process simple enough. With setting up a company, comes picking a name, I went with 'akmiller technologies limited' mainly because I have this domain ( On a side note I would like to come up with a 'better' name soon, but that can wait.

The next item on the list was a business bank account (an yet other piece of plastic!). There are a lot of accounts out there, between the traditional high street banks and the new online/mobile accounts the choice is dizzying. I finally went with Coconut as it has invoicing built into the app which I think will be very helpful once I get the clients rolling in.

Finally I started to get my tooling setup. This included Asana for project management, Forestry for my website, Calendy for meeting scheduling. The list goes on, but they are the main ones I setup in my first week. All of these at about setting up internal processes for myself so I don't forget anything and to ensure I am delivering on time.

Week 2

I am fortunate that I already had a couple of clients lined up and certainly helped in making the leap less scary. My second week was doing work for one of my clients which includes designing there brand and website. By this point they had provided content for the site, so I started compiling the pages and design options for there logo. I also spent time doing a website refresh for a second client

When I was doing that I was giving my website content a refresh, adding a contact page and a portfolio page. I was also finishing up some pro-bono work for my church related to the podcast feed and backend management platform

Another thing which needs to be done when setting up a limited company is Corporation Tax, VAT if you have revenue (turnover) over £85,000, PAYE to pay people with salaries (even yourself). All of this is something that an accountant can really help with, I had a recommendation from my sister and knew a couple of people myself, but I have still yet to finalise anything.

Week 3

This week was shorter as I had a preplanned holiday, so I spent the time on some internal tasks such as getting testomonials, trying out a couple of ideas and trying out ideas for my own personal logo.

In terms of client work, the client came back with a preferred option but wanted different colours, so I iterated the colours on the logo and started to produce patterns, business card designs and larger logos.

Week 4

I am starting week 4. This week I will be chasing up some decisions from clients, applying to some contract roles and writing a proposal for a potential client. Also I need to pick an accountant, and I remembered that I ought to have business insurance as well. In terms of tooling, I also started to get time tracking sorted out but it is not part of my routine yet. This is another habit I need to build up.