Who says you can’t learn important skills for free? We’ve previously discussed MOOCs in the past, a free (or at least highly discounted,) way to learn new skills and gain certificates as proof of your completion. However, sometimes you’re less worried about the certification process and want to just learn an important skill. I’ve been reading around and found that HMRC give out for free.
Following on from an amazing talk from someone who has made a career out of geek culture, I have been fascinated about the idea of building my very own geeky business. This, obviously, hasn’t happened yet but hopefully we’ll be able to introduce new, cool products and build great communities around it. Ultimately, we strive to bring people together, but to fund our ventures, we need to build a meaningful company around it.
As such, one of the most complicated aspects of building a business are taxes. Once you start selling, you need to start calculating your taxes and setting up accounts for your company. After a certain amount of time, you could become a limited liability company and then move on further up the chain as it were. But with all of this jargon in mind, how do you know what to do and what you need to get set up beforehand?
I was looking into bookkeeping as a way to look after the finances of GeekOut. If we sell enough posters, we will have to give tax to the taxman and we’ll need to ensure we stay on top of it. With this in mind, it came to me that I needed help in setting everything up. I thought to myself that it’d be as simple as setting up a spreadsheet, or a database application and recording everything I purchased, everything I spent and so on.
Thankfully, my mind has been put at ease: Apparently it is as simple as that, but I wanted to be a bit professional about it. I am using a free piece of software called GNUCash which lets me track my finances, although most of it is a manual process. Once this is set up, I can begin recording GeekOut expenses as well as the cost of what I purchase and how much we receive in sales. Of course, I’m expecting tiny figures over the coming years: Perhaps one day we’ll break past a hundred?!
However, before I start my journey through this whole selling adventure, it’s time that we have a look at how to actually do some basic accounting. But with no background in it, it’s hard to understand what’s important and what’s basically just guff that doesn’t need to be addressed. After some reading around, I’ve seen that HMRC actually give out free webinars, a way to bring more people into business for themselves. In this day and age, where the world is being run by big industry, Bristol is filled with niche smaller shops. Shops such as Craft & More, Fancy Dress Fanatics and so on. These companies were set up in Bristol and are thriving! The point is though, setting your own company up is an exciting prospect and it’s one I’ve considered for a while.
Who knows? Perhaps one day GeekOut will be fully funded by a backing company. That’d be a dream, as I’d be able to travel between cities and set up more events. But enough about the future – Take your first step into the excitingly diverse realm of business today. If it’s something that interests you, let me know in the comments below – What would you do? As always, don’t be afraid to message us on Facebook and Twitter.