Tuesday, 3 June 2008

A Limited Company forms in the drizzle

My hair loves drizzle, and it never can quite decide how to celebrate this grey and damp form of British weather. Should it display its happiness by developing a frizzy halo? Should it choose instead to show joy by lying completely flat? Or perhaps maybe the best way to revel in the gloriousness of the day is to do both at once – ah yes, that is what it decides. So while my hair is having a party, what is the rest of me doing this fine day?

Well, I have decided to become a Limited Company, as I have been doing some contracted work recently and I need to be VAT registered to invoice. I was originally invoicing through an umbrella company, but out of the blue that company folded (luckily after paying me!), and I still have an outstanding invoice to claim. So no more umbrella's (although they are somewhat apt for drizzle), and a new Limited Company has been formed. I did think of calling it ‘Don’t Be’, but sadly that name has gone already!

The only problem is that a lot of what I have to do this week smacks worryingly of Business Studies. Cash flow analysis, small business plans, directors, profit and loss… it all takes me back to ‘A’ levels, where for some strange reason I decided to add Business Studies to my chosen subjects of Art and English.

What do I remember of Business Studies? Well, I remember doodling fantastic swirls around Beatles song lyrics, and gazing out of the window. Every time I tried to concentrate, it was like some annoying child stuck its fingers in my ears and ‘la-la-la’d’ as loud as it could. Even my teacher asked me why I was there… I passed the ‘A’ level with a combination of luck and panic-filled study. I guess I am not really a business person.

But I have to be! You simply cannot be a freelancer without having some sort of business plan. I can imagine how difficult it is for artists to come down from their paint splattered easel and start totting up their balance sheet, and I guess it is like writing – pulling your head back out of the world you’ve created and squinting at profit and loss margins. But I really am trying to be business-minded, especially because being a limited company brings in a whole new set of rules. So today is half creative, and half business. Where’s that shoulder pad suit?

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