Freelancing
Today I’m conducting a People Per Hour review. People Per Hour was the very first ‘freelance portal’ I used both as a client and a freelancer. In a very short space of time I earned more than £2,000 for my services part-time whilst at University. As I set out on my journey of a self-employed entrepreneur I also started to hire freelancers to complete work. This work was either outside of my skill set or taking up too much of my time. 


People Per Hour currently operates in 89 countries. With more than 1.5 million registered users and a total of 1.1 million jobs which have been posted. Earning freelancers a slice of more than $100 million. 


People Per Hour Review: For Clients

People Per Hour is a traditional ‘freelance portal’ connecting the likes of small businesses to an attire of potential freelances. It was the first website I ever used both as a freelancer and a client… it’s come a long way since then.

There are now two ways in which you can hire a freelancer;

Post Job

Post a job on the People Per Hour job board. Tailor your request and requirements and explain exactly what the job entails. Off the back of this potential freelancers will ‘bid’ for the job. Explaining how they can meet (and perhaps even exceed) your requirements. 

People Per Hour Review


Purchase An Hourly

The second way in which you can hire a potential freelancer is through the ‘hourly’ feature. Think of this like Fiverr. Freelancers pitch work they can complete and you’ll purchase the service directly from them. This is great for standard work as you’re not having to rely on freelancers contacting you. Instead the purchase can be much more instantaneous. 


To give you an idea of exactly how much work I’ve given to the freelancers of People Per Hour check out my dashboard. Here you’ll see I’ve posted 24 jobs, but only managed to hire 7 people to complete the work. This means just 1 in every 3.5 job posted being awarded. So it’s safe to say I’ve wasted A LOT of time posting jobs that no freelancer has been good enough to work with me on. 

I’ve also dished out more than £1,000 which means I can speak from experience when I say the freelancers on People Per Hour are some of the WORST I’ve worked with. My prime example has to be a web designer I hired for a project back in 2014. The work totalled to more than £2,400 however it was going to be paid in stages. 


This project was a huge deal, and I was strict with every aspect of the design right through to the timeline in which the work needed to be completed in. I’d paid a premium to get ‘the best of the best’ to do the work, and they simply failed to deliver. They missed the first deadline, so I decided to contact them by email, and after a couple of days I had no response. Weeks went by and I had nothing to show for my first installment, People Per Hour customer service was ‘useless’ with no contact number, no live chat assistance and slow to respond emails. In the end I ended up taking them to the small claims court to get my money back.

Believe it or not I’m a pretty easy going person to work for. I understand what it’s like on the other side of the fence and only wish I’d have received some communication. Even if it was bad news. This wasn’t just a solo freelancer, it was an accompaniment of freelancers who had come together to form a digital company. 

– and I know what you’re thinking… This is just one of thousands of freelancers on People Per Hour. To that I say your right. Unfortunatly, my assistance with accounting when I was first new to the world of Xero didn’t go too well either. In fact I ended up sacking the particular freelancer and hiring another. 

Unfortunatly, the other was just as bad and ended up distorting my accounts to the point in which I nearly overpaid on tax by 200% – Always check the work of your freelancer.

Luckily, in these instances the ‘fear’ of getting negative feedback on People Per Hour meant the customer service had very little to intervene with. However, if that’s the case then how is anyone honestly going to know these people simply can’t do the job you’re hiring them for?



People Per Hour Review: For Freelancers

People Per Hour is a little better when it comes to it’s service offerings for freelancers. You’re able to tailor your applications to a specific persons request – using this opportunity wisely you can easily improve your job prospects. 

Unfortunatly, I’d say the benefits for freelancers end there. 

People Per Hour take a cut of 15% for the first $280 earned every month, and 3.5% after that.

So if you earn $500 one month then People Per Hour will take a $49.70 cut.

However, the fee’s don’t end there. Every month you recieve 15 ‘free credits’ they can be used to bid on jobs. Once you run out you’ll be required to purchase additional credits in order to bid on additional work.

This is a great way to increase your job prospects as many will stop bidding on jobs once they’ve used their 15 and move onto another site. So, if you’re willing to spend a little to make a lot especially in the beginning when you’re looking to establish yourself then this could work.

The upselling doesn’t end there… People Per Hour also have ‘featured profiles’. According to People Per Hour statistics this increases your job prospects by 300%. Unfortunatly, such a promotion is going to cost you circa £8 per day! (It’s based on a bidding system so actual amounts will vary)


In conclusion, I’d personally only use People Per Hour if you’re already one of it’s established freelancers. As for hiring a freelancer, I’d look to Fiverr for the generic hourly services or UpWork for more tailored job specific freelancers. 

It seems that People Per Hour only care about one thing and that’s money…

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Freelancing

So, you’ve created a Fiverr profile. Created the perfect gig. Now you’re looking to start ranking for relevant search terms in the Fiverr results. As the platform has grown ‘making it’ as a seller on Fiverr has become more difficult as the competition has increased. 

However, just because it’s harder doesn’t make it impossible. Which is why today we’ll be covering exactly how to rank your Fiverr gig. 

Ranking Factors

Based on some research I’ve conducted over the past three years. Here’s what I believe are the most important factors when it comes to ranking your Fiverr gig. These are listed in order of importance.

#1 Reviews

Which of course sucks for someone who is just starting out. The ways in which this is calculated is two fold, firstly on the number of reviews, secondly on the ‘stars’. So if you’re looking to rank your Fiverr gig getting that initial boost could be essential.

On Fiverr you’ll tend to find most gigs that rank have a large number of reviews between 4.5 and 5.0 stars. 

However, if you’re looking to branch out into a new niche within Fiverr then there’s good news. You see it’s been proven that Fiverr not only looks at the number of reviews you get on a particular gig. Instead, Fiverr looks at your entire account and how you rank as a ‘Fiverr seller’ across the board.


#2 Keywords

As I mentioned in designing the perfect Fiverr gig. Keywords are essential when it comes to ranking for relevant searches. 

However, using the correct keywords on the gig is just the half of it. That’s because Fiverr allows you to add a description to your Fiverr profile. This will show up on each gig page that you have. So, if you’re niche is ‘SEO content’ then be sure to organically phrase associated keywords such as “SEO Content” and “Search Engine Optimised Content” in your profile. 

#3 Gig Views

As you can imagine, the more eyeballs coming to your gigs the better. Whether these potential customers go on to purchase your gig is at this stage irrelevant. That’s because these views demonstrate to Fiverr that the content you have put in your gig (keywords, photos etc.) is relevant enough to the search term to be viewed by the customer.

#4 Queue

Fiverr relies on those selling services to provide a ‘good job’ for the client because, remember Fiverr makes money from you selling your services. If the customer has a bad experience with a freelancer within Fiverr then they are likely to associate it with the entire platform and go elsewhere in future.

This is exactly why reviews are so important, however they aren’t the only influence that Fiverr can track to ensure you’re likely to perform for the customer. Another way is the length of your ‘queue’.

If you have a large backlog of work then Fiverr is more likely to push you down in the search results. That’s because you’re seen as being less likely to complete the work quickly for the client. So, if you want more work, be sure to keep on top of the work you already have…




In conclusion, by understanding the ‘Fiverr algorithm’ you should be better prepared to rank your Fiverr gig going forward. Once you do achieve a ranking status on any of your gigs this is likely to snowball. So, if you’re struggling to start with be sure to keep your spirits up and continue to over deliver to all the clients you have.

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Freelancing

Today I’m going to be showing you how you can create the perfect Fiverr gig. Allowing you to increase your sales, earn more cash as a freelancer, and improve your freelance reputation. If you’re just starting out on Fiverr or any freelance website for that fact you can be discouraged by the vast number of people in your service offering who have an established feedback. However, I’m here to tell you not to worry. 

Crafting a professional and perfect Fiverr gig is going to give you the competitive advantage over even the most established freelancer. 

Before we get started, if you need a little motivation then be sure to check out this article from Forbes. It features 3 people who make six-figure salaries from offering their services on Fiverr.

 

 

Decide On A Service Offering Niche

There’s nothing I hate reading more than a profile from a freelancer who is trying to offer (and be) everything. A web designer, graphic designer, and SEO expert. It’s just not possible. Decide on the service you would most like to offer and aim to be the very best person on Fiverr who offers that very service.


It’s better to be amazing at one thing than just average at one-hundred others…



Review The Competition

So many of us burry our head in the sand when it comes to our competition. We’re afraid to see how good they might be, because we worry that we won’t be able to compete. Let me make one thing clear.

Competition is good! It provides us with drive, ambition and motivation. It’s also highly beneficial for the client. They are going to be getting the very best within a service offering.

That said, it’s time to look at your own competition within your service offering, and every top ranking competitor within it. 


How To Create The Perfect Fiverr Gig


I’ve used the logo design niche as an example. It’s one of the most competitive and sought after niches on the site which means it can be hard to break through. However, start by looking at the top 10 ranking ‘gigs’ individually (you’re welcome to look at more, and I’d certainly suggest doing so over time). 

Take a look at what this freelancer is doing right, and what they are doing wrong. Check there gig titles, latest reviews, descriptions, tags, and profile. You’re looking at things that this particular freelancer is doing well, and things they are not doing particularly well, such as;

Grammar mistakes – This is a huge indicator of low levels of professionalism of the seller.

Bad content styling – Random and chaotic styling, characters, bold letters etc…

Poor images – Especially as we’re particularly looking at logo design in this example, you’d expect the images to be AMAZING!


Delivery time – Our entire society is based on wanting everything right now. Fiverr is no different. 


You’re not going to succeed by offering the same as what everyone else is doing. There are already far too many established gigs which clients will choose over yours. What you need to do is over deliver. Look at what the best in your niche is offering and offer considerably more than them.

Create The Gig

Now you’ve done the research it’s time to start actually putting pen to paper so to speak, and creating your very own perfect Fiverr gig. I’ve broken this down based on each entry method of a typical Fiverr gig;


Title

The title of your gig is one of two things that is going to have the most influence on your ‘perfect Fiverr gig’. 

Whilst Fiverr allows you up to 80 characters in a title. Your perfect Fiverr gig title should have less. That’s because Fiverr will cut you off on the search after around 40. This means you really need to make those characters count. 

The image above is a great example of some short titles. Unfortunatly they seriously lack proper English. 


You’ll notice that when starting out on Fiverr you wont be allowed any uppercase words. This comes when you achieve ‘Level 2’. At that point Fiverr will provide you with the opportunity to convert one word to uppercase. 


When you get yourself into this position my word of advice is to capitalise the adjective. It has much more impact than the keyword. A great example is in the gig above, this freelancer chose to capitalise ‘awesome’ and it’s worked out pretty well for them with over 2,000 feedback.



Description

Fiverr is a lot more giving when it comes to your gig’s description. In fact, you have a total of 1,200 characters to play with. Alongside the unlimited ability of styling and customisation. You want to use all of this to your advantage, however, what I see a lot of is this;


This gig description is filled with bad English, long paragraphs and very limited style. You should avoid creating descriptions like this, and instead look to create something similar to this;

 

Tags

You have a choice of just 5 tags. So use them wisely. I’d advise doing a little research by typing your main keyword into the Fiverr search bar and seeing what other results appear. These are known as long-tail keywords and you’re much more likely to rank for one of these when compared to simply ‘logo design’ 


The search bar within Fiverr is a ‘google’ so these are what your potential clients are searching for within Fiverr. In this case I’d probably look to use the tags such as; Graphic Design Logo, Design a Logo, Business Logo Design…

Images

Images, are the second most important component of creating the perfect Fiverr gig. They create the thumbnail of your gig. When choosing the image you’d like to use you have three choices;

Snapshot of the gig video – We’ll be covering video in more detail a little later. Think of this like Youtube. You’ll simply be able to take the best snapshot of the video and include it as an image. 

Create your own images – If you’re a graphic designer, then this one is probably going to be for you. A chance to showcase your best work.


Images from the Internet
– Whilst it is an option I’d always advise against it. No doubt others in your niche have taken images from the internet and therefore you’re simply just going to fade into the background.

Ultimately to decide what’s the best for you look back to your competition, see what they are doing. Do they have snapshots of their face from the video? or really amazing graphics? 

Always make sure to create images that comply with Fiverr’s gig image size which is 550×370, because otherwise, the image will be cut to fit the container and there is no full image preview on Fiverr.


Video

Fiverr state that services that include a video increase conversions by 220%. So if you REALLY want to create the perfect Fiverr gig then it’s going to need a video. 

Much like the images, go back and look at the most highly ranked gig’s in your field. What are there videos like? What do they include?

Fiverr is snappy (remember when I said everyone wants everything now? Well clients want to know if you’re the right freelancer for them ASAP!) so you want to ensure you’re video is less than one minute long. 

One minute isn’t long, and doesn’t give you much time for ‘waffling’ so get to the point…

“Hello,

I’m XX.
I am providing XX gig.
This gig is… [insert the best points from your set of bullet points]
(you are obliged by Fiverr to include a sentence in which you explicitly say that this service is exclusively offered on Fiverr – otherwise, your video won’t get approved)
Click that ‘buy’ button and you’ll have this work completed and back in your inbox in 24 hours (include a call to action. Tell the potential client to do something is proven marketing psychology) 

Remember, you don’t have to be the person in the video. If you’re not comfortable in front of the camera or simply don’t have very good English then ask a friend or family member to do it for you. Just don’t hire someone from Fiverr to do it. This common mistake means you’ll find the same person promoting 20% of the gigs in the same service offering – that doesn’t look professional. 

Same thing goes for editing. If you have the skills, great. If you don’t this is something you can hire out on Fiverr. 


There we have it. My complete breakdown on how to create the perfect Fiverr gig. As always I’d love to know what you think of this post, or the impact it has should you implement these techniques on your very own Fiverr gigs. Be sure to let me know in the comments below…

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Freelancing
Fiverr launched in February 2010, and catapulted itself to the top of the freelance food chain. In this Fiverr review I’m going to be highlighting both the benefits you have when selling your services on Fiverr, as well as the benefits you have when hiring a freelancer through Fiverr.


Services offered on Fiverr are more commonly known as ‘gigs’. Other freelancing companies get the employer to pitch what they need and the freelancer applies for the job. Fiverr however, is the opposite. The freelancer says what jobs they’ll do, and the employer browses the website like they would an online store and buys a person’s gig. Here’s some examples…

Fiverr review


Fiverr Review: For Clients

With such a wide range of affordable services available to purchase on Fiverr I’m not surprised by it’s rapid growth. However, if you’re purchasing a service for $5 then surely you have a right to be sceptical?

I’ve been using Fiverr for a number of years now. No more so than for help with this very blog, and I have to say… So far so good. The services I’ve received have all been above my expectations. They’ve been delivered on time and in many cases I’ve gone on to hire that person again for future work.


I personally feel as though my success as a client on Fiverr has come down to a number of different things;

My Expectations Are Realistic
If I’m hiring someone for $5 I certainly don’t expect the work that I’d usually pay $50 or even $500 for. With that in mind I only purchase services or ‘gigs’ that I feel are to the value of $5. However, Fiverr has recently introduced ‘gig extras’.


These are of great benefit to both the freelancer and the client. That’s because they allow the client to find a particularly great freelancer, who has a proven track record and hire them to conduct higher level work.

I Only Hire People With A Large Number of Positive Reviews
Fiverr makes it simple and straight forward to filter the good from the bad. This means there is no excuse not to hire the very best that Fiverr has to offer within your particular service category.


I Communicate My Request Clearly
Once I’ve decided on a particular freelancer I make it simple and straight forward for them to follow the task. I’ll always invite them to contact me should they have any questions or concerns. As a bonus, I look to hire freelancers who offer revisions, just incase I’m unhappy with the result.

In conclusion, I believe that Fiverr can be the perfect resource for many clients needs. The ‘instantaneous’ purchase of a service limits the amount of time you’re required to wait to communicate with a potential freelancer. 

However, Fiverr’s flexibility not only means you can hire a particular freelancer that you’ve worked with previously to do a higher level of work for you. You can also submit a request to the Fiverr community, much like on the typical freelancer platforms, if you are unable to find someone offering the particular service you require.

Fiverr Review: For Freelancers

With Fiverr being a hit with the clients. I’m sure you’re eager to find out what is it like offering your services on this platform as a freelancer?

Service Flexibility
Fiverr really does have no limits when it comes to the different types of service offerings. There’s over 100 different service categories, which means that regardless of your skill you’re bound to find something you can offer…

Pricing Flexibility
As I spoke about in the review for clients. Freelancers are able to offer three different service packages. Basic, Standard and Premium. They can range in price from $5 right up to $995.

You can also offer express delivery of a service for an additional fee. As well as ‘gig extra’s, all of this can contribute to you earning hundreds of dollars from one service offering.


Whether you’re just getting started on Fiverr or are simply struggling to achieve sales. Here’s how you can create the perfect Fiverr gig.


Getting Paid Is Easy
Fiverr take a 20% cut of everything you earn which can seem like a lot. On the flip-side there is a benefit of them doing so. They provide you with the ability to get paid quickly and easily (no more chasing clients) and provide you with a platform in which to advertise as many service offerings as you’d like.


In conclusion, I believe that Fiverr is one of the most flexible and best performing freelance platforms available from both the perspective of the client and the freelancer. I also think the platform has come a long way by listening to both the perspective of freelancers and clients by introducing the different service offerings in which one freelancer can offer through one gig.

As always, I’d love to know what you think of both this Fiverr review, and Fiverr in general. Have you used the service in the past as a freelancer or a client? What has your experience been like? Would you consider using the service in the future? If so what for? Let me know in the comments below…

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Freelancing
With millions of online freelance accounts, and independent freelancers standing out from the crowd can be difficult. Which is why after almost a decade as part-time freelancer myself and hiring freelances (and firing) in other fields I want to share with you the secrets of how to get your first freelance client…

Profile

Regardless of the freelance website you sign up to, or whether you go it alone with a personal website you’re going to need some kind of profile. If you have no previous reputation then learning how to get your first freelance client is going to be make or break. Especially on a freelance website such as Fiverr, Freelancer or UpWork. So, how can you make a profile with no reviews or feedback one that someone would want to hire?

Think of your profile as your resume. Include a professional high-resolution photo of yourself.

You’re going to want to make sure to cover everything without waffling so use bullet points to your advantage when listing your skill set.

List the most important, valuable and unique skills at the top of your profile. Fluent in Java? Don’t put that after mentioning how you’re an efficient employee.

Be honest
. If you lie to a client and go on to get the job you’ve got to do the work. Do it badly and you risk tarnishing your profile before you’ve even started.

Include a portfolio. This is a great way of demonstrating your skill set and previous work. Results speak louder than words so make sure to publish only your very best work. Don’t be afraid to refer to it when applying for jobs either.  

Here are some examples of a great freelancer profile, and a poor one. Take a look at your online freelancer profile(s) and edit them to include concise, relevant and relatable information.

 



Application

When a new job goes live it’s easy to get ahead of yourself and scramble to put something, anything together. However by doing so you risk missing out key facts or incorrectly calculating the amount you’d charge. Instead be sure to do the following;

Read and re-read the client request. What are they looking for? When do they want it by? Who do they want to hire for this? Take your time to listen to what this person wants. Answer every single question they have.

It’s important to remember that potential clients aren’t going to take the first application that comes through the door. 

However, they are going to get a large number of applications. No more so on a freelance website, and in mainstream fields of freelance work. Which is why your application should cut to the chase. Make it simple and easy for them to read. Answer each question they have in one or two sentences, reference to your profile for anything extra.

It’s important to ensure that your application is free of spelling and grammar mistakes. Read it out loud to ensure it’s in good English and flows correctly.  

If you’ve done similar work in the past for other clients then wherever you can, reference it. 

Be accurate and realistic when setting a budget and timescale for the work. It’s always better to give yourself more time and impress the client when you submit the work a week early than it is to give yourself less time and submit the work a week late.

Finally, don’t be afraid to call your potential client instead of using email. Often 5 or 6 emails back and forth can be done in a two-minute phone call and coming out from behind your computer to interact personally with a client shows honesty and really creates that connection.

However, before proceeding to do any work agreed to over the phone ensure you get an written agreement of expectations from yourself and from the client.

Got The Job?

So you got the job, great!

Be sure to communicate with the client often informing them of your progress. The length of the project will depend on how much.

Send them samples of the work you have done to ensure they’re happy with the work you’ve done so far. The best way to do this is to set milestones. It’s much better contacting the client with your work at a milestone and them telling you they want certain things changing than it is you submitting your work at the end and them telling you how it’s all wrong.

Don’t expect to have your hand held. You chose this job because you have the skill set. Use your judgement to make a call without contacting the client every day with a problem you’re having or a decision you need to make.

Be polite and courteous when communicating with the client. Sometimes I find myself working late into the night. I’ll reach for my phone to call someone only to check the clock and find its 11pm.

Once the work is finished be sure to get the client to leave you feedback. Feedback is essential in helping you secure your next job. Be sure to let the client know you’re available for future work and how much you’ve enjoyed helping them.  



how to get your first freelance client


Not Got The Job?

You’re never going to win them all. Pick yourself up and find out how to make your next application even better.


Most websites will let you see who else applied for the job so have a snoop around their profile and see what they’re doing differently. Once the work has been completed you’ll probably be able to find out who was awarded the job. Again snoop around their profile. What do they have that you don’t?

If they’re charging less don’t try and undercut them. Instead, make yourself more employable at your desired rate by providing value added services.

Don’t be afraid to ask for feedback from the client. A simple message


Hello Mr ‘x’,

I’ve had a notification to say that you have awarded the job to someone else.

I’m new to the ‘x’ platform and wondered if you could tell me how I might be able to improve future applications?

I wish you the best of luck with your freelancer and should you have any problems my application is always available.

Kind Regards,

Miss TMM.  

Not only will this provide you with valuable feedback. It leaves the door open to either future work, or that project should the other freelancer be unable to deliver. The client is 80% more likely to come to you over going through the mountain of applications again.    


I really hope you have enjoyed this article. Be sure to let me know in the comments if you have any hints and tips on how to get your first freelance client, or how you get on achieving your first client! 

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Amazon Reselling, Blogging, eBay Reselling, Everything Else, Freelancing, Selling Lego

I’ve been submitting a self assessment tax return for over five years now. At a time it was a rather daunting task for 20-something however, thanks to new cloud software such as Xero this process has been made simple and straight forward. While my tax affairs have become more complicated in recent years forcing me to hire an accountant.

 

For a long time I committed to becoming a ‘Jack of all trades’ and saved myself some serious cash by doing so. April marks the end of the tax year once again, which is exactly why I want to share with you the very basics of a self assessment tax return. I hope that by doing so I can help you to save time, money and hassle.  

Who Needs To Complete A Self Assessment Tax Return?

Not everyone needs to complete a tax return. The majority of UK tax payers have their tax collected at source through the Pay as You Earn Scheme. This is where employers run a payroll scheme that deducts the correct amount of tax and national insurance each month.

 

The employer is then legally obliged to pay this amount over to HMRC every month or every three months depending upon their size. There are however many reasons as to why 7 million people in the UK need to submit a self assessment tax return to HMRC.

 

Below are the most common;

 

Income above £2,500 from Land or Property

 

Company Director or If you are self employed

 

Income from a pension and a salary 40% income tax payer and have savings income

 

Receive an income from investments that are not taxed at source.

 

Income from foreign sources Income subject to capital gains tax

 

Just remember this is just a few examples. If you are unsure as to whether or not you should be completing a self assessment contact HMRC directly.

 

When Does The Tax Year Start? And End?

The tax year runs from the 6th April until the 5th April each year.  

When Do I Have To Submit My Tax Return?

I believe the deadline is very generous. HMRC give you until 31st January to submit and pay your return. That’s around 10 months!

 

Yet many still fail to meet that deadline and by doing so receive penalties for doing so. Many of us also leave it to the last minute. Causing unnecessary stress and running the risk of being unable to submit the return on time.

Save yourself from this self assessment embarrassment  

How Much Does Submitting A Self Assessment Cost?

If you’re willing to put in the graft and do all the work, record keeping and mathematics yourself then submitting your self assessment tax return to HMRC is totally free. However, remember time is money and it’s often all about finding the best of both worlds.

 

You can outsource your self assessment return entirely to a bookkeeper or accountant. This could cost anything from £300+ per year. It’s entirely dependent on the accountant you choose and your personal circumstances.

 

However, I found the middle ground for myself was using the cloud based accounting platform Xero. It cost less money than an accountant, but also required less work than doing the entire thing myself. Time vs Money for me personally it was a winner!

 

Where Can I Learn More About Self Assessment?

I remember when I first went into the world of self employment. It was a first for anyone in my family, and being young at times I found it confusing and hard to understand. HMRC knows this is often the case regardless of your situation which is why they host regular webinars.

 

Just remember that if you’re confused or for whatever reason don’t understand you should always contact an accountant or HMRC directly. They’ll be able to tailor the answer to your particular circumstances, ensuring that you’re always submitting your self assessment forms correctly.   I hope this latest post has given you some insight into submitting your own self assessment tax form.

 

The most important thing to remember is to complete your form as early as possible, and keep on-top of your record keeping. This is going to really reduce the time it’s going to take you to complete your return whether you choose to use an accountant, cloud based accounting services or do it yourself.

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Amazon Reselling, Blogging, eBay Reselling, Everything Else, Freelancing, Selling Lego


I've been using Xero as my cloud based accounting platform of choice for the past four years now, and heres why.

Xero is a beautiful, easy-to-use online accounting software designed for small businesses. I have personally been using the software since January 2015 when I ventured into a world I knew very little about – self employment.

  

Since then it’s allowed me to understand the financial situation of my business, save time, save money and plan accordingly for the future. I can’t recommend it enough (which is why you’ll often see me go on about it in Facebook groups & on Youtube hangouts)



I therefore decided it was long-over due that I dedicate an entire post to a Xero review. Explaining exactly why I use Xero for my cloud based accounting. Clearly, I’m not the only fan of Xero as their community is made up of more than 862,000 subscribers in over 180 countries. 

 

Accounts

In this Xero review I’m going to start with perhaps one of the most basic and yet profound features this online accounting service offers. It’s ability to be able to link my bank and credit cards as well as my PayPal account. Updating them all in Xero in real time.

 

No more logging in to check all of your business bank accounts. Load Xero up and you can be assured that all your accounts are completely up-to-date. I can see the overall financial possition of my business on one screen – not a calculator or spreadsheet in sight!

 

To link Xero together with your bank account is as simple as logging into your online banking. No more wasting your time writing down your expenses or exporting and importing CSV files. With Xero your income and outgoings are right there in front of you.

 

The reconciliation Xero offers also allows you to create ‘rules’ allowing you to select what certain transactions should be catagorised into. This not only saves you time but reduces the risk of human errors. 

 

Integration 

If the ability to work together with your bank wasn’t enough maybe the integration with almost 500 different applications might be. In this section of my Xero review I’m going to be talking about everything from SqaureSpace to Shopify and Gusto to Debtor Daddy (and everything in between!)

 

All this is designed to allow you to customise your Xero experience exactly to your businesses needs. Giving your the opportunity to connect with other time saving applications from advanced solutions for point-of-sale, time tracking, e-commerce and more!

 

Support

Aged just 20 I began my life as a self-employed entrepreneur. I knew very little about accounting, taxes and everything in between. When I got set up on Xero I had questions;

 

Why does this do this?

 

Why isn’t this doing that?

 

Am I doing this right?

 

If like me you’ve never done this before it’s super overwhelming and confusing. Luckily Xero’s support team was here to help every step of the way. I’m not just talking about being there for the few weeks where I was getting set up.

 

Just recently my business became a limited company, I was back to square one with one-million and one questions, again Xero’s amazing team was here to help… best of all it was quick, free and the amount of support they provide is unlimited.

 

Mobile

Xero also comes complete with a mobile application. This mobile application allows you to view your businesses financial situation whilst on the go or out and about.

 

It’s made all the difference when I find a business opportunity whilst on the road allowing me to see exactly how much I can afford to invest without restricting my business further.

 

Cost

When starting up a new business we all know how important it is to save money wherever possible. I wanted to be in full control of my financial situation. I didn’t want to hand everything over to an accountant who wanted to charge me £150 a month for the privilidge. 

 

Instead I opted for one of Xero’s three price plans;

 

Starter – £10 per month Ideal for bloggers or those who are just starting out.

 

This allows you to reconcile 20 transactions a month. Enter 5 bills Send 5 invoices

 

Standard – £22 per month My personal choice and more than enough for most small-businesses.

 

Reconcile unlimited transactions Enter unlimited transactions Send unlimited invoices

 

Premium – £27.50 per month If you conduct transactions in a currency other than your local (UK – GBP / US – USD)

 

Everything standard offers plus multi-currency transactions. Take Xero up on their 30-day free trial to find out which service might suit your needs best.

 

Bookkeepers & Accountants

As your business grows and your needs change you may find yourself needing some further accounting assistance in the form of a bookkeeper or an accountant.

 

What’s great is that with Xero being a cloud based platform your person of choice can access your books at any time. You are also able to keep in full control of your financial situation and make decisions accordingly.

 

If you think finding someone with the knowledge and experience who is also a Xero professional is going to be tough, think again. Xero have created this fantastic interactive tool to find the best person for the job, local to you.

 

Security

The final part of my Xero review is dedicated to security. Afterall, your handing over very sensitive information in regards to your business. Which means security has to be tight… and it is. Xero’s platform is run with a secure SSL encryption. SSL encryption is the exact same as what your bank uses, so with security as tight as your bank. You can be sure you’re sensative information is in safe hands.

 

I do hope you enjoyed this Xero review. If you’re still unsure then be sure to take them up on their 30 day free trial to find out if they are right for you. If you go ahead and sign up then be sure to let me know in the comments.

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