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Training whilst self-employed

Being self-employed can be difficult to find the time to focus on training and continuing professional development. Whilst you may think your time is better spent doing other things, it is important you keep developing your skills and expertise to stay relevant in what is a competitive market.

We have put together a few ideas you may want to use to make sure you are getting the most out of your training and development opportunities.

  1. Take time out to consider in which areas you think training would be valuable to yourself and your business. If there are a few courses you think are important, list them and then prioritise them to make it easier to see where to start.
  2. Training can be expensive, however can add a lot of value to your business. Not only are you able to offer more services or keep your existing services relevant but the more qualified you are, the more justifiable an increase in rates is to your customers. Therefore, when taking into account the cost of a course, you should factor in not only the time you would lose whilst carrying out the training but also the potential extra income you could receive as a result.
  3. If funding is an issue for your continuing professional development, look around at the funding options available. Lots of training bodies have funding loans or grants available for people looking to study with them, some of which you may be eligible for. You may also be able to deduct the costs of your training from your income tax, if you suit the criteria, meaning you pay less income tax and come out with training.
  4. Making time for training can be difficult, especially when you are also working full time. There are now a variety of training options available for you to choose from, from online learning to night classes and college courses. Do your research before signing up to any training schemes and make sure they suit you. You want to aim to finish the training and be able to come out of it with a new skill, so you must be able to put the time in that it requires. It will be hard work, but you have to remember that it will be worth it when you’ve finished.
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