imilne34 Raised this query : Becoming self-employed and sending business flyers to clients?
I am an illustrator painting portraits and looking for extra work due to the credit crunch. What info. do I need to become self-employed with regards to the inland revenue?
What procedure do I follow to be able to send out flyers advertising my work to the general public in the street and also via letterboxes?

Some answers received :

Answer by ANF
Just inform the revenue what you are doing. Keep receipts of all expenditure as this can be offset against your income. Keep account records especially of income and outgoings. Bear in mind that flyers are like scattering confetti and will not necessarily hit the target. Bear in mind that the financial difficulties that you are experiencing will be right through society making such luxuries as paintings as a non essential purchase. Suggest you find one or two clients and do either free or much reduced price portraits and hope that word of mouth produces some business.
What ever you do best of luck.

Answer by youngboy1606
I’d like to suggest that if you can do characterures, s bout the spelling, you should consider talking to some restaurants about doing people during lunch. My illustrator gets 50-75 for the ones he does. These are cartoons of the people not really pics. He can knock them out in about 5 minutes per. Not going to pay the bills but once a week and its a nice little bit of extra money.

Doesn’t answer your question but maybe gave you an idea how to make some extra money.

Good luck.

Answer by Biz Advisor
I’m an art lover, not an artist. But I have been on a very cool art site that seems to sell art work – I think they do this online and for a commission (like an online art gallery). Check out http://www.artellawordsandart.com/ (I’m not affiliated with this site). This way of getting your work out to the general public would have a much larger reach than sending flyers to potential clients.

Also check out the http://www.sba.gov for small business advice, plans, etc. I’ve done lots of work with graphic designers and while artistically they have been fabulous, from a business perspective they’ve needed to really focus on doing business planning and strategy.

Good luck.

Answer by Louise R
It might be worth contacting your local Business Link or Chamber of Commerce.

Both would be able to give you advice on marketing your business, including the practicalities / legal issues.

In some areas of the country (where development of local enterprises is a priority), they may also be able to help you find funds to pay for printing / distribution etc, or even the more general development of your business.

This could be a great time to do something like this; a ‘voucher’ of some kind would be a great Christmas gift. I bet loads of people would love the idea of having their portrait painted!

Sending flyers to businesses as well as homes might be useful with the Christmas gift voucher thing (because husbands / wives won’t have seen the leaflet, so it’s more of a suprise than if they had a leaflet at home and discussed it).

Maybe even go into a big company and offer to paint a portrait of the receptionist if she’ll put it up in reception with your flyers. They’d love that, and it would be a good way of showing your portraits come out realistically (that’s something I’d be keen to know!).