Friday, March 03, 2017


So this week I had a couple of meetings at the Business Gateway Hub in Aberdeen. A cool and trendy place for business startups. Bright colors, breakout spaces, hot desks, a cafe, and a real buzz. It's a fun place to visit and network with like-minded people.

I spent quite a lot of time there last summer before heading off to Edinburgh. But now I'm back and ready to do my own thing I can go back to attending the business startup seminars. These are great and free to attend in subjects related to setting up and running your own business.

The first one I attended last year was Business Startup Awareness. A very open and informal group of about 15 people being instructed on best practices on how to set up and start their own business. Lots of practical tips and hints starting from the minute you enter the room. Kickoff was a quick round the room with each person doing their elevator pitch. “Hi I'm Adrian and I'm a software engineer and I am going to change the world”

Other courses I attended were Business Planning, Marketing, Finance, Digital Marketing, and Bookkeeping. All super chilled, free, and really helpful.

So I was back to have a meeting with my Business Advisor about actually setting up on my own. A few key things to think about are whether to be a Sole Trader or a Limited company and whether to be VAT registered or not.

First up, the initial plan is to make myself a Sole Trader as it is just me (for the moment) however there is one contract that I have discussed that will require me to be limited. If this does not materialize there seems to be little point in the expense and complexity at the moment.

The other VAT registration. If I have a turnover in a year of greater than £83,000 then yes I will need to register for VAT. However again it seems a long shot at the moment so best avoid the complexity for now.

So it will be me, Sole Trader, and not VAT registered to start.

Oh, and to keep my personal tax simple my first invoice date can wait till next tax year which starts on the 6th of April. It's good as I will be due a refund from the HMRC and will be claiming this back pronto in April. Having been a student for 4 months and not earning for some of 2016-2017 means that I have overpaid in the first 8 months of the year.

Udny Designs and Udny Solutions will be my trading names.

With matching websites:

(the second is still a work in progress).

Udny Designs will continue as a craft side hustle making things to sell to help pay for therapy for Thomas (my youngest son who has CP). I'm waiting to hear back from an accountant on this to see if there is any way that this could be in Thomas’s name and use his personal allowance to prevent paying tax on any income which in effect goes direct to pay for his therapy.

Udny Solutions will be my main business offering freelance software and web design solutions. This will be me, my laptop, and my knowledge.

My second meeting at Business Gateway this week was meeting a business advisor who specializes in online presence for the business. This was a great discussion and I showed them what I have been working on, discussed my time at CodeClan, and what I plan to offer as Udny Solutions. Positive points were using well-known online website builders is a valid solution to offer small companies, and the skills I have learned with JavaScript and Ruby on Rails means I can offer additional functionality above and beyond flat HTML and CSS if required. A critical point also discussed was to ensure I do not forget about Search Engine Optimisation and to include this in any estimates that I make.

So Udny Designs and Udny Solutions will be included in the Business Gateway startup list for 2017. Very exciting and I among many others that are forecast to start this year. Apparently, the downturn in Oil and Gas has lead to a boom in Startups in Aberdeen which is brilliant.

Anyway till next week, Best be off as I have a couple of Quotes to do… Watch this space.

>> my boys are making their own AWPR in Moonsand, a great sand-based indoor toy product that gets everywhere >>