How to grow an online business: Akshay's story

Meet Akshay, 20, from London, and find out about life as the founder and owner of Doorsteps, an online estate agency. Part of our Bitesize world of work series.

"One thing I've learnt in business is always have a clear target or goal in mind, whether that be three, five or 10 years away."

  • Akshay set up his own online estate agency when he was still at school
  • He applied for university, but decided to defer accepting his offers so he could focus on his company full time
  • Akshay didn't study Business, but instead learnt about growing a successful business from mentors and business leaders.

What to expect if you want to be self-employed

Working for yourself looks different for each person and each business, but in general it means you:

  • run your own business and are responsible for its success
  • can decide how, when and where you do your work
  • charge an agreed, fixed price for your work
  • sell goods or services to make a profit
  • can hire people at your own expense to help you or to do the work for you.

The salary and working hours when you own a business can vary enormously but what's most important is that you work hard and love what you do.

You can be both employed and self-employed at the same time. You can work for your employer during the day, for example, and run your own business in the evenings and at weekends. It’s important to contact HMRC for advice if you’re not sure if you’re self-employed.

You can get help with setting up or developing your business, through the government’s business support services, for example, for advice about tax or how to find funding to start your business.

This information is a guide (sources: LMI for All, National Careers Service, GOV.UK)

For careers advice in all parts of the UK visit: England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales

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