PayStream recently had the pleasure of speaking with Tabatha Rose a Programme Manager working within the Global Marketing Division of HSBC, who has taken the exciting step of setting up a limited company and, as a result, is now a director of her own business.
Tabatha shared with us the ups and downs of contracting, as well as the challenges and excitement of transitioning from working with an umbrella company to running her own business, which marked a significant change in the way she operates.
But what has becoming a limited company contractor actually been like? Tabatha shares with us her story.
Contracting lets you pursue your own goals
The first thing we asked was what initially prompted Tabatha to become a contractor. She noted that getting away from "office politics" and the pressures of being urged to train and develop in a certain way were her chief concerns.
It was a decision based on her own frustration with working in a permanent position. Indeed, she felt that the needs of the business would often supersede her own and that was something she was keen to change.
"Contracting gives me the freedom to be who I am, to explore things if I want to, but without having that pressure. In many ways, it was about pursuing my own goals and not those pre-set for me by a business," she stated.
"Being steered in a specific direction wasn't really for me. And trying to say 'no' when a company is trying to push you to progress in a certain way isn't easy. Contracting made sense rather than being pushed into doing something I wasn't sure on, potentially ending up not liking it, but then already being committed."
Easier to set up than expected
She described the whole process of becoming a contractor and subsequently setting up her own limited company as being "much easier" than expected, while she was also adamant that the support of PayStream had played a crucial role in this.
"I wasn't sure how easy or not it would be to open a business bank account, to register with Companies House, etc. I expected it to be horrendous," she noted. "I can be extremely cautious and nervous about these kinds of things, so having the step-by-step guidance and regular catch up with the PayStream consultant was ... very, very helpful."
PayStream helped Tabatha at every stage of the setup, from understanding the costs and process of registering her business, right through to the expenses she is now able to claim.
"PayStream helped to make the process as straightforward as possible," she said. "Knowing that the person I was speaking to actually knew what they're doing - that alone alleviated half of my anxiety."
Less stress and more freedom
Next, we asked Tabatha if she had noticed any difference in her day-to-day life since becoming a limited company contractor. While she noted there's "more paperwork", there have been a number of positive changes as well.
"Generally speaking, I have less stress - especially from a financial perspective," she explained. However, overall, using PayStream means that her focus can remain on serving her clients to the best of her ability.
The difference in day-to-day working is therefore not a factor for her, as Tabatha appears to have taken in her stride the shift to owning and running her own company. Overall, it was a step, she argued, which she simply had to take.
"I consider having a limited company just a mechanism to doing what I do," she concluded. "Being [director of] a limited company really doesn't impact my thinking. It's just what's necessary to let me do what I enjoy."
Plenty of positives for Tabatha
In the end, it's been a highly positive experience for Tabatha in setting up her own business. She has more freedom to pursue her goals, has improved her work/life balance and is less stressed overall. Becoming a limited company contractor was clearly the right thing for her.
At PayStream, we understand that taking the leap to setting up your own limited company is a big decision for anyone. As a result, if you'd like to know more about the process and why this might be the best course for you, please download our guide 'Advantages of setting up a limited company'.