Join the Twitter party for top small business tips from the experts – #homebizchat

I’m having a party!

It’s not going to be like the one I had for my 31st birthday, where I turned my garden shed into a cocktail bar and made everyone dress as burlesque dancers, (although that was fun), this one is going to be all about running your own business and it’s taking place on Twitter.

For this one, rather than build my own bar from a bookcase and old plank, I’ve made a nice little advert instead. It was far less messy and I ended up with fewer splinters, which is always nice:

Small business tips

I’ve been running my own business now since 2009, and so I totally understand all of the worries that come with it, whether it be the practical stuff like completing a tax return, or the more emotional issues, like striving for that ever elusive work life balance, or dealing with kids who are sick of you being on your phone when you’re meant to be reading through their homework.

The added dilemma when running your own business, especially in the early days, is that you’re on your own, with no one to answer your questions. It can be hard to know where to go to find the answers without feeling silly.

The truth is though, that there’s no such thing as a silly question, we’ve all been there, and that’s where I come in.

Although I know the common questions, I don’t always have all the answers, so my Twitter chat is going to be supported by experts from Direct Line for Business and Business Support Helpline. Between us we’ll be able to offer tips and information on everything from tax and insurance to social media marketing and more.

If you run your own business, or are considering it, then please do come along on Tuesday 22nd September at 1pm and join in the chat. All you have to do is tweet me with the hashtag #HomeBizChat and we’ll do our best to help and support you and your business in whatever way we can.

If you can’t make it, but still have some questions, you can submit them in advance either as a comment on this post, including your Twitter handle, or to me on Twitter, and we’ll include them in the chat for you.

It would also be fantastic if you could help to spread the word about the event by retweeting this tweet:

See you on the 22nd!

In association with Direct Line for Business



  1. Josie
    16 September, 2015 / 8:21 pm

    What a great idea for a chat! I’ve just started earning a bit of money from my blog and would love to know – do I need to register as self-employed even if I don’t think I will make enough to need to pay tax?

    • Jo Middleton
      16 September, 2015 / 8:29 pm

      I’m sure this is a question a lot of people have when they’re starting out Josie, so I’ll definitely make sure to ask the business support guys that one. I hope you can join the chat on Tuesday.

  2. sarah m
    16 September, 2015 / 8:23 pm

    I’m self-employed as a cleaner, going to other people’s houses. I’ve never had insurance – do I need it?

    • Jo Middleton
      16 September, 2015 / 8:28 pm

      That’s definitely one for Direct Line! It’s on the list – thanks.

  3. Martin Goodman
    16 September, 2015 / 8:25 pm

    Hi Jo, I’ve just found this post while looking for small business advice, so this couldn’t be better timing for me! I’m not self-employed yet, but am looking into it. There are loads of things I’d like to know, like is business insurance a legal requirement? Do I need to register for VAT? What’s the benefits of being a limited company rather than a sole trader?

    I’ll definitely be joining the chat!

    • Jo Middleton
      16 September, 2015 / 8:27 pm

      Thanks Martin, all great questions! Hope to ‘see’ you next week :-)

  4. Tom Hill
    16 September, 2015 / 8:35 pm

    Shame I can’t make it. Would be good to know all about self assessment tax – how to you go about it when starting a business? With start up costs, etc I don’t know when I’ll be making enough to pay me, and don’t want to be crippled.


    • Jo Middleton
      16 September, 2015 / 8:36 pm

      Thanks for the question Tom – it can be tricky with the whole ‘payment on account’ thing can’t it? I will ask the question for you!

  5. Simone Hancock
    16 September, 2015 / 8:37 pm

    What’s the deal with what I can claim back against? I need to look smart when I work, but of course there are clothes I’ll wear in my own time as well. Can I claim against these? What about my phone bill? I don’t know where to draw the line and don’t want to get it wrong!

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