It's been a few weeks since my last blog, so I thought I'd just go with an update of what's been happening in that crazy crazy time!
The first thing (which hopefully you noticed from the title) is that TidyMedia was incorporated as a Private Limited Company on Wednesday 29th August. This means a slight change of name (went for the punchy version of "Ltd" rather than the full-on "Limited") and I am now the sole director of an actual real-life company! How grown-up is that?!
"Why?" I hear you ask. (Humour me). Let me go back in time, to answer that...
On Friday the 17th of August (I think) two wonderful people I used to manage at Tesco tagged me in a recruiter's LinkedIn post. He was looking for somebody to do 8 weeks' freelance work for a client based in Burnley. What I hadn't appreciated at the time was that not only was the client based in Burnley, the role was, too. I found this out the following Monday.
After checking with my housemate and some friends that Doug, the office dog, could be looked after if I stayed away from home Monday-Friday for two months, I let Brad the recruiter know on the Tuesday that, actually, yes, I would like to be considered for the role. He submitted my CV to the client on the Wednesday, and by Thursday lunch time he was on the phone asking if I could get to Manchester for an interview at 09:30 the next morning!
So off I went that afternoon, stayed in a hotel overnight, and had one of the best interviews I've ever had in my life. You never know for sure how these things are going at the time, but it just felt like a very natural free-flowing conversation, and it was obvious that myself and the client were both on the same page. I left knowing that I'd definitely portrayed myself to the best of my ability... but there were still two people to be interviewed after me.
I went back home to South Wales feeling quietly confident, but then came that awful waiting period. You know, the time where even though you know you were the best you could've been and you left on a high, you convince yourself that somebody else may just have edged it because they have five years more experience, or they're younger, or x, or y, or maybe even z. Anybody who's ever been in this situation will know the unwritten rule that this kind of thing always happens over a bank holiday weekend.
I need not have worried. Tuesday rolled around, and fairly early, I got a call from Brad. The role was mine if I wanted it, and could I start on Thursday? Wait, what?! I'd submitted my CV on the Wednesday, travelled for an interview on the Friday, been offered the job on the Tuesday, and was due to start on the Thursday. I'd never experienced such a quick recruitment period, but of course, I accepted. And then came the curve-ball out of left field. Almost casually, as if an aside, Brad mentioned that he assumed I was already set up as a Private Limited Company. I was not. I was a sole trader.
Brad explained that the agency didn't work with sole traders and could only work with limited companies, but it wasn't a problem as he could put me in touch with a trusted partner Umbrella Company. Except that was a problem for me. Due to my redundancy in February, and a fairly relaxed starting pace for TidyMedia, it's unlikely that I'd reach the Tax Threshold for 2018-2019, so I'd worked out that I could afford all the travel and accommodation required for this job on that basis. However, registering with an umbrella company, they'd take PAYE deductions from each pay. Of course, I'd be able to claim that back with my tax return, but without having it in my account there and then, it wouldn't have been financially worthwhile for me to have accepted the role.
But I've never been a quitter, so I did what any reasonable person would do. After a brief flap, some frantic text conversations with good friends, and strong coffee with another good friend, I went online and applied to Companies House to set up TidyMedia Ltd.
I did a bit of research first which took longer than the actual application process. That part was no more than 30-45 minutes. That's how easy it is! By 10AM the very next morning (Wednesday), I had confirmation from Companies House that the process was completed, and TidyMedia Ltd existed. By noon, I was on the road, and at 9AM on the Thursday, I started work in Burnley... just 13 days after two friends casually tagged me in a social media post.
So there you have my frantic two weeks! Add into the mix that I also managed to secure a new client in that time (a very patient one who's been happy to allow me the time to get started here before on-boarding him), I have another couple of potential clients in the pipeline, and I've been accepted on to the NatWest Business Pre-Accelerator scheme, things are definitely looking up for TidyMedia Ltd!