It’s been reported, in a survey by Direct Line, that commuters in Manchester are spending nearly two hours every day commuting.

Whilst this is supposed to be the worst in the UK, many people are spending considerable time commuting every week.

And that may be to a job that they don’t actually enjoy…

One of the advantages of self employment is that you can generally avoid commuting – many people do not need premises and can work from home.

In addition to the time saved, which in the case of Manchester is over one day per week, there is also the flexibility of choosing your work hours.

In a traditional job people may commute to an office and work a 9-5, however being self-employed gives you the flexibility to operate outside of this.

Indeed it is something I’ve adopted myself with – I can visit clients in the early morning, evening and at weekends, meaning that the ‘rush hours’ are avoided.

This leads me on to the opportunities available for people currently employed:

Can you do something similar? Perhaps you’ve always wanted to start that self-employed business but haven’t got round to it?

By being flexible, and if your employment contract allows it, you could even start that self-employed business today and operate it on flexible hours outside of the 9-5.

This can be a good way to start a new business – you still have a regular income from employment and can also work on your self-employed business around that.

Initially it may just bring in some useful extra income, but you are also building up the foundations of a successful business that could support you should anything happen to your employed role. And it also makes things easy when you decide to switch to being full-time self-employed.

It is much better to have a business with several months operation and experience behind you than to start one up suddenly from scratch. It takes time to get things set up and develop relationships, and you can get ahead of your competitors.

There is also an additional benefit, that many people don’t know about, of tax losses.

When you start a business there are normally quite a few expenses, even if you are minimising the costs. It could be that you have a loss for your first year of operation after taking account of these. If you do, then you can actually get tax relief for this by claiming it against the employed income you have had in the year.

This could bring in a well needed tax refund, that could be reinvested in the growth of the business.

If you know anyone who is spending considerable time commuting to a job they don’t enjoy, perhaps today is the day they should start their own self-employed business?