Do you want to have more control over your work, be able to set your hours, or work on things you’re passionate about? Perhaps you want to build your business around supporting a good cause, or you have great ideas that aren’t possible to realize in your current job.
If this is you, then you might want to consider self-employment. Learn about whether self-employment is for you and what to consider before going through with it.
Pros & Cons of Self-Employment
There are several good reasons to become self-employed but also many difficulties that come with it. Let’s start with the more obvious stuff.
Self-employment allows you a lot more control over, and flexibility with, your work. You set your hours, choose where you work, who you work with, and what you work on. These are great, but they come with a lot of responsibility.
Though you get more flexibility with your work, self-employment means more work hours, not less. You will also have to handle the legal matters that a company would have handled for you.
Being self-employed lets you structure your work around what’s important to you. You can solve problems you care about, follow your passion, and learn a lot of things you wouldn’t have learned from working in a company along the way.
However, you will be out of your comfort zone. That you will be learning a lot of things is great but it’salso an indicator of how much you don’t know. You won’t have co-workers to help or teach you if you don’t know something. If you weren’t directly interacting with clients before, chances are you will have to after becoming self-employed.
In the end, it depends on what you prefer, how important the advantages are to you, and how much you’re willing to bear with the disadvantages.
Another thing to consider is how much your circumstances mitigate the disadvantages. You might have a lot of money and assets, a strong support system, or experience with a wide range of tasks. All of these could make transitioning to self-employment a lot easier
Self-Evaluate and Consider Your Options
Before becoming self-employed, you should take the time to consider if this is something you actually want to do. Ask yourself what your options are and why you’re doing this. Some people might consider self-employment because they
hate their current job or their boss.
Avoiding bad jobs is certainly a perk, but it’s not enough of a reason to become self-employed. Being self-employed comes with its own hardships and responsibilities. Quitting your job and starting your own business is something you have to commit yourself to, so make sure you go into it with enough resolve.
If you’re resolute, then it’s time to take stock. Ask yourself the following questions:
Are you disposed to having more responsibility for your work?
What are you passionate about and skilled at?
What services or products can you offer?
How much of your money and assets are you willing to utilize or risk?
This should give you an idea of what it is you want to do and what your business should offer.
Come Up with a Business Strategy
After handling all the legal requirements for forming a business, it’s time to strategize.
If you come into this without a detailed business plan, then you will be setting yourself up for failure from the very start. Analyze your competitors and set yourself apart by focusing on what’s unique about what you offer.
You will need to pick a niche, at least in the beginning. Why do people buy products or avail of services? It’s because they have a goal they want to achieve or a problem they want to solve.
They buy toys to make their children happy. They hire exterminators to get rid of termites. What are you able to offer, and who would your customers be? Start small and specific. As a newly self-employed individual, you will have little in the way of reach. Address a small set of problems and offer solutions.
You will also need a way of financing your business. This could come from your savings, family and friends, a business loan, or any other source of funding.
Once your business is up and running, you should aim to get your brand out there. You will need a website. It’s a great way to attract clients and partners. If you can afford it, you might want to hire a company to market your content.
There are many objectives you won’t be able to reach simply because you lack the manpower and specialized knowledge. Partnerships and outsourcing are a couple of great ways to compensate for this.
It will be difficult, but as long as you go into it with good reasons and a good plan, self-employment can be one of the best decisions you can make for your career. You’ll inevitably stumble, but keep at it, and you’ll be able to make things go your way.
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