People are constantly asking us why we don’t 2make the leap into working for ourselves full time, and sometimes it’s hard to justify the reasons why we haven’t quite taken that jump yet.
If you are lucky enough to have the time and finances to take a considered approach before deciding to become self-employed, it’s worth thinking through the pros and cons.
Being employed means a regular, guaranteed income every month, a set routine with no surprises and no financial risk. Making the leap into self-employment means having to invest in getting the business off the ground and being prepared to see little or no return in the beginning.
You would have to get out there and source more clients, build a network, knock on doors, be relentless. Conversely, this also means that the sky would be the limit, and you would be bound only by your tenaciousness in finding work.
As an employee, you have the benefit of sick pay and paid holidays. Being self-employed means having to ensure you set aside enough money to allow for time off for holidays or sickness.
You may have a network of colleagues and friends at work that you can lean on for support and encouragement and for social interaction. Working on your own there is the potential for loneliness and missing that team mentality.
You can go home at the end of the day and forget about work until the morning. Being self-employed means you are never really ‘off the clock’ and it could mean working much more than you ever thought you’d have to, just to make ends meet.
The work/life balance could be weighted in the wrong direction when starting up a new business.
However, once established and with a steady income stream, it also means having the freedom to be flexible in your hours and being able to work as much or as little as you’d like, according to your financial needs.
Being self-employed means becoming proficient in the accounting side of things, or employing someone to do your accounts for you.
Tax returns, National Insurance payments, invoicing and keeping thorough records all become part of the remit of being self-employed, as well as health and safety considerations and payroll, if you get to the point of taking on your own employees.
The great thing is that there is plenty of help out there, both online and through local organisations, to help get you through it.
If you become self-employed, you have the freedom to be your own boss, and work from home. You can do things your own way, and can unleash your creative side, without being bound by corporate rules or company regulations.
If being self-employed appeals to you, sit down, work through a business plan and try to cover every aspect of the implications of working for yourself. It requires commitment and hard work, without a safety net, but the rewards could be unlimited.
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