Being self-employed or running a business does not suit everyone.
You need to have a passion for what you are doing, may have to put up with stress, loss of sleep, and lack of money. Sounds great doesn’t it?
The upside can be freedom, not having to answer to ‘the boss’, the opportunity to do something that you love, and the possibility of uncapped income.
If you are considering this for the first time, it is better to find out whether this life is going to suit you long before either giving up a job or investing any of yourt hard earned cash. To help you decide, we have put together a collection of articles which should give you a clearer idea.
Questions to ask yourself
Are you the right type of person?
Thankfully, there are no formal qualifications required to run your own business and anyone can have a go. The truth is only the most determined and hard working survive. If you love what you are doing or can convert a hobby into a business, you stand a much better chance of success.
Many people think that the biggest reason for running a business is to make a fortune. Whilst this is certainly true for some, the majority of small business people probably earn less than their employed counterparts. Independence, creating something new, flexible hours, and personal satisfaction are far better, long lasting incentives. The desire to make money is not usually enough by itself to get you out of bed on a cold and miserable morning when not everything is going to plan.
Do you have the support of your nearest and dearest? Stress and lack of money can put a strain on any household even without the added pressure of running your own business. It is best to make sure that your nearest and dearest are 100% behind you before you begin.
Although your venture may occupy your brain for much of the time, try and make sure that it is not to the exclusion of those around you. It is very easy to become a business bore (as my wife will testify).
Are your circumstances suitable?
Self-employment can provide a realistic alternative career if your circumstances make it difficult to find or hold onto a job. The flexibility and wide range of choices make it possible for anyone to set up on their own. Single parents, people with disabilities, the unemployed and ex-offenders are often able to support themselves without the need for benefits. However, it is worth pointing out that it is not a good idea to see this as a reliable method of clearing existing debt.
Worrying about paying your personal bills will distract you from the running of your business. This template will help you to identify how much you need to make each month to cover your outgoings. Use in conjunction with your cashflow forecast to ensure that your projected income/expenditure takes this into account.
As they say, "you don't know what you don't know". Starting a business is like any other career path, it makes sense to learn as much as you can and a a shortcut is to seek the advice of an experienced business adviser and/or mentor. Not only will they have the knowledge and experience to guide you, they are perfectly placed to give an impartial view. It has been proven time and time again that the help of the right advisor can dramatically increase your chances of success.