We’ve all dreamed about it at some point or another: ditching the day job, rejecting the rat race, and becoming self-employed.

Freelancers through to start-ups and onto small (or even large) businesses have all gone through this stage, asking themselves, “Could I do it, too?”

Here’s some encouragement to you if you’re having the same dreams.

The pros and cons of running your own small business

Low overheads, high return
You can work from home if that’s the kind of business you want to set up. Instead of paying for a season train ticket, or sitting wasting fuel in a gridlocked traffic nightmare, you can set up meetings with clients in a quieter time of day, or do virtual meetings using online conferencing, meaning your hard-earned pennies work even harder… for you.

When is a home not a home?
When it’s an office! Make sure to timebox your domestic chores and enjoyment, or you’ll just find yourself folding laundry while watching Jeremy Kyle – even if you hate both of those things. The point is to not get distracted!

Get out what you put in
Hard work is rewarded properly. Your old boss might not have appreciated all that unpaid overtime you were “expected” (i.e. forced) to do, but when you’re the boss, every hour you put in can result in a boost in your pay.

Start-ups and entrepreneurs have a steep learning curve
If you’re a freelancer or solopreneur (an entrepreneur going it alone), you’re in charge of bookkeeping, project management, updating the website, client relationship management… and everything else that goes with running a small business. Try looking for some help or training before you jump into self-employment.

Risk versus rewards
It can be daunting, thinking about all these aspects. On the other hand, you’d never have the chance to explore these different strands of entrepreneurship if you were stuck in a cubicle somewhere. The scariness of taking on such responsibility is balanced by the exhilaration when it all comes together!

Face it, you’re tempted to try self-employment, aren’t you?

If so, the best thing you can do for yourself is to talk to the experts, learn everything you can first, then go for it!


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