Is Self-employment Right for Me? The Pros and Cons of Saying Bye to your Boss
Despite the end of March creeping closer (together with the lingering backdrop of economic uncertainty) the appeal of going it alone in the business world is still ever-present in the UK. According to the Office for National Statistics, the nation is now home to 5 million self-employed workers; this paired with the 2.5 million Brits keen to start their own business this year, and it would seem the country’s entrepreneurial spirit is yet to dwindle. So, what is it exactly that makes the transition to self-employment so appealing? We take a look at the advantages, along with some key considerations should you wish to pursue an exciting new venture this year.
The Benefits of Being your Own Boss
For many, striking the right balance between a busy work schedule and equally demanding home life can be a challenge at the best of times. While going self-employed certainly won’t be a walk in the park, it’ll give you the freedom to build your working day around your everyday commitments. Whether that’s making time for the gym in the morning or the late afternoon school pick-up, a better work/life balance can do wonders for your health both physically and mentally, and thus boost your productivity in the long-run.
Flexible Hours and Remote Working
With a more balanced routine in place, the flexibility to work the hours you choose comes naturally. For many small business owners and start-ups, remote working also forms a large part of the appeal. While some days you may choose to work at your home office or local coffee shop, you may at other times choose to hot-desk at a workspace designed for freelancers and collectives – or even your own separate premises should your business take off! So if it’s out with the 9-5 (and the dull commute) and in with a schedule to fit around you, this particular ‘perk’ has the power to transform your working day.
Boost your Earnings
Depending what industry you’re in (and your level of experience), you may have the potential to earn a far greater sum as a self-employed consultant. A typical day rate for a freelancer or consultant tends to be higher than a salaried role, plus you may often find yourself in a position to negotiate to your advantage. In addition, self-employment allows you to cut other financial outlays associated with a permanent job elsewhere, such as daily commuting costs, or even simple expenses such as lunch on the go (on the days you were less prepared) which have a habit of mounting up over time.
Follow your Passion
Not many people can say that they do what they love for a living. Though self-employment comes with its obvious obstacles, you’ll reap the rewards first-hand should you triumph in your business venture. The road will most likely be bumpy (with many lessons learnt along the way), but being your own boss allows you to truly explore your inner entrepreneur while channelling those valuable creative skills that may have gone overlooked in a previous job role. By its very nature, self-employment will only ever play to your strengths and allow you to realise your true potential – whatever that may look like.
Sounds Great, but is Self-employment Really Right for Me?
As difficult as it may seem, you won’t know if self-employment is truly for you until you fully take the plunge – a risk not all budding entrepreneurs are willing to take. Armed with the facts however, you stand a better chance of succeeding should you dive in head-first. Before you make any such decision, it’s useful to ask yourself the following questions:
> Finances – do you have enough money saved (or access to funds) to help get your business off to a flying start? Additionally, self-employed workers should prepare for quieter times across the year with little to no income, and learn how to manage this up and down salary.
> Employee benefits – from a company pension to life insurance, how highly do you rate any current employee benefits? Consider the value of your existing package – plus holiday and sick pay – and how this may affect you in the long-term should you pursue self-employment.
> Workspace – do you have access to a suitable workspace to get the job done? Whether this be a workshop or home office cut off from the rest of the household, it’s important to consider the practicalities of your work station, and any new equipment you may need.
> Admin duties – do you feel confident enough to manage your business across all areas? This might include tax returns, managing cash flow or paying an employee’s wages. Even if you enlist the professional services of an accountant like Adams Moore, plan how your company’s admin will be handled beforehand.
> Personal circumstances – could any current/upcoming events overshadow the growth of your business? If you’re prepping for a house move, for example, the chances are your mind will be focused elsewhere. Consider the impact this could have on the trajectory of your business; like with many things in life, timing is everything.
If you’re dreaming about becoming a sole trader or starting a limited company, our fixed-fee, business start-up package might be just what you need to help you succeed. We aim to arm you with the information needed to make informed decisions, guide you towards the most beneficial financials and take care of the paperwork so you can concentrate on running your new venture. Please contact us for a free new client consultation.