Is Working For Yourself Worth It?
Starting and running your own business is one of the most exciting and potentially rewarding activities anyone can undertake. The possible rewards are boundless as is the opportunity for fulfilling personal ambitions. However, there are certain questions you should ask yourself, before you decide to take the plunge and invest your time and money in trying to start a new business venture.
You will also need to make plans, because that old saying: ‘Those who fail to plan, plan to fail’ is true, especially in business. For without plans, a business is subject to the random outcomes of chance rather than sound judgment. you can even get to the stage where instead of running the business, the business runs you. In order to avoid that sad state of affairs, you need to make sound plans before you start; decide which skills your business will need and accurately assess whether you possess those skills.
The first question you should be asking yourself is, ‘What am I going to get out of it?’. After all, you are giving up most of your rights as an employee. Rights such as job tenure, regular wages, paid holidays, sick leave, insurance and the right to forget your job when you leave it at the end of the day. In exchange you get the right to invest lots of time, energy and money. So, you have every right to know or at least to ask yourself, what you will get in return.
The rate that the number of new business being opened every year rises most years, although perhaps it won’t this year due to the banks’ reluctance to lend us our money. However, usually the rate does rise, so there must be a positive perception among the population that owning one’s own business is an advantage. The most common advantages cited are:
Control: as the boss, the authority and indeed the responsibility to make decisions rests squarely on your shoulders. You will direct all the activities of your business for better or for worse.
Creative Freedom: you are at total liberty to express your talents and ideas without seeking permission, having them approved by superiors or going through channels.
Profits: the more successful your business becomes, the more money you will make, whereas, in general, an employee’s salary is dependent on corporate or even national agreements, policy and regulations. Yours will be directly related to the performance of your business.
Job Security: if your business is viable, no one can sack you, lay you off, make you redundant or force you to retire.
Satisfaction: most people derive a great deal of satisfaction from knowing that they have built a successful business from nothing.
The most common disadvantages of being the boss cited are:
Risk to Capital: if you business fails, you could lose everything you put in and more.
Long Hours: your hours will not be ‘9 to 5’, especially in the beginning, when they are more likely to be ‘8 till late’.
Income Variation: you may not receive the same amount of wages every week, depending on the takings.
Responsibility: the buck stops with you and you can’t blame anyone else, if things go wrong.
Pressure: the pressure is on you the whole time to keep your customers happy and pay your suppliers and employees on time.
Regulations: you are responsible for complying with government and union regulations and ignorance of those regulations is never taken as an excuse.