Working for Yourself
The Advantages of being your own boss
In our previous blogs we explored the idea of working for yourself, the rewards and issues you need to consider (you can see part one here and part two here). Of course, if you are working for yourself you need to think and act like an entrepreneur. That's every aspect of a successful business. That can be quite a shock to people used to employed life and (to varying degrees) being instructed or asked what to do. But, if you work hard and get it right, the personal well being and financial rewards can be significant. Certainly by striking out on our own and becoming self employed, both Andy and I got the inspiration, time, energy and focus to build Everyday Legal.
• Are you finally ready to strike out on your own?
• Do you have great ideas for your own business and how you would run a company?
• Are you a little nervous about the risks of going into business for yourself?
• Are you wondering if the advantages of self-employment are worth the hard work that goes into owning a business?
It is always a good idea to weigh the pros and cons before making a major decision like becoming self-employed.
In this last part of the series, we are going to have a look at the plus side and why more and more individuals take the plunge into self-employment.
You have the control over your business
The chances are that you are already experienced in your chosen field. You might be a little tired of being told what to do and how to do it? One of the biggest advantages of self-employment is the control you have over every aspect of your business.
You decide what your business does
• You choose the target market.
• You pick the branding elements that make your business unique.
• You hire and fire.
• You also have full control over things such as where the business is located
• You decide what days and hours you work.
• You decide on expansion.
• You chose your own advisors.
• You decide on your suppliers…
The list goes on and on. Being self-employed also means that you get to set your own goals and standards. You oversee the quality of the goods or services you offer. Your employees are handpicked by you and therefore work in your image.
You are FULLY MOTIVATED because you have a FULLY INVESTED INTEREST in the success of your business.
Use of Your Skills
If you are creating something from scratch, you get to decide the focus. You introduce your own expertise and passion. You get to see the result of your own skills, expertise, and hard work. Compare this to working for someone else when you are limited to the scope of your position. Do you find that stifling?
Remember that there will be areas required in your business which do not appeal to you. It may be the bookkeeping or the payroll. You may decide to employ someone to carry out these roles or appoint an adviser. Not many of us can do absolutely everything!
Ability and Opportunity to Problem Solve
Lots of self-employed individuals love a good challenge. This is part and parcel of being a successful entrepreneur. When you are self-employed, you can put your problem-solving skills to work. You can implement changes very quickly without the red tape and you soon see the results of your ideas.
Now you are the boss, you will have an urgent appetite to see how each and every decision taken affects the business. You can continue to use that information to continue making changes in order to improve what you already have.
Increased Earning Potential
When you work for someone else, you receive your contracted wage or salary – perhaps with a bonus. If you wish to receive substantially higher pay, you will probably need to change employers or seek a promotion. There is no guarantee of either. Even if you do achieve a change, the chances are that your income will be tailored to market conditions. If your employer’s business thrives, it is doubtful that you will be sharing in this to any large extent.
When you own a business, you definitely have a considerably higher earning potential. It might take a lot of time and effort to make your business profitable but at least it is within your gift to do so. When you do reach a certain point of profitability, your earning potential grows significantly. You may even reach a point where you can open new locations or grow in some other way. You will have increased options to grow your earning potential and profits.
Being self-employed comes with certain risks but if your company is in business, you do have job security. Traditional employees can realistically be released at any time by their employers (with or without a payment). If your business is succeeding, you do not have to worry about becoming unemployed or ignored for promotion.
Flexibility in Your Work
A traditional employee working for someone else usually works set prearranged hours. Some companies may offer flexibility, but this is not the norm. Employees expect to work a minimum number of hours each week and receive the standard 4 or so weeks annual paid holiday.
When you are self-employed, you have full control over your working time requirements. You decide when you work and how much you work. This works both ways however but is overall considered by entrepreneurs to be a privilege.
Not only can flexibility be time linked but also location linked. Internet based businesses can essentially work anywhere with a signal! That means you could travel with your family while keeping your business running. If you want to live in another country for a few months, you can do that. Clearly, the location flexibility does not work with all self-employment businesses – it depends what you do.
Overall Improved Quality of Life
There are of course stresses linked with being self-employed in that you are responsible for the success of your business. However, being your own boss also opens you up for an improved quality of life. When you are doing what you want to do, you may feel greater job satisfaction that you could never achieve working for someone else.
You can also structure your work to suit you. You can work from home or rent a local office. You probably will not commute. You create the culture and environment that you want.
Tax Benefits of Self-Employment
It is a myth that self-employed do not pay taxes. The self-employed probably pay more taxes than the employed.
The self-employed however, have more tax benefits open to them that the employed, thus decreasing overall liability. Working from home may qualify for certain deductions and certain purchases may be considered to be suitable business deductibles.
You may also be able to deduct certain expenses associated with running your business such as internet, phone, and printer costs (or a part of them). Travel and business use of your car may also qualify together with training costs.
Another potential tax benefit of self-employment may well be the option to deduct pension plan contributions.
Self-employment never ceases to provide you with experience in all aspects of running a business. You will continue to be resourceful and ever more experienced. You will inevitably carry on learning and gaining new tools.
Your expertise will also grow, and the chances are you will end up as a specialist in your field.
Will it make you Proud?
Growing your business can be more satisfying than being promoted as an employee. Your business may stay small, but it is yours – that you started – and it gives you pride.
Remember those first small achievements – the first customer, - the first office move, the first company car! As your company grows, you can look back to see how far you've come and know it's all because of what you started.
Building Your Legacy
When you first start working for yourself, you might simply want a change from the corporate world or to gain more independence than you can have working for someone else.
As your business grows, you are establishing a business that can last. Work hard and enjoy the trappings that follow success!
How do I do it? - some steps you may need to consider
Working out your chosen market…
Sole Trader, Partnership or Limited Company?
Register your Business and Trademarks…
Our own personal journey here at Everyday Legal has been one of the most fulfilling experiences of our working lives. If you've read this blog series and decided to strike out and get your own business off the ground, please let us know. We would love to hear from you and of course wish you every luck and success in your own entrepreneurial adventure!
John Davies / Andrew Gisby
30th April 2020
Are you ready to strike out on you own?
This is the third and final blog (part one here, part two here) in a three part series exploring the pros and cons of working for yourself.
If your looking to take that entrepreneurial leap, our perhaps a contractor or self employed individual (working via an agency or work arranger), we wish you GOOD LUCK in your new venture!
You can check-out our "Business as Usual" template collection. It's packed with templates useful to the self employed and small business.
Can't find what you are after?
Well don't forget, as well as self service legal templates, we can offer a business registration as well as
! It's easy to
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