More people than ever say they want to open up their own business. It’s understandable, the top reasons usually being more money and more free time. However, becoming self-employed can be just as challenging as it is rewarding.
We’ve put together a list of the top challenges of becoming self-employed to help you make a decision on whether it’s right for you.
Limited free time
While having more free time is one of the top reasons people become self-employed, many are left disappointed when they realise it’s not that simple.
Yes you have more control over how you use your time which is always a plus, but that doesn’t mean you should sit back and watch the cash flow in.
Generally the less time you spend working on your business, the slower the growth and the more difficult it’ll be to sustain. In order make it as an entrepreneur, you need to live and breathe your business. This often means giving up a lot of free time which is tough for family and friends.
Don’t expect to be rolling in money as soon as you open your doors. Money may roll in one day but there’s a lot of hard work and patience needed along the way to get you there.
You may also have to apply for funding in the form of a business loan from a bank or an investor. This adds another layer of stress to opening a business.
You’ll probably have to put together a business plan which is a good opportunity to get all your aims, research and arguments for opening a business down on paper. It forces you to consider the options carefully.
Being responsible for others
One of the most stressful realisations you may come to is that the success of your business is what keeps everyone paying the rent. If the company goes under, then your staff are going to struggle, as well as yourself of course. This can be a huge pressure on those who are struggling to get ahead in business.
Being out of your depth
A lot of people who go into business simply aren’t equipped with the knowledge or skills needed to run a business. The good news is that you can learn them as long as you’re open to learning new things and can adapt quickly.
However, this realisation often leaves would-be entrepreneurs frozen in their tracks. So much so that many don’t act on their dreams. Others who do go into business get overwhelmed and stuck on what to do to turn their business around.
Getting rid of your employee mind-set
If you’ve always been someone’s employee, it can be a huge shift in mind-set to start thinking like a business owner and entrepreneur. One of the dangers of thinking like an employee is that you back down over things like price because you perceive your clients to be in charge.
However, it’s your business and it’s up to you to decide on your business direction, your rates and how you present your services. Occasionally, you’ll have to fight to keep hold of what you want in your business, particularly in the early stages.
If you’ve never managed a team or run a business before, being able to delegate and give people instructions is going to seem weird at first. You might even be tempted to let your employees just get on with it.
However, it’s important that you provide clear direction as a business owner. That doesn’t mean breathing down your employees’ necks, but providing direction and support where it’s needed.
Have you faced any other challenges to becoming self-employed? Or do you have any tips for those who are struggling? Let us know your thoughts.