Thursday, November 9, 2017

The Biggest Challenges You'll Face Being Your Own Boss

Being self-employed comes with a lot of benefits. You can choose your own hours, take holidays when you like, and be your own boss. It’s just a far better way of working for some people which is why 17 percent of the total population decided to take the plunge and go self-employed. If you’re considering it yourself, don’t think it’s all about taking time off and finishing early every day. There are a lot of challenges involved with being your own boss and the risks are almost always greater than working for somebody else. The only way to decide if it’s right for you is to weigh up those risks against the benefits and see whether you think being self-employed is the right fit for you. These are the biggest challenges that you’ll face.

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Finding A Focus

When you’re employed by a company, they’ll tell you exactly what you should be doing. The focus and direction of the business are decided by somebody else. They’ll work out which areas the business is going to focus on and how they’re going to break into those markets. You’ll just be tasked with carrying out their strategies. Those decisions are the things that make or break a business in the early days. Going after the right target market is vital because if you’re trying to win customers from competitors that are already well-established, you’re going to struggle. When you’re self-employed, you need to make all of those decisions for yourself. If you’ve got a good business brain then there’s every chance that you’ll make good judgments but all too often, people set up their own business and overlook the importance of finding a strong focus. Whatever your industry is, you need to look for gaps that nobody else is filling.

Dealing With Finances

Dealing with your finances is one of the hardest parts of being self-employed. If you’re working for a company, there’s an entire finance department that will deal with paying everybody, sorting out taxes, and keeping track of how much money goes in and out. A few years down the line when you’ve expanded you can probably get your own accounts department but to start with you’ll have to do all of that yourself. It’s worth investing in some accounting software which can do a lot of that stuff for you.

If you don’t want to land yourself in some serious trouble, you need to pay all of your taxes correctly and on time. It’s not as difficult as it used to be because you can do your tax returns online. Learn more here about how to fill out the forms and what you’re likely to owe. As well as sorting out what the company owes, you’ll have to make sure that you’re paying the right amount of tax for all of your employees as well. You won’t get any sympathy for being inexperienced and any mistakes are going to result in a hefty fine.

Once you’ve paid all of your taxes, you need to deal with what’s left. In the early days of the business, the amount of cash coming in is likely to be pretty limited. In order to survive, you have to spend that limited amount of money sensibly. When you’re choosing your own wage, it might be tempting to pay yourself loads of money, but this comes later. In the first few months and years, you’ll have to make some sacrifices and take a fairly small wage until you’re bringing in more money.

Motivation

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This is the other huge problem that self-employed people face. Usually, if you don’t do any work, you risk getting fired. There’s no way you can get away with sitting around all day doing nothing. But when you’re your own boss, you can. There’s nobody around to keep you motivated. Everybody experiences days when they don’t feel like working but you can’t just give in to those feelings. You have to be strict with yourself and force yourself to work anyway. The best thing to do is set yourself hours like any normal working day and stick to it. The flexibility of being self-employed is one of the benefits but if you aren’t careful, it can be your downfall.

Doing Things You Hate

There’s a big downside to running your own business and having to do everything. Some of that stuff is going to be things that you hate doing. When you’re working for somebody else, you’ll only have one role and hopefully, you’ll enjoy most of that. But when you’re self-employed, it’s pretty unlikely that you’re going to love every single part of your working day. The key is to keep your eye on the bigger picture. It’s the business itself and all of the other benefits that you love, even if there are a few things that you can’t stand doing. If you find that the bits you hate are outweighing the bits that you love, maybe being self-employed isn’t the right decision for you.

Firing People

There might be a small number of twisted people out there that enjoy firing people but the majority of bosses will tell you that it’s the worst part of their job. Unfortunately, it’s something that you just have to do sometimes. If somebody is costing you money you need to think about it from a purely practical point of view. If you find yourself in this situation then you’re probably going to have to let them go. Firing people is something that you’ll never get used to but if you deal with it compassionately and give people useful feedback about why you had to let them go, you can make it a little easier for both of you.

If you think that being self-employed is going to be easy and you can just take all the time off you want while your employees do everything for you, think again. It’s a lot of hard work, especially in the early days, and you’ll have to face all of these challenges.    

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