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Is Self-Employment Right for You?

Updated on June 10, 2011

are you ready?

So, you are considering going into business for yourself, great but first let me ask you why. Why do you want your own business? There are a number of advantages to running the show; however, they can be offset by the disadvantage. Two major disadvantages are working alone with no one to talk with about your work and the second, but no less important, the lack of a real income, a paycheque for example, on a regular basis.

If you are determined that you are going to set off on your own, then before you develop a business plan and it is a very sound idea to do so, especially a market study, take some time to see if you are mentally prepared for the venture.

Do you have the discipline to do what needs doing without anyone else setting deadlines, asking how the job is going or in any other way supervising your work? Can you make a schedule and stick to it, or do you just keep it all in your head and do what you feel like doing, often, what is easiest to do.

If you business does not earn any money for the first six months do you have the resources to pay your regular bills rent, mortgage, car payments, food, heat and so on? What will happen if you do not generate a profit in the first year?

Do you need to make any purchases before you can launch your enterprise? A computer, cell phone, paper, or desk, may all be needed. How much will that cost?

Are you working from home or do you have an office or a storefront? If it is necessary to acquire a work space away from home, what is your budget for that space?

Working from home, do you have an area set aside where you can work? A home office that is away from the main traffic areas of your house, kitchen, living room, family rooms, make poor offices because of the volume of traffic they experience.

Now an office that is devoted entirely to your work may give you a tax deductions may any equipment you purchase for the business. However, if your earnings are low and that is a distinct possibility your business could be considered more a hobby than actual work. Research the tax laws that apply to home based businesses before you buy anything.

If your business is a home-based one, be prepared for interruptions from family and friends, who because you are at home and not at the office seem to feel they can drop by and chat or ask you to run an errand or three. No, I can’t because I am working is a good sentence to remember.

Can you work alone? You may be the only employee, can you lunch alone, visit the break room alone and generally have little social interaction during your working hours. This brings us to another important point, when working for yourself, the hours can be long and 10-12 hour days not unusual, are you ready?

Take your time and assess your preparedness to be your own boss before you take the step.

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  • Bob Ewing profile image
    Author

    Bob Ewing 5 years ago from New Brunswick

    Thanks for sharing, and thanks for contributing to the hub. Have a great day.

  • N.E. Wright profile image

    N.E. Wright 5 years ago from Bronx, NY

    Hey Bob,

    I love this advice.

    It works for writers also.

    I have seem to have forgotten how productive I was when I followed this plan you laid out. LOL.

    Thanks for reminding me.

    Oh, I shared this on my Face-Book page.

    Take Care,

    N.E.

  • Bob Ewing profile image
    Author

    Bob Ewing 5 years ago from New Brunswick

    Thanks for commenting and adding content to the hub, keep on and you will succeed.

  • profile image

    bri36 5 years ago

    these are all good points, my partner and I do not have a very good space to work from and therefore we are not working up to our abilities. Which means not making much progress or money... thanks again Bob for some very good insight

  • Bob Ewing profile image
    Author

    Bob Ewing 6 years ago from New Brunswick

    Thanks for dropping by.

  • safiq ali patel profile image

    safiq ali patel 6 years ago from United States Of America

    Topical and useful.

  • Bob Ewing profile image
    Author

    Bob Ewing 6 years ago from New Brunswick

    Shared space good idea, where available they can be most useful.

  • strawberryhill profile image

    strawberryhill 6 years ago

    Nice hub - thank you! One of the options to alleviate the isolation of working alone is to get a shared office or co-working space. These give you all the services needed to run a business without the hassle of setting up your own office and some company to boot!

  • Bob Ewing profile image
    Author

    Bob Ewing 6 years ago from New Brunswick

    The need for income can be a driving factor, however, it can cause people to proceed too fast and make serious errors or it can create false expectations over the return on the time invested.

  • profile image

    Fay Paxton 6 years ago

    A very nice hub and useful questions. Bob, I learned two things working for other people; I'm a terrible employee and I like my own ideas better than I like anyone elses. For me self-employment was a matter of whether or not I was going to be able to eat.:)

  • Bob Ewing profile image
    Author

    Bob Ewing 6 years ago from New Brunswick

    Gaston, making contact with the agencies designed to help the new business owner is a god beginning step. Peter , it is necessary to look deep before leaping, thank you both for commenting.

  • Peter Owen profile image

    Peter Owen 6 years ago from West Hempstead, NY

    I am doing this and most people ignore these questions. It is their downfall. Self employment takes a lot of realistic soul searching

  • Gaston LeBlanc profile image

    Gaston LeBlanc 6 years ago

    Great post. I am from New Brunswick as well and anyone interested in starting a business should locate the nearest CBDC. They offer very good advice and offer training for free. There are many government incentives and they can help you maximize your preparedness.

  • Bob Ewing profile image
    Author

    Bob Ewing 6 years ago from New Brunswick

    A test drive is good advice, thanks David, Vibhavari thanks for the comment.

  • Vibhavari profile image

    Vibhavari 6 years ago from India

    Very useful list of questions you have here. You have covered all points to be considered in this situation.

  • Russell-D profile image

    Russell-D 6 years ago from Southern Ca.

    Bob -- I found it isn't necessary and probbly not smart, to make a full jump in. Before cutting ties, try your inspiration in extra hours. Continue if it satisfies. Like a test drive. If you feel you've found a new better way, over time, make the cross over. By then you'll have learned a bit of what you need to know to be a business. If it's not what you thought, back out without egg on your face. Go slow. Faster when you're ready for faster, I took a year to go whole hog; the next 65 were easy. David Russell

  • Bob Ewing profile image
    Author

    Bob Ewing 6 years ago from New Brunswick

    Discipline and the ability to prioritize are vital skills, thanks for dropping by.

  • Genna East profile image

    Genna East 6 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

    Good hub. As somenoe who is self-employed, your points were all "on point" and well-stated. It's not for evyrone, and there are disciplnes one must follow ino rder to succeed.

  • Bob Ewing profile image
    Author

    Bob Ewing 6 years ago from New Brunswick

    Knowing what you are getting into is a sound idea, it helps avoid the pitfalls. Thanks for commenting.

  • fucsia profile image

    fucsia 6 years ago

    I am working in team and sometimes I want so much to stay alone!!

    Many times I thinked to start my own business, but it is a step that I am not ready to doing, at least not yet. You are right: before making a choise like this we must know all teh implications!

    Thanks!

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