Since March 2020, the COVID pandemic has been disrupting our day-to-day lives, and many of us have taken this as an opportunity to take a closer look at the direction that our careers are heading in. As a result, many who were furloughed took the opportunity to start their own business ventures and many who weren’t found time in the evenings to either start freelancing or start their own business.
Today, there are lots of people out there who have started their self-employed journey whilst remaining employed elsewhere too. For some, this is a perfect balance, however, there are a lot of people who are very keen to drive their passion and head into their self-employed position full-time.
If this sounds like you, we applaud your passion and determination.
So, when is the right time to leave the job and work for yourself?
There is no simple answer, unfortunately (sorry if that’s what you’re looking for!), but there are some key things you should consider before making the jump to being self-employed to help you make the right decision for you.
Why make the move to being self-employed?
Many of us are perfectly happy with having a career in our chosen field, and that is perfectly fine. Wanting to be self-employed is a personal choice, so it’s important to be sure that’s what you want to do before making the move.
Many people choose to become self-employed because of the benefits that are associated with it, but please take the time to understand the risks that are associated with this before making any decisions about venturing into self-employment full-time. Self-employment isn’t guaranteed to work out, so you need to take some precautions to prepare in case things don’t go your way.
With that said, there are lots of people who live a happy and successful life being self-employed, so it definitely isn’t impossible.
If you find yourself wanting to carve your own destiny, rather than fulfilling an employed position, then perhaps making the move to self-employed is for you. Below are some of the benefits that come with being successfully self-employed, so take the time to see if they appeal to you and if they outweigh the negatives and risks that can come with self-employment to see if it’s the right move for you, either now or in the future.
Benefits of going self-employed
Permitting your freelance career or your business is successful, several benefits are often associated with being self-employed. Some of the common benefits that the self-employed experience are:
Becoming your own boss
Some people find working for someone else difficult because of the control that their boss has over their working time and efforts, and therefore prefer to do things their own way. By going self-employed, your workload, your output, the time you work, the tasks you undertake, and ultimately your success, is all dependent on the effort that you put in.
However, you will become entirely responsible for the output of your, and your company’s, work. You need to be a self-starter and be prepared to make some tough decisions, sometimes without someone to turn to for advice.
If you find yourself wishing you had more control over your day, perhaps being self-employed is an option to explore
Freedom to work how and when you want
When you’re running your business, you can choose your own hours of working and how you work. For example, do you find working at 7 AM and finishing earlier more productive than 9 AM – 5 PM? Perhaps you need to take time for yourself from 2 PM to 4 PM? No matter your circumstance, being self-employed gives you the ability to work as and when you choose.
As a result, you may wish to structure your day around your family and/or friends or personal interests.
However, for some businesses, this requires some planning. If you have a small high street shop and you decide to finish at lunchtime, this could mean you miss out on potential customers. Therefore, you’ll need to plan to make sure that either you won’t impact your customers or that you have resources in place to cover this.
No limit of earnings
When self-employed, you’re not capped to any pay rises or company policies (other than your own). If your business is doing well, you can take a pay rise as and when you wish, or a bonus if you’ve done particularly well.
The only hurdle you’ll face is you need the money coming into the business, and that means getting customers. If you’re not getting customers, your earnings could fall far below the amount that you could be getting in an employed position, without any protection for you financially.
Able to live your life how you wish
Since the start of COVID, this is the one that has people most excited about moving to be self-employed. Many jobs require commuting to the office, or if you work from home, being in a certain place at a certain time.
When you work for yourself, you make those decisions! If you can work from a different city, you’re free to go there whenever you wish. If you want to take some time off to be with family, you don’t need any approval to make this happen. The only thing is you need to make sure that you won’t impact your business, however, if you care for this, you can live life on your terms.
How to make the jump to being self-employed
If becoming self-employed is on your bucket list, it’s often not as simple as handing your notice in at your current job and you’re on your way. For many of us, this means we wouldn’t be able to pay the bills, so it’s important to do some prior planning.
Here are a few things you should consider before making the jump to self-employed.
Building the business first
If you can, focus on building the business before you make the jump. It’s not as easy as just registering your business on Companies House and away you go; you need to prepare your legalities such as agreements and terms and conditions, financial processes, your business processes, IT equipment and software, and more. And that’s all BEFORE you look at your products/services!
If you can get all of this lined up and ready before making the jump to self-employed, you’ll save yourself a lot of pressure when you do make the jump.
Jumping to self-employed removes the safety net of a salary, therefore you need to prepare for this. There are two key points that can help you on your way here:
- Make sure you (you personally, not the business) earn the same amount from your business each month as you do your current salary
- Make sure you have at least 3 months’ salary saved in case you need to dip into it.
These may not always be possible, but they are good aims to help you keep yourself from financial difficulty when you do make the jump.
When starting a business, unless you hire employees early on, you’re going to become every department, including finance, sales, marketing, customer service, and management. It’s very difficult to understand everything you need to know, so making some connections with professionals who may be able to help you will mean you have people to turn to when you need them.
This may be an agency or a freelance expert, but it can make a huge difference and help you establish your business early on.
Speaking of professionals to turn to…
We’re here to help businesses be found online, and we’re keen to help new businesses find their feet. From our technical services, such as website hosting and SEO, to our graphic design services such as branding, we’re here to help people like you pursue their dreams and get their business off the ground.
Our friendly team are here to help, and we’re here to have a chat to learn more about your business and see if we can be of assistance to you, whether that’s advice or through our services. Get in touch today and we’ll see how we can help your business!