ASK ALAN: Thinking About Starting Your Own Business?
Business Ideas & Advice for Entrepreneurs & Small Business Owners
Myths about self-employment
Today, there are more than forty-five million people filing for unemployment. To suggest this figure is staggering would be an understatement. Many without work will be re-hired as businesses re-open from the COVID-19 pandemic. Some will find other jobs during this mayhem.
Still, millions of other unemployed will consider this as an opportunity to start their own business. There are many issues to consider this topic. Some of them may be preventing you from taking this huge step. There are so many issues to consider that I intend to use these next few columns to dig into many of them.
Good questions to ask yourself
What if you do not get sick pay, or what if clients do not pay on time, what if you are suddenly responsible for everything? There are pros and cons to being self-employed. If you are unemployed and are interested in starting your own business, I hope this article will enlighten and encourage you.
1: Is it good to be your own boss?
Maybe! You may tend to be either a hard-driving taskmaster or a laissez-faire manager. Whatever the case, you may find yourself really frustrated at your boss — yourself.
As a self-employed person, you are essentially a business, and as a business, you will always have someone to answer to. Whether that is your customers/clients/patients or investors. Yes, you are the ‘ boss’, but as soon as you realize that every business in the world is in ‘sales’ and therefore has ‘customers’, you’ll soon see that you will be held accountable. And, must answer to ‘the powers that be.’
2: Self-employed people have so much freedom!
“Freedom” in the context of self-employment is difficult to define. Yes, you may be free from the pedantic demands of micromanaging bosses and restrictive vacation policies. You may be thrilled to be able to pick your kids up from school or make it to their soccer games. On the other hand, your freedom is cramped by the necessity to work for your survival. Gone is the paid time off, the holidays, and the 9-to-5 boundaries. Being a business owner is a full-time job and more. You will always have something to do.
3: It takes months to launch a new business
Although it can take months for some to launch a new business, “it does not have to be that way,” says my friend and colleague, Saqib Dareshani, founder of Clubify. Saqib says that “It does not need to take months or years to launch a new business. Clubify enables a business to launch and start growing your business, with your own application and base community, in one day.”
4: It takes a lot of money to start a small business
Some extraordinarily successful businesses have been launched with just a few hundred dollars. Others may cost millions and still fail. Your skills as an entrepreneur make the difference. Start small, think big, seek advice, and be patient.
It is great to have choices and, self-employment empowers you to do things your own way. However, the odds of success are stacked against you. Read my next column to help change those odds!