There are of course pros and cons to being self employed and whether it is right for you will depend partly on the type of person you are. In this article we are going to look at the main advantages of working for yourself.
1. You Are Not Answerable To Anyone Else
This is probably the most important point and the biggest incentive for anyone to take the plunge into self employment. Most people who have spent some time working for other people will have experience of the frustration that can come from either having to spend time on things you feel are pointless, or not being able to do things you think are important.
When you are your own boss, you decide what is worthy of your time and what is not. If you can see no benefit to you or your business from a particular task then you can just decide not to do it. Similarly, if you think you are missing an opportunity or that there is a market that you are not tapping into, you can decide to spend time focussing on that.
2. You Reap The Rewards If You Are Successful
When you are an employee working for another company, you can be very successful and bring huge financial benefit to your employer while only getting s little or even none of the benefit personally. When you work for yourself you get the direct benefit of any success you have. No-one is setting a cap on how much you can earn, so your earning potential is unlimited. If you get the result you get the reward too.
3. More Flexible Working Hours And Time Off
While it is true that many self employed people work very long hours, they do so because their effort is in direct proportion to their personal reward. For many people self employment offers the opportunity to adjust working hours to suit your personal circumstances. This could mean working around child care duties or other calls on your time, or being able to take time off and move your hours around when you need to.
You need to bear in mind that no-one is paying you for any holiday you take, but at least you get to have full control over when you do or do not take time off.
4. Greater Job Satisfaction
The importance of job satisfaction should never be underestimated and you are far more likely to enjoy a high degree of satisfaction as a self employed person. Lack of satisfaction is common when you have little control over your work or when you cannot see the result or benefit from what you spend your time on. When you work for yourself you get a much greater degree of satisfaction because you control how you spend your time and you get to see the full result and value in what you are doing.
5. Freedom To Innovate And Try New Ideas
The only boundaries on how creative you want to be when you work for yourself are set by you. Perhaps you have worked for someone else and had a great idea for a new product or doing something in a more efficient way, but you have not been allowed to try it. When you are self employed there is no-one to say ‘no’ to your ideas, so only you can judge whether to try it or not.
Being an employee can make it easier to take a less critical view of your own ideas, because it is not your money that is potentially at risk. When it is your own business you have to make the call as to whether it really is worth committing your resources to. The key point is that you have that choice and freedom and if you really do want to try something, you can.
6. The Convenience Of Working From Home
Of course not everyone who is self employed will work from home, but many people start this way. If your business lends itself to this, there are some real advantages. As well as keeping your overheads to a minimum, which is key when starting a new business, you will also save time and money in not having to commute to a separate place of work.
Working at home gives you a lot of freedom and choice about how you organise your working day. While many choose to have a set start time and be dressed in a business like way, you also have the option of still being unshaven and in your underpants at 3pm in the afternoon!
7. You Get To Choose Who You Work With
Most of us have had jobs where you have to spend a lot of time with people you would never otherwise choose to see. This can vary from those you simply have little in common with to those who drive you absolutely insane.
If you choose to employ anyone in your business, you get to have full control over who you take on. You also get to define what their role will be and how they will spend their time. Even if you do not employ staff, you will still work closely with clients, suppliers and contractors. When you are your own boss you have some say over all of these too, which gives you much more control over who you are working with.
8. No Time Wasting Bureaucracy
Have you ever been frustrated as an employee in a company with the time it can take to get a decision made? If you have worked in the public sector the layers of bureaucracy can make progress and change even harder. As a self employed person you have the freedom to make instant decisions. If there is a process to go through, or checks to be made, it is only because you decide that is what needs to happen.
The freedom to make a fast decision can be very liberating if you have experience of having to wait for board meetings or committees.