THESE ARE THE ULTIMATE PROS AND CONS OF STARTING A BUSINESS
I’ll be the first one to say that although starting a business is the best thing I’ve ever done, it’s not as glamorous as it’s made out to be. There are plenty of positives, but there are also plenty of negatives too.
From knowing what services to offer to dealing with money, you can come across a lot of hurdles when you first start out as a business owner. Luckily there is more on offer to help us these days, including coaches, networking groups, and lots of helpful money opportunities, such as Merchant Cash Advance. Basically, what used to be a pipe dream can now be made into reality, a whole lot easier than before.
So I wanted to strip things back a bit, because you know I’m all about the transparency. Thinking of starting a business? Here are the pros and cons of what it’s like to be a full-time entrepreneur.
Let’s get the cons out of the way first, shall we?
CONS OF STARTING A BUSINESS
IT CAN BE LONELY
The loneliness epidemic is real and that’s certainly true for self-employed folk. If you’re thinking of starting a business, be prepared to go from having an office full of co-workers to working at home without anyone to speak to. Except maybe your pet…
That’s why it’s so important to frequently communicate with your clients and other business owners too. Sometimes I can go 10 hours without speaking to a single person and it takes its toll on you after a while. Make a conscious effort to stay connected with people.
YOU’RE ALWAYS SWITCHED ON
Anyone else find it hard to switch off? I feel you. If I ever do find myself with a spare minute, then I convince myself I should be spending it doing something for my business. You have to have the discipline to set your own working hours and stick to them.
Get a home office set up so you can close the door on it at the end of the work day. Set those boundaries, just like you would if you were working in an office. Try not to be “on” all the time - you need a break just as much as anyone else.
IT CAN PUT A STRAIN ON YOUR PERSONAL LIFE
Although you’re spending time at home, it can actually put more of a strain on your personal life if you don’t manage your time properly. You don't want to turn down a meal out with your best friend because you’re “busy”.
Communication is key. Tell them when you’re working and tell them when it’s personal time. Don’t let your relationships suffer.
IT REQUIRES A LOT OF DISCIPLINE
It takes a certain type of person when it comes to starting a business. And that person has got to be disciplined. Limit your breaks, don’t have Netflix on in the background all day and keep focused on reaching your goals.
THERE’S NO STEADY INCOME
It feels safe to know you’ve got a certain amount of money coming in at the same time every month. That’s usually not the case when running your own business. Income can be very sporadic and unfortunately, you might have to chase clients for payments sometimes.
Top tip: Before taking the leap, make sure you’ve worked out your minimum income - what you need to cover your living expenses. Then you can work from there.
Find out my other tips for starting a business in my self-employment Q&A video!
The amount of work I’ve put into my business is insane and it’s not even been a full year yet. You can’t decide to just stop tomorrow. You’ve got to be constantly prepared for what’s happening and what’s coming next. I’ve truly learnt that this is what you need to stay ahead.
YOU’VE GOT TO DEAL WITH MONEY BY YOURSELF
And a lot of other things for that matter. A mindset shift happened for me this year and that was when I started thinking of myself as a business owner rather than self-employed. It changed a lot of things for me, and how I looked at money was one of them.
The client work is just the start. There are so many other things you need to keep on top of and your accounts are a key part of the chain.
YOU’LL FEEL LIKE YOU CAN NEVER GO ON HOLIDAY AT FIRST
The first couple of years are the hardest. I’m going on holiday shortly and even though I’ve tried to do some work in advance, I’ll still have to work. This is just what happens and what is to be expected when you run your own business.
PROS OF STARTING A BUSINESS
IT’S LOW COST
In any business you need to be mindful of costs, but if you run your business from home, your expenses shouldn’t be too great. Make sure you’re only spending what you need and keep a track of everything in a spreadsheet.
This is sort of split into two, with the first part being that you can work anywhere you want. Coffee shop, grandparent’s house, beach - anywhere! I try to work somewhere other than my home office once a week just for a change of scenery and fresh air.
Starting a business also means you can set your own hours. When you work is completely up to you - just make sure they’re regular hours.
If you have an appointment or you want to go to the gym, you can do that whenever you want. You’ve also got the option of working extra hours if you’ve got a launch coming up or having some quiet time during the day when you’ve got the house to yourself.
THERE ARE FEWER DISTRACTIONS
Nobody can come in and call you for a meeting, nobody can come in and drop another thing on your desk for you to do. Create those boundaries and relationships with your clients from the get-go and you’ll reap the benefits.
YOU’RE CLOSER TO YOUR FAMILY
One of the best reasons for starting a business and working from home is improving the work-life balance - although it can still be tricky, believe me!
Just make sure you put guidelines in place so everyone knows when your working hours are. And if you’re thinking long-term, taking your kids too and from school as often as you can, will be totally worth it.
YOU BECOME THE BOSS
You need to get into the mindset that this is your business and you are the boss. You set the rules. You determine the work you do and who you do it for. You create and manage the opportunities. Any decisions that need to be made are made by you because it’s YOUR business.
ALL CREDIT GOES TO YOU
Usually, your recognition can get lost at work with all the office politics that go on. Instead, starting a business on your own terms and based on your own hard work speaks volumes. Soon enough, you’ll have something you’re really proud of.
YOU’LL GROW AND LEARN IN WAYS YOU NEVER KNEW
Lots of people take new jobs because they want to learn and develop their skills. By being your own boss you get to take in as much new information as you want. Sometimes you’ll feel very overwhelmed but just remember this phrase: create more than you consume.
YOU’LL GET TO DO WHAT YOU’RE MEANT TO DO
I’ve always felt like I had a bigger purpose and that I was meant for something more. Now I know that it’s my business - that’s what I’m meant to do. And you’ll find that too.
The freedom and contentment you feel is like no other. You don’t have to say yes to a client if you don’t want to. You don’t have to add something to a package just because others are. Do what’s right for you.
Starting a business does have its stressful times, but the possibilities are endless as to what you can achieve. Making a difference, helping people and leaving an impact make it all so worth it.
So - will you become your own boss one day?
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