Editor's Note: Leaving the security of your employment for the world of being a self-employed entrepreneur is risky and requires much thought and planning. But becoming an entrepreneur is something that means having a plan in place, and knowing exactly why you want to do it.
There are many reasons to own your own business. Many of these reasons are good, others are not. Making a career move to self-employment should not be precipitated by a catastrophic event and it shouldn't be the only thing left, and something that you otherwise don't want to do.
When To Make Your Career Move To Self Employment
by: Bill Frist - Staff Writer
Self-employment isn't for wimps. The decision to abandon your previous job is a mind-bender at best. Even if you are not currently employed, choosing the self-employment route is risky and time-consuming and there is definitely the risk that while you are working on this self-employment venture, you will pass up other opportunities.
So why are you thinking of self-employment as a viable option anyway? What are your motives? Or is it simply another option? Here are just a few questions you should answer for yourself before choosing self-employment:
Is this something you really want to do or is this the only thing left because you've not found anything else?
Being an entrepreneur should not be entered into lightly. It should never be your default option because all others have failed. Sure, experiment with it on the side until you land something else or even just to get the feel. But making a full-scale movement into the often wild and wacky world of being self-employed should never happen just because you don't have something else to do.
Do you have what it takes to be your own boss?
With nobody to answer to if you don't start until 10 AM, will you have the personal discipline that it takes, day after day?
Can you tolerate long hours of working by yourself?
Self-employed people generally work alone - A LOT!
Does your family support you?
Being self-employed is a risky venture and one that should be considered by all family members, especially a spouse. Their future is on the line too you know.
Do you have a specific field in mind for self-employment?
That sounds like a strange question, but many people don't. They like the idea of self-employment, but they haven't got a clue and they are simply out there searching. There's nothing wrong with that so long as the decision isn't make hastily and/or without due consideration of the downsides as well as the upsides.
Do you have adequate experience/education in the field of choice?
Self-employment means that you are responsible for your own income and that is going to be held back quite a bit if you are in the middle of the learning curve for your chosen profession. It probably also isn't going to help you land clients either.
Can you wear all the self-employment hats that you must wear?
There's nothing saying you cannot hire bookkeepers and other service professionals, but you must be able to afford to do so. You also must realize that there are certain people you probably will not be able to hire. You probably cannot hire salespeople until your company actually has some clients and some sales to show.
Are you a good decision maker?
Running your own company means that you are the boss. You gather the information, decipher it, put it together and then YOU make the decisions. You will take all the credit, but all of the blame as well. You will make the bucks, but you will also suffer the losses.
Are you prepared to work long hours?
Self-employment means being tough, working hard, and working long hours - no exceptions despite what those silly infomercials tell you. Let's face it, if there were really a plan to make $60,000 a year in your spare time, don't you think everyone would do it?
Being self-employed means that you may have to delay or eliminate vacations or possibly bring a laptop with you so that you can work while you are gone. If you don't, it means that the work is still there when you get back.
Do you have a place to work?
Okay this sounds a bit silly, but let's be real. Self-employment isn't going to happen at your kitchen table unless you just happen to be single and living alone. You need a place to call your own where you can close the door and just do business.
Do you have the necessary finances to support yourself and your business?
That may be the biggest self-employment question of them all. Most businesses are not going to have adequate customers to support the business the first week, the first month, and often not even the first year. You can figure on having to have other means of support for 1-3 years on average.