I recently did a post on the advantages of being self-employed, so now I’m going to look at the disadvantages. This isn’t intended to put anyone off, but when you’re considering self-employment, it’s important to consider all factors, good and bad, so that you can make a balanced decision.
1. Irregular Income
The major problem with working independently is the uncertainty about income. When you’re used to having a regular salary, it can come as a big shock not knowing how much money you’ve got coming in. Plus clients can be late paying, so cash flow can be a real problem.
2. Finding Clients
As a self-employed person, you have to be proactive and constantly search for clients. They won’t just come to you! You have to get your name known and build up a reputation (word of mouth is an excellent way of getting business, as people often prefer to ask friends for recommendations.
When working for yourself, you have to be disciplined. Suddenly you don’t have a fixed timetable, with someone telling you what to do. It can be very difficult to motivate yourself to sit down and work, as there is always something that needs doing around the house, or something more interesting going on. But no work, no pay!
It’s very easy when you work from home to decide that you’ll just watch the news/surf the net/go out for lunch, and then start working. The danger is that there can be too many distractions, especially if you have children who don’t understand why you can’t play. Setting working hours for yourself can help.
5. No Benefits
As an employee, you get paid holidays, social security and pension contributions, and sick pay. As a self-employed person, you get none of these? So if you want to take a holiday, you have to factor in the cost of lost income.
Very few people come up with a truly original idea for a business, and if they do it will surely be copied by someone else without delay! So whatever field you work in, there is bound to be plenty of competition. You have to work very hard to stand out and offer a better service.
7. Friends and Family
People often don’t respect your work as they would if you worked in an office, and think nothing of calling round even if it is inconvenient. They may also think that because you are your own boss, you are free to go shopping/mind their kids/listen to their problems. It’s necessary to set firm boundaries.
When working for yourself, there’s no getting away from the fact that a lot of boring paperwork has to be done. Suddenly there isn’t an accounts department – you have to do it yourself, or find an accountant.
Have you ever tried self-employment, and did you decide it wasn’t for you, or did it turn out successfully?
Top Photo Credit: sstrudeau