Would you like to be your own boss? - a blog from Business Butler

Would you like to be your own boss?

I’m sure that most of us at some point during our careers have pondered about leaving the secure and sometimes stale environment of being an employee for the excitement, satisfaction and challenge of self-employment.

Whether you are bored and looking for a new venture, or you’ve missed out on promotion to Julian, the new graduate from marketing, or you just simply can’t face working another day for that egotistical, dictatorial director of yours; whatever the reason you can join one of over 5 million people in the UK who have already made their dreams come true by becoming self-employed.

Let’s just run through the benefits and disadvantages of self-employment to see if the grass really is greener on the other side.

One of the first advantages is the fact that you have greater flexibility and your working week can, to a certain extent, be built around family commitments; resulting in a better quality of life.

Freelance and consultancy work charges a higher hourly rate than most salaried jobs and apart from taxation and NI contributions you get to keep everything you earn, instead of making someone else rich – are you starting to grin already?

Another financial advantage is that you can claim back expenses for many outgoings including travel costs, business equipment, uniforms and telephone charges. If you work from home, you can claim for a proportion of your utility bills as well as help with your mortgage interest or rent. In fact, the majority of freelancers work from home and if you decide to join them you can wave goodbye to the dreaded daily commute – now you’re smiling!

Being your own boss can be a more exciting career because you can choose a field you are passionate about. Although if you are one of thousands of employees stuck in dead end jobs, then excitement and career may be two words rarely used together in the same sentence.

The spark of entrepreneurship might ignite an aptitude for a certain skill that was never utilised under employment and now you can finally reach your full potential. Another significant advantage is the fact that you never have to worry about getting a call from the HR department telling you that you’re fired; you’re the boss now and that deserves the biggest smile of all!

Sounds good so far, right? Ok, let’s just take a reality check and look at the negative aspects of self-employment.

Leaving the comfort and security of receiving a monthly salary to being completely responsible for generating your own income can be quite daunting. There may be some financial costs to starting your own business and building a client base can be an arduous and slow process.

Being self-employed means your income will fluctuate and can include periods where you don’t earn anything; this means paying your mortgage or rent can be challenging and very stressful – is your smile beginning to waver?

Chasing payments from clients you have carried out work for is another drawback because you can be made to wait for three months or even longer to receive your hard-earned money. Resilience, perseverance and patience are just three of the many traits you need when your self-employed.

Remember that if you fall ill or take time off for a holiday you won’t get paid…there goes your smile. Self-employment can be a lonely existence and your home life and work life can merge into one putting pressure on family relationships.

With self-employment, as with everything in life, there are pros and cons, only you can make the decision, but just imagine the sense of self-fulfilment and pride that becoming your own boss provides – now you’re smiling again!