The Risks and Rewards of Self-Employment
Have you been unemployed for a while and are slowly realizing that getting a job isn’t as easy as you thought it would be? Are you tired of working the same mediocre jobs that don’t satisfy you or pay well? Maybe you’re a dreamer who has always wanted to start your own business. When you’re unemployed, unachieved goals or ambitions can seem out of reach. Add to this the fact that starting a business involves passion, dedication, organization, and money. Money is perhaps the key factor here. When you’re barely making ends meet on benefits, how on earth can you ever hope to scrape the money together to start your own business?
Luckily, we here at Company Jobs Direct genuinely care about people, and want to see them succeed. Our expertise might be helping you find a job through our customized online directory, but the most important thing is that we help people to achieve their career goals. You simply might not want to work for someone else. If it is your dream to start your own company, we are here to help by providing useful information. There are many things to think about when you decide you’re swapping the clock-in machine for your own business model:
The Risks of Self-Employment
Included with the risks are the general downsides of owning your own company. The first that comes to mind is taxes. When you work for a company, they do all of the tax deductions for you. You get your payslip, check it’s right, and that’s the end of it. Well, taxes can be an absolute nightmare for the self-employed. Sure, you can hire someone to do them for you, but they can be hit and miss. The tax regulations are extensive, and some accountants will be hesitant to find you loopholes to save you money. Find one who is knowledgeable but daring, who can help cut tax costs.
The biggest risk of owning your own company is if it doesn’t succeed. The key to creating a successful business is to know the market well. If there are twenty bakeries in your town, and five have been boarded up recently, for example, you’re hardly going to have a booming bakery. If you want to set up a local business, you need to know the population of your area and what their buying habits are. The more you research, the better off you will be. You also have to balance something you’re passionate about with something people want to buy or use. It’s pointless having a competitive product if you hate selling it. The whole point of starting a business is to avoid the monotony of being a drone worker!
The Rewards of Self-Employment
Being self-employed can be very rewarding. First, you are your own boss. Every bit of work you do is helping to boost your own company instead of increasing the profit margins of an employer. This can really strengthen your morale and give you a strong sense of pride in what you do.
Self-employment also provides a higher degree of independence than working for someone else. If family occasions or emergencies arise, there is no need to worry about whether your boss will give you the day off. As your business grows, and especially if it is really successful, you can do less and less work as time goes on.
Additionally, the sky is the limit when it comes to earning potential. There is no cap on what profit you can make in a year. Yes, the tax man will dig deep into your earnings, but the net is really dependent on how much work you want to put into it. If you’re single and ambitious, you might not mind twelve hour working days in order to get your business to the next level.
How to Actually Start a Business When You’re Unemployed
Your options can seem limited when you can barely afford your food and bills. You might dream of opening a bookshop, but how on earth could you ever buy all the books to stock the shelves with? You might love cooking and want to open a cafe or restaurant, but how can you buy the building or the crockery or food without financial help?
Luckily, there’s a wonderful government incentive known as the New Enterprise Allowance. You see, businesses help the economy, so the government is all for people starting new businesses. All you need to do is consult your local job office to find out more about it. The eligibility criteria is pretty easy to meet. You just have to be over 18 and on benefits. These include Universal Credit, Jobseeker’s Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance, and Income Support. You may also be eligible if you are a lone parent, sick, or disabled.
Once you’ve found out you’re eligible, you get a mentor who must approve your business plan before you proceed to the next stage. Thus, it’s important to think carefully about the ins and outs of your business before you apply for the New Enterprise Allowance. They won’t be impressed if you don’t have something persuasive to talk about.
So, before you jump into trying to get a business loan, spend a few weeks developing a business plan that includes details like what the business is, what you’re selling or providing, where you intend to buy your stock, your target market, and lots more. Good luck on your new adventure! Dedication is key.
by Gillian Rixey
(Gillian is a PhD qualified freelance writer and scholar born in Ireland but currently residing in the United States.)