At a glance, it has all of the glitz and glamour. After all, being your own boss is as good as it gets, right? You pay yourself what you want, do what you want, and live the dream.
Unfortunately, things don’t always tend to follow the script. While there are umpteen success stories about entrepreneurs, many struggle to survive.
Today’s article isn’t about scaremongering by any stretch of the imagination. If you’re taking the plunge to start your own company, a huge pat on the back is in order, and you’ve made a giant step that many refuse to even consider.
Instead, it’s all about outlining some points to look out for, which can surprise anyone who decides to do things on their own.
You don’t have an “annual leave” allowance
As UK law dictates, all employees are entitled to a minimum amount of annual leave.
Unfortunately, as a self-employed worker, no such laws exist.
Ultimately, your fate is in your own hands. Sure, you can take as much time off as you need, but are your earnings tied to your time? If they are, you need to make sure you can cover yourself financially.
Most business owners find this worry eases as the years tick by, but as you have probably already read, the first years are often the toughest – so be prepared.
You, and only you, are responsible for paperwork
Remember the easy days when Accounts Payable dealt with any expense claims? Or when someone else in the business sorted out all your insurance needs?
Well, that person is now you. Yes, you might be desperate to get into the meat and bones of helping your business turn a profit, but in-between all of those details are paperwork and admin that need to be sorted.
Your office is now your home… and your car… and the local coffee shop
In the early days of running your own business, it’s not uncommon to find yourself working around the clock. If you’re used to a set 9-5 schedule, this can come as a bit of a shock to the system.
There’s also the fact that you might not have an office to go to. No, your office is now your home, car, or the local coffee shop.
Like with everything, this can also have plenty of advantages. After all, you no longer have a place of work to attend at set points of the day. Flexibility is king, but it can come at a cost.
You’re the face of the company
When you’re self-employed, there’s no such thing as a “sick day.” No matter how awful you’re feeling, the show must go on.
The same goes for any external meetings or events. You’re the face of the company, and it’s now your responsibility to make a good impression. Again, this is a role that some business owners will revel in, but for others, it can again come as a shock to the system.