Moving from employment to self-employment signifies a great amount of change, not only in what you are doing work-wise but also in how you are doing it. There are a great number of things to think about especially considering you are now in charge of everything and might not yet have any staff. You are the owner, CEO, Managing Director, Accountant and Administrative Assistant.
You have to decide what you are selling or providing, work out whether you have products or services and also how you will be delivering your products or services. Often when people first set up as self-employed they also lack a real Value Proposition, which is a promise an organisation or self-employed individual makes about the value that they will be delivering and is also based on the belief from the customers about the value that they will be experiencing in a transaction.
Many people, when starting out as self-employed, also find that they are not getting as much business as they might have been expecting. A lot of the time this will be due down to the fact that they are targeting the wrong customers and this could be because not enough customer research has been done. A newly self-employed person might also struggle to know which channels are best to reach their customers.
There can be a range of other pitfalls to self-employment such as:
Increased amounts of stress, as total success or failure will lie fully on you and there are no colleagues to rely on for moral support or to help with the workload.
Isolation, as you now work alone you might miss the social side of working with others.
Longer working hours as you may struggle to do every job that is required within a standard 9-5 working day.
Responsibility for your pension means that you will have to ensure you put money aside to support you later on in life.
Your reputation will take a while to build up which means you have to work incredibly hard to make yourself known, whilst competing against others who are already established.
However, do not be totally put off, as self-employment is not all bad! For those who have a great deal of persistence and intelligence as well as perseverance and true entrepreneurial spirit, they will find that there are many more positives to help outweigh the majority of downfalls.
As someone who is self-employed, you are a lot more likely to be rewarded in a way that is preferable to you, for all your hard work and great ideas, rather than in a position where you receive a salary from a company, as any ideas or work you have, whilst in that role, will go towards making a profit for the company, not to you.