Are You Ready To Go Self-Employed? |

Are You Ready To Go Self-Employed?

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Whilst many of us may dream of self-employment, giving up the day job is a scary thought. And though making a living doing something you love seems ideal, with myriad benefits including flexibility and autonomy, a lack of security and an increase in risk means self-employment isn’t for everyone.

But with developments in technology meaning you don’t necessarily need huge piles of cash to start a business, self-employment seems more accessible than ever. Thinking about taking the leap? Careers coach Salma Shah talks us through the seven questions to ask before you go it alone…

Could you live with the uncertainty?

There are no guarantees when you work for yourself and even the most confident entrepreneurs will admit they’ve had moments of doubt. The reality is, customers change their minds at the last minute, decisions will get delayed and contracts will get cancelled. However, if you have a great idea, lots of drive and what you want to do is something you are deeply passionate about, this should be enough to help you get past those panicky blips.

How much of a perfectionist are you?

Running your own business means that not everything can always be perfect. You have to make a choice of what you are willing to let go – for example, spending months on the perfect logo and website design is a waste of time, and you can always amend and refine things as you go along. However, all customer experience of your product or service must be perfect, in order to build a client base and increase satisfaction.

Are you comfortable pitching yourself and your services?

Building your profile and self-promotion are incredibly important – you have to get out there both face to face and on social media to sell your ideas, product and services. It’s your name and reputation at the front of everything, so put time into building and promoting your brand. It may take time, effort and some discomfort to develop your selling style, but you have to do it.

On a Similar Note

Can you handle rejection?

You will probably hear ‘no’ a lot, especially at the beginning of your journey, as you fine tune your market and offering. Rejection isn't personal but it is feedback and you need a lot of resilience to pick yourself up and carry on. It’s hard when you’ve put your heart and soul into everything and don’t receive the response you’re hoping for, but this will happen and the way to look at it is to carry on understanding your customer, tweaking and refining what you have to offer.

Do you have enough savings?

To feel safe, have at least 12 months of savings set aside. Worst case scenario: things take a little longer than you had hoped or anticipated. It is stressful enough setting up a business without worrying about the roof over your head, bills and food. Some savings will need to go on learning new skills or hiring a coach. However, do not sign up for expensive programmes that promise overnight success – check all courses and workshops thoroughly before investing.

Are you willing to let go of procrastination?

Procrastination in the guise of research or analysis is a huge time waster. If you take too long making a decision, by the time you decide to go for it the market will have changed and the opportunity will be lost. If you have a great idea, get it out there, test it and tweak it. It's best to fail quickly with minimal spend and effort, tweak and try again.

Do you have a sense of urgency?

With no one imposing deadlines, you need huge amounts of self-discipline and motivation to keep things moving and to keep focusing on the priorities. When it’s just you, you must be passionate about taking daily actions that move you towards your goal.
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