5 Things to consider before becoming self-employed

If you’ve reached the stage where only a night with Margot Robbie or Ryan Gosling could rival the feeling you anticipate upon handing in your notice, it might well be that it’s time to take the plunge into self-employment. But before you put pen to paper and start scrawling your resignation, here are five things to bear in mind. Because begging your boss to reconsider has never a happy Tuesday morning made.

What’s your why?

Before you take a single step towards self-employment, determine your why. Why do you want to leave employment – and a steady salary, sick pay, holidays, yadda yadda yadda – behind for a life less secure? It doesn’t matter whether it’s for the freedom to decide your own hours, more time with the kids, the chance to be more creative or autonomous, to earn more money without the limits of someone else’s ambitions; your reason doesn’t matter, but you must have one. Being self-employed is a tough gig and you’ll need a why to remind you what you’re working for on the bad days.

Will going freelance suit your personality?

Leaving the office behind means saying ‘so long’ to colleagues too. There’s something to be said for having a team to bounce ideas around with, not to mention the coffee break catch-ups that get you through the rough patches. If you’re something of an extrovert, going freelance or setting up self-employed might leave you desperately longing for human contact and wondering why the brews on tap have stopped flowing (clue: you’re the only one making them). While it shouldn’t stop you, it’s worth bearing in mind ways to tailor your freelance working week to suit your personality before you make the jump.

Do you have the practical set up?

Working from your dining table is all well and good until you’ve got the TV winking at you from the corner of the living room and a pile of washing talking dirty to you from the kitchen. Before you go self-employed, consider whether you can make your home office set up work or whether you might need to look at options like co-working spaces (Did we mention that we know a great one? We’ll hook you up…)

Can you afford not to get paid?

For every person who makes the leap into self-employment without a savings safety net, there are ten more waiting to tell you they’re an idiot. Before you make the transition, take a long, hard look at your finances and be honest about whether you can pay the bills if clients are, how shall we put this, less than forthcoming with invoice payments. It’s the reality of going it alone, that sorry, scary lack of a steady salary, so bear it in mind early on to avoid issues further along the line.

Are you happy to turn your hobby into your business?

They say that if you do a job you love, you’ll never work a day in your life, and that’s true for the most part. If you love doing something so much that you’d happily do it for free, getting paid to do it is pretty much the dream. There’s nothing better than feeling that fire every time you turn up at your desk or workshop but give some thought to whether you want to turn the hobby you’re passionate about into something that you rely on the pay the bills.

Still not sure? We’re big on business mentoring here at Helm; lets have a chat.

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