In LinkedIn and Instagram, messages from successful entrepreneurs with record turnovers and former colleagues who ‘finally dare to take the step’ are flying around you. Entrepreneurship is hot, and that’s not surprising because starting your own business has many advantages.
But before you start your own business, it is good to realize that there are also disadvantages.
Starting your pros and cons
Every disadvantage has its advantage, but the same applies the other way around, also for these advantages to starting your own company.
Ask ten entrepreneurs the biggest advantage of starting their own business, and nine will answer ‘freedom.’ After all, you decide where and when you work. No one has to permit you to take a day off. Working from the beach? Your choice.
Of course, that seems like a dream, but this freedom is also sometimes romanticized. Because many entrepreneurs also work hard and work long hours to make their business successful or even get some bread on the table. That freedom and flexibility sometimes mean that you will work more.
Even if you work fewer hours than you are self-employed, it can feel like more work. It is not a 9 to 5 job, where you can clock out on evenings and weekends. The chances are that you are working on your business 24/7 in your head.
Determine your prices
If you are employed, you will occasionally get a raise, but your salary is generally fixed. When you start for yourself, there is no limit to what you can earn. Of course, you only have a few hours in the day, but you can always choose to increase your prices or make your business scalable.
Although starting your own business means earning more, that doesn’t always have to be the case. You also have to deal with competition. If you make yourself much more expensive (whether that be services or products), customers are more likely to go to the competition.
You often hear stories of entrepreneurs who earn tens of thousands of dollars per month, but we forget that they didn’t start with that either. To get there, you need to explain to others why your offering is unique and worth the price. Marketing can help with this, but this is a skill that you have to develop.
Relationships and contacts
If you start your own business, you will most likely make new contacts and relationships, from customers to fellow entrepreneurs. The latter group is especially lovely because they have no limiting beliefs about entrepreneurship and encourage you to get the best out of yourself, unlike your family.
But remember that your relationships and friendships can also take a hit if you decide to take a business first of all because you will initially spend a lot of time on your business to get it off the ground. You will then automatically have less time for the people around you.
Especially if doing business involves stress, this can have a major impact on your relationship with your partner. We all know that we often take stress – no matter how idiotic – onto the people closest to us. And then we haven’t even mentioned the loneliness you can feel because you have to miss colleagues.
You are the whole company
As your own boss, you make all the choices. Especially if you work (or have worked) in paid employment at a large company, you understand the frustration that rules, hierarchy, and unnecessary meetings can entail. No more of that if you start for yourself!
But all these things also mean that you have to do it all yourself. You have no organization to fall back on. No HR department if you want to hire your first employee, for example, and no colleague to spar with.
This is not a call not to start your own business. There are plenty of entrepreneurs who know how to make good use of the advantages of their own business and who, for example, do not work long hours. There are also plenty of ways to reduce the drawbacks. Take the loneliness; you can easily solve this by renting a space in a co-working space.
It’s only good to be aware of the drawbacks so that you can take the necessary steps to counter them when you start your own business.