REAL TALK: 5 BIGGEST DISADVANTAGES OF BEING YOUR OWN BOSS 

First let’s admit it, being your own boss is pretty amazing. You get to decide when to go to work, how your business and most especially no one is yelling at your or bossing your around. So before we continue let’s make one thing clear, being your own boss is awesome!!  

Like all good things, self boss also have major downsides. 

1. LACK OF STRATEGY 

Operating a business on your own entails dealing with many facets and details. You may spend most of your time tending to the business instead of doing the work that you enjoy. You may get sucked into spending a lot of time working in the business on minutia rather than being strategic and growing the business.

You may have to learn new disciplines such as bookkeeping, market research, employment law, general administration. Although at the time this can appear to be tiresome and unnecessary it will give you the ability to ensure that when you delegate the roles you can be clear about the responsibilities and the key performance indicators.

Undertake a time management exercise to ensure you are focussing on the important aspects of the business and your personal development. Make sure you spend quality time in the top right hand quadrant to develop and grow your business.

2. LONGER WORKING HOURS 

You may have to work long hours in the early years, often for less pay than anticipated while the income goes to meet operating costs, which may include a payroll, administration, marketing, operational activities. You may not be able to take a reasonable holiday in the early days

If you have belief and passion in what you are doing then in the short term you will have the energy to work longer hours to succeed. As the business develops and grows start to look at the strategic view and consider working with an external consultant or adviser to get a dispassionate view of your business to ensure you are on the right track. This can include a re-structuring of your business by promoting staff internally to take on some of the vital tasks or even looking to recruit a supervisor or manager.

A lot of energy can be expended worrying about your future plans or anxiety may kick in if you are unsure. An external ear can be a vital component to keeping you focussed and positive.

3. LACK OF PLANNING 

As a business owner you need to plan ahead and ensure that the investments you make are in the right areas. Seek proper advice before you make the extra investments, there may be a better and less expensive method of achieving your desired outcome.

Do not be content after you have made the changes, ensure that you review and measure and confirm that the changes are beneficial. It is not a weakness to change or even discard ideas if they are not bringing the required benefits.

4. LACK OF VISION

Once your business is established, its income may be sporadic, highly variable or seasonal. Ensure you carry out a cash flow forecast for 3, 6 and 12 months. Be realistic about the future of the business, looking at worst case and best case scenarios, do not get caught having to cover unexpected shortfalls.

Develop a realistic vision for the business, keep re-visiting this and ensure you are focussed and driven.

5. IT CAN BE VERY LONELY 

When the business is going well and thriving you will have vitality and focus. However during periods of discontent and negative growth you may need support (emotional and material) to keep focussed and continue with your trust in the business. It may not be appropriate to lean on your family or friends as they will support you, but they  will not be able to give the concrete advice and reassurances that an external adviser or consultant will be able to provide. 
Courtesy; Icon Business Solutions 

So planning on becoming your own boss? It can be a short lived dream and cause distress and upset if it goes wrong. To reduce the possibility of failure make sure you research the key areas of your market and spend time continually educating yourself in the disciplines of running a business. Seek expert help from accountants, marketing specialists and business advisers, you will receive invaluable support and probably realise ‘you didn’t know what you don’t know’ and be able to develop a realistic plan for your business.

Small businesses are the life blood of the British economy, as a business owner you deserve immense respect for stepping out of the safe environment of the corporate world and providing employment for others. The risks you take deserve the huge rewards that can be achieved in status, finance and prestige. A successful business owner can continue to enjoy the fruits of his labour or could deploy an exit strategy that will give them a rich and rewarding retirement.

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