Leaving your 9 to 5 job for self-employment is a leap of faith. You’re leaving behind a certain comfort and venturing into the unknown. With enough preparation and research, this can be highly rewarding. However, some find themselves running around like a chicken with its head chopped off due to lack of knowledge. Here are some things to know about self-employment.
- It’s Not Easy
Fair warning, it’s not easy. If you’re looking for an easy route, this isn’t the way. Managing a business or working freelance will take a toll on you emotionally, physically and mentally – at least for the first few months. You must be prepared for lots of disappointments and a couple of nos. Here is how you can do Budgeting For Variable Income (Freelancers, The Self Employed, Consultants etc)
- Responsibility Rests On You
When you’re in self-employment, you’re the centre of your business. You handle everything marketing to customer service. If anything happens, you have to take responsibility for it. This requires a hands-on approach and might take up most of your time.
- The Law Is A B*tch
The last thing you want is your new business being shut down by the government. Make sure you have all the permits and licenses and you are well-acquainted with laws governing the kind of business you want to start. Additionally, you can seek assistance from a legal practitioner.
- Lack Of Motivation
Since no one is holding you directly accountable in self-employment, it’s hard to stay motivated. You also lack the guidance of a mentor and can easily lose track of your goals. It’s therefore important to know how to motivate yourself. Productivity: Working From Home: 10 Ways To Make It Work
- You Get Flexible Hours
It’s not all bad. In fact, this is one of the biggest perks of self-employment. With good time management, you can be able to tend to personal matter like picking your kids from school or taking up a hobby. It may take up more hours than a corporate job but it will be worth the quality time spend during your free hours.
- Risk Protection For You And Your Business
When going into self-employment, you’re basically your own boss. This sounds good on paper but it’s risky if you don’t have a cover. Taking a personal and business insurance protects you in case something happens to you or your business.
- The Power Of Online Marketing
Social media is a marketing haven for freelancers and business owners since it has a wider audience reach. Knowing how to use this tool is necessary. You might even need to take an online marketing course if you’re serious about self-employment. Check out 5 Short Courses You Can Take On Coursera
- Know Your Numbers
Did you bite off more than you can chew? You’ll find yourself asking these questions many times. It’s totally normal. However, it’s good to have your finances in check so as to have realistic expectations. Additionally, you should set your day rates if you’re a freelancer factoring in the weekend and holidays.
- Pay Your Taxes
As long as you earn more than the minimum taxable income (Ksh 12,000) from self-employment, then you’re required to file your taxes. You’re also in charge of figuring out the amount to pay. Needless to say, it’s not the most exciting thing to do. How To Legally Reduce Your Tax Liabilities
- Have A Retirement Plan
Hopefully, you won’t have to “retire” and your business will grow to a perpetual level. However, you need to think about your retirement plans either way. How will you survive when you can tend to the business anymore? There’s no right answer to this and you just have to choose what works for you. Finances: Essential Retirement Moves To Make In Your 20’s And 30’s