The pros & cons of starting your own business

Written on 02 November, 2018 by Iona Yeung
Categories Small Business

The BYOB (Be Your Own Boss) movement is here to stay. With gig economy jobs, like Uber and AirTasker, and the technology to set up your business online in a matter of days, the freedom to set our own hours and wages has never been more attractive. But starting your own business isn’t always easy. Before you take the plunge, weigh up the pros and cons.

The pros

You decide when you work

Having the freedom to set your own hours is one of the most attractive things about starting a small business. If you have a family, you can have your business work around your life and not the other way around (Read Mel’s story). We work with many business owners who enjoy the flexibility of starting their day early so they can spend afternoons with their families.

Creative freedom

When you’re your own boss, you can call all the shots. You have the creative freedom to decide what your brand looks like, how you communicate to your customers and what you sell. Whether it’s a marketing brochure or a website, the buck starts and stops with you.

Unlimited earning potential

You may not have a steady pay cheque but you’ll have control over how much you earn. If you need a pay rise, you won’t need to rely on a boss to give it to you. Your income will grow as your business grows. What you take home is reliant on how well you can grow your business into a profitable one.

 

The cons

Work is more than your average 9-5

Many of us dream about the ‘laptop lifestyle’ with four hour working weeks but this is far from reality when you’re just starting out. Small business owners have to put on many different hats. You may be doing the work of the receptionist, marketing manager, customer service rep and more. Depending on how much work you are outsourcing, there is a lot required in the early stages of building a business. Regardless of what time it is, the job still needs to get done and you may be the only one doing it.

Income may be unsteady

All businesses will have their ups and downs, especially if your product/service peaks with seasonality. Cash flow is one of the biggest challenges small businesses face. Unlike a 9-5 job, what you earn from month to month will never be a guarantee. Before you start a business, you’ll need to consider how you’ll manage your incoming revenue and outgoing expenses. To minimise cash flow related issues, you’ll want to ensure you have a buffer of cash to cover all your operating and living expenses.

 

There’s always a risk that it won’t work out

Regardless of how much time and work you put into your business, there’s never a guarantee that it’ll work out. New competition may impact your bottom line; a change in suppliers could mean you may be out of stock for a few weeks; your customers’ needs may change. Anyone going into business should be prepared to brace the risks that come with starting one.

But failure isn’t always a bad thing. Some of the most renowned entrepreneurs have faced failure before they had their big win. Arianna Huffington received 40 rejection notices from publishers when she pitched them her book. Steve Jobs lost millions of dollars and was fired from Apple before making his way back to create the iconic brand it is now. There’s always a chance that a business will work out but the most successful business owners and entrepreneurs are the one who never give up.

Do the pros outweigh the cons?

Starting a business will always require a leap of faith. There are others who will make the jump (Read Max’s story here) and others who are more conservative with their move. If you’re not quite ready to quit your day job, start with a side gig. That way you can scale back the hours on your day job as your business grows.

Not sure where to start, we can help. Speak to our Online Solutions Advisors to get started.