Starting your own business can result in anything between the two extremes of untold wealth and personal satisfaction, and financial and personal disaster. There are certainly many advantages of starting your own company, but it is also important to know that there are an equal amount of disadvantages.
You are the boss. You decide what to do and how to do it. You design the systems and rules, and you are no longer answerable to anyone else. All control emanates from you and you have the final say in all matters. If something isn’t working, you can change it, without reference to other parties. Depending on the nature of the business, you can be flexible about your working hours, and even your work location. If you want to start work at eleven o’clock in the morning, at home, you can. When it comes to employing staff, you can pick only those who you think are fit for the job, as well as those who you feel you will strike up a good relationship with, thereby keeping the workplace atmosphere sweet. But of course, the biggest high comes from the earning potential. Provided that you have selected your business carefully and possess the correct skills, there is really no limit. Gone forever are the restrictions of annual salaries and bonus schemes, rigidly adhered to no matter how much drive and success you bring to your post.
The worst thing is probably the financial risk. Most start-ups require capital, and the terms demanded by lenders are usually tough. Very often you will be asked to provide surety with your home, which means that should the business go bust, you stand to lose everything you have. Having your own business also means foregoing all the benefits taken for granted when working for a large company; a regular pay cheque, health insurance, pension contributions and so on. And if you thought you worked long hours before, just wait! A business never sleeps, and perhaps you won’t either. There’s always something to be done, and even when you are not in the workplace, the business is never far from your mind, with the result that you will find the hours spent ‘on the job’ far outstripping those of before. Finally, think about your health. Running your own business may prove to be very stressful because of all the calls upon you and your time. This could take a toll on your general health, necessitating time off, with subsequent detrimental effects to the business.
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