The idea of working for yourself, daydreaming about it mostly on holidays or after a really bad day or a boring day at work, can sound really attractive and liberating. You can pick up what you are working on, where and when , the all sought-after work-life balance, and most importantly who you are working with, what there is not to like?
If you are contemplating the switch, here a few things to consider:
- Timing and research: make sure that you get your timing right. Do your research, chose your market and most important make sure you prepare yourself and have the right level of skills and knowledge to be "sellable".
- Financials: make sure you have a financial buffer. This way as you find your niche you do not have to take on work that you do not want to and you have the time to build up potential clients and network. Depending on the nature of your job, perhaps you could start seeking small contracts whilst in employment, working part time ( provided you are not setting up business in direct competition with your employer or provided this is within what your contract of employment allows - do check). If this is a route you are going to follow make sure you get a good accountant and declare your earnings accordingly.
- Market yourself: network , network, network. Build relationships and ask for referrals. Please do bear in mind you can't just show up at networking events and ask for referrals when you need work, this is an ongoing thing. You also need to ensure you "pay-back", do referrals for other people.
- Find a mentor/coach, someone you can bounce off ideas with and check feasibility, preferably a "role model", someone who has taken the leap from full employment to self-employment.
So, are you ready to be your own boss?