There are the positives as well as the negatives. Here’s what you ought to be aware of so you won’t be caught off-guard.
Being your own boss sounds glamourous right? And it looks good too. Just think about all the fabulous role models we have here in Singapore. Singaporean women have started their own fashion companies, they run businesses out of their HDB flats or they create gorgeous cakes and promote them via Instagram. Running your own business sounds great. Also Singapore is a great environment for start-ups, here’s just a few reasons why.
Of course looking easy doesn’t mean it actually IS easy. Striking out on your own is stressful, and there’s no guarantee your business will be successful. Also, it’s A LOT of hard work, whether you’re looking to be a freelance accountant or a baker.
Says Stanley Tan owner of Windflower Florist, “You have to work even harder than anyone, that means working way beyond eight hours and you’ve got to be constantly be on your toes. The good thing about being your own boss is that I have something to call my own. When I look at what I’ve built, along with the people who had crossed paths and came together to build Windflower with me, that sense of satisfaction and achievement is amazing.”
It’s worth weighing the pros and cons of being your own boss before you quit your job and strike out on your own. Here are a few things to consider if you’re looking to make this kind of career change.
Pro: You can see the profits you make immediately
Because you are the business, any money you make is visible right away in your bank account. This is great because at least psychologically you can see the rewards of your hard work immediately, but also consider the next point…
Con: A lot of your own money is probably invested in the business
Any small business owner will tell you that turning a profit in your first year is very unlikely and so for awhile – especially if you have overheads like rent, or employees – money might be quite tight.
Pro: Work-life balance might actually become a reality
Because it‘s your business, you can dictate the kind of hours or style of working that you prefer. While this doesn‘t necessarily mean you can decide to work only four hours a day, it does mean you can work from home if you want, or take a longer break in the afternoon to run errands and then work those hours again in the evening.
Con: Your customers, clients and even employees are your boss(es)
Because you need the business/money, it‘s not possible to be picky when it comes to clients and in some cases, anyone that you have to work with. There‘s also greater responsibility when you hire people since their salaries depend on you.
Pro: It’s a great way to boost your confidence
Being your own boss means you do everything the way you want to. Whether that‘s how you deal with client or plan strategy. That means banking on your own knowledge of your business and how to work it to your advantage. That‘s a very powerful thing.
Con: It’s easy to get lazy
When you‘ve got no government, it‘s easy to get lax and forget that working for yourself requires just as much commitment as a 9-to-5 job – especially if you want to be successful. Even if you have a flexi schedule, it‘s important to put in the hard work of finding clients, or working on your website, or doing whatever it takes to make your business sustainable.
A version of this story first appeared in CLEO. Offering an insider perspective on everything a twenty-something woman in Singapore wants or needs to know, CLEO Magazine is now available in both print and digital formats. Visit www.CLEO.com.sg to subscribe.