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Are You Suited to Self Employment

Are you suited to running a small business?

Not everyone is suited to running their own business.

Some people  don’t have the knowledge or skills to be successful at business; but that’s not the main problem. Many people simply don’t have the personality.

It Seems Easy

Most people work for someone else. In doing so, they don’t get to choose what they do at work: their boss tells them what to do. For anyone in this situation, the idea of working for themselves, and making their own choices seems easy. The grass always seems better on the other side of the fence. Without the experience of self employment, there is no real awareness of the negative aspects of running your own business; but as with most things in life, there are both advantages and disadvantages to self employment

Self Employment Requires a Strong Personality

A successful business requires a leader. Not everyone in this world is a leader, and it would be inappropriate to expect everyone to be a leader.

Contrary to popular opinion, a successful business leader is not someone who dominates and imposes their will on their workers. A leader should be an “enabler”. Their prime goal is to “facilitate” the work of those they lead. This involves skills such as “organisation”, “focus”, “decisiveness”, “adaptability”, and “logic”. Some may lead in an autocratic way, simply issuing orders and enforcing adherence to those orders, while others may lead in a gentler, more democratic way. The style of leadership is not exceedingly important, but for a business to succeed, the boss needs to maintain control.

Hard Work Alone Does Not Make Success

Plenty of people start small businesses, work very hard and long hours and still fail. Some common reasons for this are:

*They don’t charge enough.

(eg. If you work 80 hrs a week and make $1 per hour profit; you will still not do as well as someone working 40 hrs a week and making $3 an hour profit).

*They don’t adapt to market forces

(eg. Trying to sell a product you like or already have in stock, even though people show little interest in buying it; rather than identifying what people want to buy, and then selling what is in demand).

*Poor Financial Management

(eg. Spending all your cash reserves before you reach a profit making situation; or not putting money aside to pay tax).

Some People are Just Not Suited to Self Employment

Numerous research projects have shown that most new businesses fail. Most successful business owners in fact will make several attempts at starting a business before they find one that works really well

If you have never been in business before, don’t attempt to set one up until you have first considered the negatives as well as the positives.

Being in business can:

  • cause stress.

  • demand a lot of time
  • involve financial risk

  • require clear thinking
  • require good organisation

If you value your financial security and leisure time, a small business might not be for you

If you have heavy demands on your time from family and other commitments, don’t go into business unless you are prepared to give up some of these things.

If you sometimes find it difficult to focus your thought; or if you don’t organise yourself really well, a business might not be for you.

By John Mason

Principal ACS Distance Education   john@acs.edu.au   Phone 0755304 855

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