The job market has always fluctuated in the midst of recessions, economic booms, and other global events. Yet the last two years may have been as volatile as most of us have ever witnessed with the combination of the pandemic and the Great Resignation. Millions of jobs were lost in a matter of months and then returned. Many workers learned that their jobs could be done from home and began advocating for remote work to continue. A lot of companies were slow to react to new demands from their employees, and the workforce responded by leaving their respective companies in droves.
Now, with the very definition of work having shifted in the last two years, individuals are looking to get more out of their professional lives. Whether that means more competitive salaries, more work-life balance, feeling valued in their roles, or even personal fulfillment, fewer workers are settling for less.
Many are choosing to forge their own path by becoming solopreneurs or business owners. In 2021, by Americans, a huge jump from recent years. Maybe you are considering taking that step as you search for fulfilling work. Here are some things to process first.
Pro: You get to be your own boss
One of the biggest reasons why people become business owners is to be the ultimate decision-maker for their career. Your job does not depend on the opinion of someone in a corner office, but on your own drive to succeed. You can determine your own hours, how to balance work with your personal life, and what direction your business will take.
Con: All the responsibility is yours
On the other hand, the buck stops with you. There is no one to make decisions for you or shield you from the difficulties of owning a business. Every success and every failure falls on your shoulders, which can be a heavy burden and make anyone nervous about starting a business. You must be someone who can accept a full load of responsibility for your brand, and potentially your employees if you plan to hire others. Planning ahead will have a positive impact on the potential success of the business.
Pro: Customizing your job to fit your strengths
Fortunately for business owners, there are so many resources to help support their new ventures. Software programs like Quickbooks or Google Drive can make organizing your business easier. You can also hire contractors or freelancers to assist with parts of the business that you find confusing or frustrating. The good news is, you can tailor the position to suit what you are good at and bring in outside help for everything else.
Con: You may have to work harder than ever
While the role can be whatever you make it, the reality of owning a business is that you will have to work very hard, especially in the beginning. Startup costs can run high, and depending on the barriers to entry for your niche, you may have to take online courses. If you are hoping to enter a trade, you may be required to obtain a license before starting your business. Additionally, getting the word out about your business and finding customers could require the use of every connection you have ever made. Be prepared to spend long hours on your new venture and find ways to handle the stress or lighten the load with the help of others.
Pro: Achieving work-life balance
Work-life balance is a huge buzzword nowadays with the rise of remote positions and entrepreneurship. It is also a determining factor for many job-seekers who left previous positions due to feeling overworked. Since starting your own business allows you to customize the role to suit your needs, it can help improve the balance between your professional and personal life. Plus, running your own business means that you can blend family and friends into the structure of the company as you see fit, turning it into a family-owned business.
Con: Dealing with taxes and insurance
One of the scariest aspects of becoming a solopreneur is certainly dealing with taxes and health insurance. Things are complicated enough when the government comes for your W-2s and other forms during tax season, but managing all of your own taxes and those of a business can be a whole other beast. Also, with no employer-provided health plan, you have to find one in the marketplace. You will either have to dedicate time to learn the logistical duties of your business or you will need to invest in outside help from a vendor.
Is it all worth the risk?
This is a question that every potential business owner has to answer. Have you weighed all of the pros you can think of with all the cons? Which side seems to outweigh the other in your mind? While the concept may be intimidating, 2021 showed that many have decided to take the leap.
Will 2022 be the year for you to take that step?