If you have read my Mama You Can series you will see that I have interviewed and spoken to nearly 30 women, who after starting families decided to leave their 9-5 roles and start a business themselves. They became self-employed, small business owners.
It’s not new news. If you Google ‘rise in mummy businesses’ you’ll find newspaper articles from 2013 with stories of Mum’s who start businesses on maternity leave and carry them on after they have another / their children go to school. In the Mama You Can Series we have had a range of businesses featured from women who make products for babies and children, Julie Clabby who set up the franchise Busy Lizzy Mum, photographers, coaching businesses and social media managers.
Should you become self-employed?
As with everything in life, there are pros and cons to becoming self-employed, I can only go off what I have found and what I have heard from others so these are my list of pros and cons to becoming self-employed… Starting with the cons, as I believe the pro’s outweigh them…
- Hard work – Being self-employed is hard work. There are long hours, overdue invoices that need chasing and hours spent trying to drive new business. Amy Blackwood Photography says ‘Don’t rush into it and do expect to have to work at it – but make a plan and imagine the future. If it’s a future that looks good to you, make the plan happen!’
- Cash flow – Cash flow can be a real problem for small businesses, I have certainly found it, especially in January. Merchant Cash Advance is a solution for businesses which experience seasonality or ebbs and flows in income.
- Lonlieness – If you’re used to working in an office environment the change from that to being self-employed can be a real shock! Network with businesses in your local area and/or find shared workplaces so you can at least see another face on days where you really need to get out.
- Your ‘me time’ will be less – one of the things I really struggle with is finding time for me now I am self-employed. I spend all day looking after the children, then work in the evenings so I often struggle to find time for me. I try to ensure I have a little time to myself on weekends to compensate.
- Flexibility – for parents this has probably got to be the biggest pro to becoming self-employed. You can drop and pick the kids up from school or daycare and get your work done within those hours. You are your own boss so you can dictate when you need to work. If you need to be at sports day, you can sway it so you’re there.
- Doing something you’re passionate about – Lisa from what2buy4kids said in her interview ‘Do something you enjoy and are passionate about – then it really won’t ever seem like you are actually working!!! This for many is the driver of their business and if it’s something you really enjoy working all hours won’t seem quite as bad!
- An opportunity to try something new – Being on maternity leave, for example and coming up with an idea can be the opportunity you’ve always wanted to try something new. Julie Clabby says ‘If you have the opportunity to do something different and for yourself, do it! I speak to hundreds of women every month who have enjoyed their career but find themselves at a natural turning point whilst on maternity leave. Use this opportunity to do something new and release your dream. Buying a franchise is a great opportunity to step into self-employment but with the full support of your franchisor. I’d recommend the British Franchise Association website for a list of good franchise businesses. There are lots of fabulous businesses to choose from!’
- A new network – You’ll find a new network of like-minded people and businesses who are willing to help, but only if you ask. Property potential Surrey said ‘Don’t feel embarrassed to ask others with experience in what you are thinking of setting up for help and advice. We were encouraged and given really great advice by people we didn’t know that well. Everyone we asked to meet for an informal chat over coffee said yes and we learnt so much from these meetings.’
Are you self-employed? What pro’s and con’s would you add to my list?
*This is a sponsored post, but all thoughts and opinions are my own*