Being self-employed is associated with a sense of independence, where you are your own boss, managing your workflow as you deem fit and making all the critical decisions as you believe necessary. Whilst this is true to a certain extent, being self-employed is definitely not all sunshine and has its own struggles.
When you are working self-employed, the proceeds of your business activity are all directed to you, to allocate accordingly. Whilst this is indeed a benefit since you are not working for a bigger boss, there are a lot of issues you need to cater for than when you are employed full time with an organisation.
Can you detach from your workplace?
One of the downsides is the extended difficulty to detach from the workplace. When you work on a self-employed basis you need to constantly chase business, maintaining constant communication with your existing clients, in certain cases even on weekends and public holidays. This will have you hooked to your emails and phone 24/7. Obviously, the highly demanding expectations of clients is not helpful.
No sick leave to the self employed.
One of the other downsides of being self-employed is that you do not have sick pay. If you are ill and require two days out of the office, you will not be financially compensated.
How much will you charge?
Since you are in control, you will need to decide the best financial package which accommodates and is of mutual benefit for both yourself and the client. Deciding the amount of money, and whether to opt for a retainer or a cost per task payment structure is of paramount importance to ensure an agreement which benefits both parties.
Workflow: How to manage it and keep the costs low.
Another struggle is to manage the workflow. There would be some instances where you have less work and that means you will need to chase new business, whilst there will be certain occasions where you will be overwhelmed with work.
Do you know everything about tax?
You will also need to factor in tax and VAT returns. When you are self-employed you will need to think of these returns independently, unlike when you are employed on a full time basis. This will most likely require the liaison and assistance of a professional accountant who can guide you accordingly.
There is also the struggle of having to continuously chase your clients to get paid. This consumes a lot of time as you will need an organised framework on how to conduct your follow-ups.
Working self-employed will require the discipline of saying no sometimes. Either because the work is not financially rewarding or else the client’s demands cannot be met. In such scenarios it would be best to avoid altogether.