Have you worked in the office drudgery long enough and want to branch out on your own? Consulting is becoming a more popular option, especially since the internet has made long-distance communication and working from home so much easier. Here are a few advantages and disadvantages or starting a consulting business to help you make your decision.
- You are your own boss. Even if you have the greatest boss in the world, you’ve probably had issues with them at one point or another. It’s inevitable that everyone will disagree eventually. If you start your own business, you get to be your own boss and make your own rules.
- No office politics. In addition to not having a boss, you also don’t have co-workers. While this means you have to do a wider variety of work, you also don’t have to rely on other people or deal with their problems.
- Higher pay. While you may have to settle for low prices to bring business in when you first get started, once your name is out there and you have an established customer base, you can set your own prices and generally make more money than you would working for someone else.
- Working with what you know. The beauty of being a consultant is that the term is so ambiguous. A consultant is simply someone who gives advice. This means that you give advice on what you decide. You get to teach people about what you already know.
- Pick your own work. If your boss gives you a project you don’t want to do or disagree with morally or for some other reason, you have to suck it up and do it. When you run your own consulting business, you get to decide which jobs you want to work on.
- Unsteady income. Most jobs provide a pretty steady income, but when you run your own business, you have no guarantees. Even if you have steady clients, there’s always a chance they’re going to have to cut their budget permanently or temporarily.
- You’re responsible for your own benefits. Most employers provide benefits like health insurance and reduced rates on other insurance. They also pay a chunk of money into social security and take taxes out directly from your paycheck. If you own your own business, you are responsible for taking care of these expenses on your own.
- You have to do the unfun part of business as well. If you run your own business, you are responsible for keeping the books, running your schedule, answering phones and emails, and a whole slew of undesirable tasks. You can always hire someone else to do that, but you’ll have to be making enough money to support their salary.
- No work, no pay. It’s simple. There’s no sick leave, no vacation time, no personal time. If you want to take a break, you’re not going to get paid so you have to have enough extra income to compensate.
- You must be self-motivated. Not having a boss breathing down your neck may leave you less stress, but often it means you’ll get less work done. Plus, if you’re working from home, you’ll find there’s a lot more distractions there than at an office. To be successful, you have to learn how to keep yourself on task.