Whether you’re starting your journey in the working world, looking to gain some additional skills or retraining as part of a career change, becoming a fully qualified professional in your chosen field can be an exciting endeavour.

For many, this can also present the opportunity to truly branch out on your own as a solo act. Running your own business can be a natural progression, particularly when it comes to those who have successfully completed electrical courses and plumbing courses.

That being said, having your own business is no small feat and can pose its own set of challenges. Nevertheless, working for yourself obviously has its fair share of perks too – but is the fruit worth the labour?

Let’s find out as we weigh up the pros and cons of having your own business.

 

pros and cons of having your own business,running your own business

 

Disadvantages of Running Your Own Business

While the benefits of running your own business can be huge, for every pro there is an opposing con to level the playing field. After all, if it were that easy, everyone would do it – so to think it’s all plain sailing would be naïve.

Before we get into the upside of running your own business, let’s take a look at the downside.

 

Start-Up Costs

Creating your own business from scratch naturally requires a lot of investment, particularly in the early stages when you’re getting your company off the ground. From equipment to registration fees, the overall sum can amount to a hefty chunk of change.

As such, starting a business can become a bit of a “chicken and egg” scenario. You need funds to make it happen and you can’t get funds without work, which often makes business loans (and the interest attached) a necessary evil.

In addition to financial demands, it also applies to time demands. Which leads us nicely to…

 

Longer Hours

On the other side of the coin, running your own business can also translate into long working hours, weekend projects and unsociable shifts. If a job needs to be completed and runs over, it’s on your head.

While it does present the opportunity to work when you want to, if you want to make your business a success, there will be periods when you have to put the work in.

 

Uncertainty

When you work for yourself, there is a definite element of uncertainty when it comes to income and workload, particularly in the early days while you are still yet to become an established name.

This can make it hard to plan financially as well as socially. Meanwhile, the market can change depending on the financial climate of the country, while undercutting and volume of local competition from rival firms can also influence your income.

 

Distractions

Running your own business can be great when it comes to freedom; however, it also can be a bit of a curse when it comes to outside demands. Distraction can come in many forms, particularly if you work from home.

What’s more, when you have no-one to answer to, friends and family can take that as an open invitation to lead you astray. As such, keeping your mind on the task at hand can be a lesson in discipline and self-control.

 

 

Advantages of Running Your Own Business

Now that the negatives have been covered, let’s take a walk on the positive side.

While there are reservations to be had when it comes to working for yourself, there are a long list of benefits that could potentially outweigh the negatives substantially – particularly if you have the drive and determination to succeed.

 

Be Your Own Boss

When you run your own business, you effectively answer to no-one…except the customer, course. Nobody can tell you what to do, no-one will grill you for missing your alarm and, perhaps best of all, nobody can fire or replace you.

Being your own boss also means you are in charge of your own destiny. All the important decision-making is left up to you and your fate really does lie in the palm of your own hands.

 

Creativity

Part of the appeal of running your own business is the unrivalled sense of creative autonomy that comes with it. The freedom to take your business in your own direction provides a sense of creativity that is rarely duplicated in an employed environment.

From the business name to company logo, your input is a vital part of the process and your ideas shape the outcome. Right down to the pricing of your services, you can set the bar at a level that you desire.

 

Sink or Swim

Running a business will expand your skills beyond the task itself and see you learn more about a variety of aspects: from marketing tactics to accounting. You will naturally learn what works and what doesn’t – which in itself can be a growing experience of maturation.

The personal satisfaction of growing your business yourself can create a proud achievement.

 

Flexibility

Perhaps the biggest bonus of running your own business is the genuine flexibility that comes with it. If you don’t want to work Mondays, don’t take that Monday morning booking; if you want to take the week off to take the kids away for half term, nobody can tell you otherwise.

When you steer the ship, you get out what you put in and – provided the demand is there – you can work as much or as little as you can afford to. Your workload rests almost entirely on your own work ethic.

 

Financial Windfall

Why should someone else reap the rewards of your hard work? When you work for yourself, the income generated goes directly into your proverbial pocket.

While you may have to pay out for X or Y along the way, the cash you’ve earned is yours to do with as you please, without someone else taking the lion’s share of the pie beforehand.

What’s more, you may also benefit from business expenses and tax exemptions, such as travel costs, office setup, etc.

 

So, there you have it, a balanced, Ying-Yang overview of self-employment. For more information on starting your own business or details on our wide variety of skills courses available to help start you on your journey, call now on 0800 345 7492 or get in touch using the button below.

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Did you catch the Apprentice final on Sunday? If so, you'll already know that the winning candidate was Joseph Valente from Peterborough; he saw off fierce competition from runner-up Vana Koutsomitis to become the programme's eleventh winner, and the fifth to receive a £250,000 investment from Lord Sugar.

So what was Joseph's big idea? A plumbing business! Impra-Gas offer a range of plumbing and gas services to customers across the UK, and the company will no doubt benefit massively from the £250k cash injection (not to mention all the publicity!)

While both finalists would have made worthy winners, we must admit that it was somewhat heartening to see a gas/plumbing company triumph over Vana's more futuristic business proposal (an app called DatePlay that combines online dating with mobile gaming to find your perfect match). More impressive still is the story of Joseph Valente's success - here's how he told it in an interview with BBC News yesterday:

"I was expelled from school when I was around 15 and it looked pretty grim at the time. But I always knew I was going to be very, very successful...I created an opportunity in plumbing and I went to work with a local plumber for a year. He put me through college when I was 16...I owe a lot to the plumbing industry."

We at Access Training have helped countless people to earn their gas/plumbing qualifications and join the industry. Many of our students are people who have been working in offices for years and need a change of scenery, but we also help young people who find themselves in the same situation as Mr Valente: young people who have left school and aren't sure what to do next. University isn't the only option - in fact, it often isn't an option at all - and our courses allow those seeking an alternative route to learn a new trade from scratch and turn it into a lucrative career.

Joseph Valente's plumbing business was reportedly turning over £370,000 per year even before he appeared on The Apprentice. Figures like that aren't uncommon in the plumbing industry; this country is still pretty short on qualified tradespeople, and this skills gap often allows our students to make far more as plumbers and gas engineers than they ever would have made working at desks. If the Apprentice final has inspired you to learn a trade and start your own business, then please get in touch with Access Training today!

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While we try to give you as much practical and theoretical knowledge as we can on your plumbing training course, there are some things that plumbing courses can't teach. You could have all the skills you need for a successful business, but something as little as missing a few phonecalls can cost you.

In fact, research from new business-orientated phone service everreach has estimated that plumbers are potentially losing around £500's worth of business a week due to missed phone calls. The survey, entitled "Running Your Small Business Better", looked at all the issues missed calls could cause - from loss of revenue to more personal elements such as what extent out of hours work calls might impact on time with the family.

Looking at cost, the survey found that more often than not tradespeople didn't have a dedicated landline business number. With the trade being one that gets you out and about a lot, 87% of respondents use a mobile as their main business number. The survery itself wasn't specifically aimed at plumbers, however they were top when it comes to receiving the hightest number of calls for new work. It also revealed that with plumbers losing around £500 worth of business every week, the yearly total of lost income is a shocking £26,000.

Moving onto how calls affect working time, over a quarter of tradesmen surveyed said they can't switch their phones off at home as they frequently have to take work calls. 60% said either their partner/children have accidentally answered their work calls in the past, while 21% admitted to accidentally deleting a voicemail themselves before listening to it or taking the number down. A final element looked into was the risks some trademen will take when answering calls, with four out of five admitting that they would be tempted to answer the phone while in an "unsafe situation". Examples of this included while working up a ladder or lifting heavy objects.

"Missed calls mean missed revenue opportunities," said Nick Mullen, chief executive officer of everreach. "The figures equate to hundreds of thousands of pounds in potentially lost revenue just in relation to the plumbers covered by our survey." So once you've finished your plumbing training and are about to start your new life as a self-employed plumber, remember to keep those words in mind. While no tradesperson should be expected to be readily available for phonecalls are every waking hour, working out the best compromise to ensure the minimal amount of business lost is essential to making the most of your new career.

Via HVP Mag