The Pros & Cons Of Being A Small Business*

May marks my one year anniversary for self employment and as part of my series to mark this milestone, today's post is going to be all about some of the pros and cons of starting a small business. These will all be my point of view so of course what I find challenging may not be so much of an issue to others and visa versa. This post is also a collaboration with Boost Capital, the champions of small business loans here in the UK. So let's start off with the cons so we can finish with the positives...I like that!

The Cons
The number one con for me would definitely be the funding, especially since I quit my full time job last year to solely rely on my self employment income. When I had a regular wage I found it much easier to fund my projects and always had plenty of money to experiment with new products for my shop. These days I find myself not having as much freedom with buying in new merchandise and I really sit and think about what I'd like to bring in that's new, the designs, how popular they might be compared to other products and is it something I can expand on. Boost Capital actually have a new Merchant Cash Advance to help fund your business which is a great option especially to get yourself kickstarted.

Another con would be sickness and any other responsibilities which may force you to need to take time off. This of course is also a huge positive, being able to manage your own time, but when I feel too ill to work or for example when my sister was in hospital a couple of weeks back, no one else was here to pick up the work for me. I had to catch up in my own time which meant longer hours for a little while until I had caught up. Self employment is far from easy, like a lot of people seem to believe. Often people who ask me about it focus in on the 'being your own boss' factor and it's so much more than that. With being your own boss comes a lot of responsibility, discipline and the determination to make all of this work. No one else is going to do that for you.

If you work all by yourself, you may also find it lonely or isolating. A lot of people I know online who are also self employed often take themselves to coffee shops to work so that they're out of the house. You're also the only person managing every single thing, like admin and paperwork, promoting and organising, staying on top of an online shop or blog. It all adds up and can sometimes seem a little overwhelming so I always try to stay as organised as possible so that it doesn't all pile up and stress me out. If I have a holiday or a few days off planned, I will tie up any loose ends and shut my office door when I'm finished so that I'm physically and mentally able to step away from the work zone and take some time out.

The Pros
Ah the pros. I just didn't enjoy working for someone else, ever. In the back of my mind I always saw myself trying to build my own empire rather than spend my life maintaining and growing someone else's. It's safe to say I haven't looked back, nor have I thought 'eugh I hate this job, it's about time I looked for something else' which was a regular sentence that used to form in my head multiple times daily where I used to work. The happiness that self employment brings me and also the improvements I have seen in my mental health have proven to me that this is what I am supposed to be doing with my life.

I learnt admin skills and prioritising at my old job, but working for myself has meant that I'm able to develop these further and find a way of working that really suits me. This is also something I try my hardest to never take for granted; each morning I start with mindfulness, appreciating the day and how lucky I am to do what I love and also work from home. As an anxiety sufferer, being able to have a career that doesn't always leave my stomach in knots or my head a clouded, terrified mess has changed my life in such a positive way. I have more confidence in myself and the more I do this the more faith and determination I seem to have for every other aspect of my life.

I also love to plan projects and have deep chats with my husband about our long term plans for our little business and what our goals are for the year. These days James has a lot more input and we make a lot of the business decisions together. I also can't express how great it feels to be able to manage my own time and not have to worry too much about booking holidays, birthdays or other dates off. It used to be a right faff at my old job, as our team was so big and if you left it too late the holidays you could have weren't your chosen dates, more like random slots here and there.

Overall, for me the pros outweigh the cons by far and this is one of the best life choices I have ever made and I'm very lucky to have been able to do so. Do you run your own business or if not, is it your dream to become self employed one day? Let me know! If you enjoyed learning a little more about being a small business, I'm posting lots more throughout May and sharing my experiences so far.

Thanks for reading!

*This post is sponsored content

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