A lot of people around the world are working for themselves. This much is true, even in places where there are jobs opportunities. For many decades now, self-employment rates have been on the rise. For instance, it is predicted that more than 40% of the US population would have become self-employed by 2020. Now, that percentage represents 60 million people of the entire US population. Just think about that—much like entrepreneurship—closes the wide gap between supply and demand, the increment in self-employment result in greater economic good and prosperity over time.
That said, you might be wondering what is the best way to take the decision between traditional, full-time employment and becoming your own boss? Deciding to work for yourself can be one of the greatest challenging decisions you might have to make in the course of your life as a business minded individual. In fact, you have to be completely adventurous to start working for yourself, but sometimes, you just might not be too bold to be successful at it.
So what is the essence of deciding to work for yourself? Well, let’s have a look.
Harnessing an entrepreneurial spirit
The essence of self-employment revolves around creating a much better and improved alternative for individuals driven by an entrepreneurial personality, particularly for electricians. It is something that is opportunistic, being more creative, proactive and visionary. The primary reasons is that these competencies assist business minded people to become self-motivated while being engaged, even when there is no precise work structure or any substantive routine. Skilled individuals like electricians with such lucrative profile will most likely get bored working in traditional employment and are typically reluctant to abide by processes and orders in the course of their employment.
Although, the likelihood of becoming successful massively as entrepreneurs are small, a lot of successful entrepreneurs like Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, and Steve Jobs, were in some way also employable going by traditional standards. This is so because they are not willing to follow anything or fit into other people’s businesses except their visions. If you have been an electrician or some other specialist struggling to cope with the following authority, whether addressed or not addressed deciding to work for yourself is what you need.
What are the benefits of working for yourself?
To become an independent electrician or any other skilled worker is a famous step for people with the right experience and qualification. When it comes to deciding to work for yourself, it is expedient you should also be a good networker. Take builders for an instance: a builder will often subcontract or recommend to other tradesmen known and trusted rather than doing so unseen.
So, because of the numerous benefits available in working for yourself, it is advisable that you develop a reputation in your area of expertise as an electrician before going completely self-employed. A good reputation will follow you wherever you go.
Below are some benefits associated with deciding to work for yourself.
Enjoying the Variety
If for instance, you’re working for a bigger company, the likelihood that your role would be more specialized is high, compared to if you are working for yourself. In addition to having a variety of jobs to work on, you also be the one to handle estimates and/or quotes, including advertising, marketing and dealing with administrative situations insurance or tax. You could also end up hiring staff or subcontracting. If you are experiencing a feeling of stagnation in your job, working for yourself could help you to freshen things up in a better way.
This is perhaps, the better part of it all. You would have the complete freedom to work where and when you decide. You also reserve the freedom to decide on whatever approach you prefer towards securing or bidding for any job. You can make use of whatever materials and processes that suit you best. However, you shouldn’t overstate this or undermine your new found freedom. Ask yourself: would I be able to turn down jobs that come in uncertain hours, or at a time that is an inconvenience for me to handle such jobs?
From the moment you start working for yourself, the lion’s share of what you generate becomes yours exclusively. This is exciting! Full income earning is one of the major reasons why electricians and other skilled tradesmen decide to start their own business. All things being equal, as you continue to work hard, you will discover you are earning more and more income. And you know what that means to your self- motivation! However, be careful, just because you're able to charge more for your service this doesn't mean you'll automatically be putting more in your pocket. Budgeting is important, always keep in consideration your cost of overhead. If you're just a one person show this won't be too difficult, but its best to always keep track of things like overhead cost, insurance cost, van cost, cell-phone, & even things as small as pens and notepads need to be taken into consideration. Ignoring your overhead cost could be devastating but if you do things right, and build up a list of satisfied customers they'll always come back to you with open wallets and purses.
Do you have an entrepreneurial mindset?
Deciding to work for yourself demands basic entrepreneurial skills and requisite mindset. While some people may know that starting a small business requires extensive analysis and research, most do not consider other critical elements going your own way in business. One of the most vital assessments that most people overlook is: “Do I have the requisite mindset to become an entrepreneur?” Now, what does it mean to have an entrepreneurial mindset?
Below are certain facts that will prove you have an entrepreneurial mindset or not.
• Do you have that self-starter drive? No business springs up by itself. Being the owner, you are going to be responsible for everything that takes place within or outside the business. From establishing the vision of your business to scheduling the daily work routine—you are the key and the ignition the business needs to start and thrive. If you are exploring small business ownership and asking questions, then that is a good sign that you have an entrepreneurial mindset.
• Are you a positive thinker or a doomsday seer? If all you see in the course of the business is dark clouds and doom, you have no business starting out as a self-employed electrician. From the time you become the owner of a business, it’s from that same time you start representing yourself, your business and expectations of your success. Whatever you do or say must promote confidence and complete commitment to forge ahead. Since every day is not going to be a bed of roses, you must be prepared to be your own cheerleader in times of difficulties, and that starts with the way you think and see things.
• Are you disciplined? Self-discipline is one of the keys required to run a small business—consistently proving commitment to detail and quality. You cannot afford to miss deadlines, cut corners, or make promises that exceed your capabilities. If you decide to work for yourself, then you must strive to resist distractions and temptation so you can perform your work.
• Are you always committed to learning? Entrepreneurs who dedicate themselves to seek information on a continuous basis--including seeking new ideas and sound advice, have a higher chance of success. As an electrician, you must be conversant with new trends and issues dominating the market. Such knowledge will enable you to strategize and adapt your services and products to customers’ preferences and needs. Acquiring new knowledge and patterns will also enhance your competitive edge and efficiency, giving you room to address and overcome potential problems that will likely cause harm to your business and customer base.
• Are you capable of marketing yourself and your business? No business will succeed without some form of marketing. The better part of this is that promoting yourself, for instance, as a self-employed electrician is easier than you may think, provided that you’re aware of what is to be done and how to go about it.
Marketing tip: Be a walking billboard, have some shirts made up with your company name and phone number. You seem more professional, and who knows who you might bump into.
So, how did you measure up in the face of the above elements? If you found yourself constantly saying “yes” to the above, then your small business dream could be on its way to becoming a reality. If not, its ok. Entrepreneurship isn’t for everyone. After all, employees are a crucial part to many businesses.
Between Your lifestyle and the entrepreneurship spirit
So you have been bitten by the entrepreneurial bug and provoked to start your own business. Good for you! But you have suddenly started finding out that being an entrepreneur is not something you really anticipated. Let’s say you just might be wondering if you have truly got what it takes to work for yourself.
Becoming an independent contractor entails creating a conducive lifestyle that will recognize and respect the demands of your business. One in which your primary goal is to have a steady flow of income.
The truth is, it isn’t because you didn’t anticipate correctly, nor you didn’t have the necessary drive to become successful working for yourself. But that you have failed in recognizing that there is, and ought to be, a demarcation between your personal interests from those of the business.
You must understand that to be successful as a self-employed individual, the closer the demand of the work and your personal interest, values, preferences, personality traits and strength; the more complicated the work might become for you.
Conversely, here is a way your personal interest and those of your business could align (depending on who you are) and you would start enjoying your work, which would, in turn, lead to more income.
Deciding your workload
Why have you decided to start working for yourself? Are you just looking for a way to add side income on top of your full-time job (assuming you aren’t leaving your job completely? This question is very important because this will help you in determining the level of your workload. If for instance, you are going to be keeping your full time paid job while working for yourself, you would have to make it occasional. Of course, you should only be accepting contracts/jobs that don’t run contrary to the demands of your traditional place of employment. This will also mean streamlining most of the offers you received, and leaving off some offers to focus more on the ones at hand. As a better alternative, you can delegate some of your tasks to other professional electricians as a way of lightening your workload.
That said, the best and most efficient way to determine and managed your workload rest on when you are completely out of paid employment.
How big do you want to earn?
Entrepreneurship is all about making money while working to your convenient time and place. When deciding on how big you want to get paid for your business, it is imperative that you balance your needs against what you think or feel you are worth. Yes. As an entrepreneur, you probably worked harder to get the business off the ground than you have worked at any other given time in your life. A self-employed business is one that runs 24/7/365 without a stop. Your time, sweat, tears and even blood have so much been expended on the business. So why shouldn’t you earn big? But again, you still have to be cautious about how you go about this and what approach you chose.
You may decide to pay yourself according to what you are worth, but first, make sure you separate your business from your personal finances. If you mix up your personal finances with those of your business, it will become difficult to calculate your accounts accurately.
Depending on your business structure, you can decide on what method that is best for you to receive your salary. There is no hard and fast rule to this, but just ensure that whatever you are going to earn from your business, it should be based on the degree of reasonableness.
Testing the waters
Before you start your full-time self-employment drive as an electrician, it is best to test the waters before plunging in head first. Instead of quitting your full-time job for your newly desired employed status, it is advised that you stay put and consider doing some small jobs in the meantime. This will give you enough time to take your tax bill into consideration and gauge the effect it would have on you, now that you will be the one paying your taxes directly, as against when it was being removed through PAYE (Pay As You Work) while you are still under full pay employment.
When tax forms from the IRS start crawling in, you would want to know how that would impact your life and your overall budgetary plans. This will further allow you to be more aware of the advantages and disadvantages of working for yourself.
The paperwork involved in a contractual agreement with clients
All self-employed electricians are expected to act with utmost professionalism and reasonable care when dealing with clients. When a client contract you as a self-employed electrician, you or the client can propose and furnish an Electrical Service Agreement that establishes the overall terms of the service to be rendered. This Agreement should cover areas like the scope of work, cost, the time frame and more. Such an Agreement will remove any ambiguity in the duties and obligation of both parties while setting the record straight before work commences.
Usually, the Electrical Service Agreement should be prepared by a qualified law firm to give it legal backing in the event that a dispute arises.
Have you decided to work for yourself as an independent electrician? There is a lot of positivity in towing that road, but you still need to answer a lot of questions and consider so many things before diving fully into being your own boss. With the right judgment and settings, you can prove to be right in deciding to work for yourself. We hope this gives you some ideas and inspiration to live the life you truly wish to live.