Advantages & Disadvantages of Being Your Own Boss

by Beverley Lee; Updated September 26, 2017
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Starting a business is an exciting, challenging and risky prospect. There are many businesses that start up and fail, while many are a success. Determination, self-motivation and staying focused are critical elements of success, but the economy can change, causing a business to fail, so there are advantages and disadvantages.

Flexibility

When you are working for yourself, you set your own schedule. You can come and go as you please and generally work whatever hours suit your business. However, planning your visits to potential customers or suppliers and prioritizing are important in managing your time, so self-motivation is vital for staying focused. While your schedule is flexible, you will probably find that you work longer hours than you did in your paid job.

Control

With your own business, you are completely in control of decision making and planning. You have no one to answer to but yourself. This can be a double-edged sword as sometimes it is helpful to have someone to bounce your ideas off. Supportive family and friends can be a boon when you need someone to talk to about how the business is going and to share your ideas.

Finances

Financial worries are a major part of running your own business. Having enough money at the end of the month to pay your household bills plus all your business bills can be a strain, and is a big disadvantage of starting your own business. It is important to have enough capital to see you through the first few months until you get established (see Resources).

Multiple Skills

If you are going to be your own boss with no staff, you have to be able to do everything -- you have to be the receptionist, sales executive, accountant, buyer and secretary. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses, and you will work to your strengths to create the business. However, if your weakness is administration or communication, you may encounter problems such as incorrect accounting, not negotiating good deals with your suppliers, or communicating inappropriately with people because you are stressed.

About the Author

Beverley Lee started freelance writing in 2005 while teaching journalism. Her work has been published in the "Leicester Mercury," the "Peterborough Evening Telegraph" and "Inside Time." She holds a diploma in journalism from the London School of Journalism and a teaching degree. She also has her own company for recruitment assistance.

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