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5 Things to Consider When You're Self-Employed

<p><em>So, you&rsquo;ve decided to leave your current job to become self-employed. Before you make the final leap into this career change, there are a few things that would be beneficial to spend some time thinking about. From becoming a one-person band to rustling up new work, self-employment can be a minefield to navigate at first.</em></p> <p></p> <p>Don&rsquo;t be afraid to make this change, some people thrive under the right conditions of self-employment. However, consider the following when switching from a multi-person business to working on your own. A little thought and preparation will make the journey a bit smoother in the long run.</p> <h3><strong>You Are In Charge of the Whole Cruise</strong></h3> <p>The freedom to be your own boss can be thrilling for the first few months. However, when the shine starts to wear off, you may have to start shouldering things you may not necessarily like to do. You may have to keep up with tasks like networking, billing statements, designing your website, or creating social media posts. Everyone has their comfort zone, but when you&rsquo;re running your own business, everything is done by yourself. That&rsquo;s not to say you can&rsquo;t call in assistance, but the majority of work will be your responsibility as the boss.</p> <p>When you&rsquo;re self-employed, there will be moments where you&rsquo;ll have to face challenges that you don&rsquo;t necessarily want to handle. It&rsquo;s a big part of owning your own career journey. To face these instances head-on, consider designating one day a week to tackle the tasks that may take up a lot of stress in your mind. Maybe you connect with other self-employed individuals to gain advice, and help each other through the &ldquo;not so great&rdquo; aspects of management. . If you have the budget, you can hire a freelancer or firm to help you with different tasks. But remember, ignoring a problem won&rsquo;t make it go away, and it can damage your business if you don&rsquo;t make it a priority.&nbsp;</p> <h3><strong>Get Ready To Learn Money Management</strong></h3> <p>Self-employment duties include financial education and decision-making. It&rsquo;s smart to know not only the financial basics but the parts of budgeting that can greatly impact your business. Between taxes, retirement, and insurance, your business will have a lot of ways to split your payments. Starting off with <a href="https://www.momenteo.com/blog/the-importance-of-an-emergency-fund" target="_blank">an emergency fund</a> is a great way to create a financial backbone in case of sudden emergencies. Have at least six to 12 months of living expenses in this fund to cover dry periods. These savings can help you not only cover expenses but prevent dipping into other funds such as saving for retirement or college funds.</p> <p>After building up a financial safety net with your emergency fund, make sure you and your business are protected through insurance. If you&rsquo;re married, consider becoming covered by your partner&rsquo;s insurance plan. But if that isn&rsquo;t an option for you, start looking into the insurance your healthcare providers accept and find coverage plans that work with your budget. And remember disability coverage too, it&rsquo;s often overlooked but not something to skimp on.</p> <p>It&rsquo;s important to pay yourself first, including your future self. When retirement comes sneaking around the corner, you&rsquo;ll want to be prepared. Depending on where you live, countries might help self-employed individuals with retirement. You can also work with a firm on a retirement plan. Alternatively, you can set aside money every business quarter to make sure you&rsquo;re covered when you&#39;re ready to stop working.</p> <p>For taxes, it isn&rsquo;t wise to wait until payment time to figure out <a href="https://turbotax.intuit.com/tax-tips/self-employment-taxes/beginners-tax-guide-for-the-self-employed/L2HLojrj5" target="_blank">how much you owe for your business</a>. Depending on where you live, you may have to pay multiple tax bills or just one. To prevent a surprise bill, save 20 to 25 percent of each job completed for tax payment. That way when tax season rolls around, you have your payment ready.</p> <h3><strong>Organization Is Your New Best Friend</strong></h3> <p>You can&rsquo;t accomplish much if you don&rsquo;t remember when a project is due or where you saved that client file. It&rsquo;s also detrimental to you if you never get to meetings on time or forget them completely. If you want your business to do well, it&rsquo;s important to stay on top of things and get your ducks in a row.</p> <p>There are lots of print and digital versions of calendars that you can use to track meetings, daily to-dos, and project due dates. Conveniently, many desktops have different ways of organizing digital files either based on client or due date. In addition, carve out time at the top of the week to map out what&rsquo;s going on in your business, both work-wise and from a management standpoint. It&rsquo;s vital to <a href="https://www.calendar.com/blog/how-to-take-your-work-day-from-chaos-to-organized/">plan out your workday</a> to accomplish tasks effectively and promptly. Staying on top of things will be reflected in your overall business success.</p> <h3><strong>Build Up Your Resolve</strong></h3> <p>Being self-employed will toss you numerous hurdles on any given day. From dealing with difficult clients to working by yourself, this type of work will test you in a multitude of ways. You will most likely be by yourself fighting these battles every day. And while some people thrive in those conditions, you may not and you&rsquo;ll need to have tools for handling those challenges.</p> <p>Remember, your business will not be an overnight success but don&rsquo;t be discouraged. Sure there will be periods of great growth, but on the flip side, there will be times of hitting a brick wall. How you bounce back from that will mean the success or failure of your work. It&rsquo;s a good idea to have a network of people around you to help bounce ideas off of or solve a problem. They may not be there 24/7 for you, but in a hard time, you can count on them to assist you through it.</p> <h3><strong>Find Opportunities to Keep Learning</strong></h3> <p>You can never have enough feathers in your hat. The world is always changing, and what people need from one another does as well. As a self-employed person, you will have to drive yourself to keep learning. Old dogs do learn new tricks in the business world to survive.</p> <p>Whether it&rsquo;s attending seminars in person or <a href="https://emmalouisesmith.com/online-courses/" target="_blank">completing online courses</a>, you should source out opportunities to expand your skill set. That way you can start working for a wider range of clients which will lead to more success for you in the long run. It doesn&rsquo;t have to be a radical change from what you currently specialize in, but enlarging your area of expertise is beneficial for continued work.</p> <h3><strong>Closing Thoughts</strong></h3> <p>As a self-employed individual, there are a lot of things you will face by yourself. And at first, it can be daunting to face them. However, by following some of the tips mentioned above, you can set yourself up for success. As the sole person of the business, you need to think about your finances, how to stay organized, ways to continue learning new skills, and how you&rsquo;ll bounce back from problems. This type of work isn&rsquo;t for everyone, but when you plan ahead it can run much easier.</p> <p></p>

Sara Carter