How to Deal with the Challenges of Working on Your Own
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Self employment can be considered to be a universal dream. Most people aspire and hope for the day they will be able to "fire their jobs" and ask their boss to "shove it". However, most people who eventually attain this dream find that things are not as rosy as they initially had hoped. Even though the gains of self employment potentially outweigh the risks, there are serious entrepreneurial challenges that every entrepreneur will have to grapple with.
One of the most immediate challenges a new entrepreneur encounters is social isolation. There are no more co workers to chat away with during coffee breaks and catch up on the latest gossip. You no longer get to attend office cocktails and no one to share professional ideas with. Isolation can affect one psychologically especially entrepreneurs who work from home.
Solution: Schedule some time every few days to go out and socialize. Joining a club or society can do you much good.
Bookkeeping & Accounting
Entrepreneurship demands basic knowledge in accounting and bookkeeping. This is because you will have to balance the books, come up with budgets and other operating plans. This demands some accounting acumen. If this has never been your strength, then you might find yourself suffering from one massive headache.
Solution: There are numerous easy to read books on bookkeeping. Simply visit Amazon.com or your local bookstore and look for an accounting book written with lay people in mind (read - dummies). You should be able to do some simple bookkeeping tasks in no time. Later, you can hire a virtual assistant to do it for you.
Dealing With Complaints and Legal Issues
New entrepreneurs occasionally find themselves in a legal muddle. This usually happens due to inadequate research and planning.
Solution: Research and find out everything you need to know about your business before you dive in. Make sure you acquire all licenses required and conform to all legal regulations.
Lack of Benefits
One of perks of regular employment is benefits such health, dental and retirement plans. As a self employed person, you no longer have access to such benefits.
Solution:Talk to your insurance agent and ask them to identify an insurance plan that provides the best value for your money. Initially, you would have to apply for basic inpatient medical insurance and upgrade later. Invest in a personal savings plan for your retirement.
Most new businesses suffer from unpredictable finances. This is due to the fact that they have to contend with going up against more established players in the market.
Solution: Conserve your cash flow as much as possible. When you have a good month, its okay to pop the champagne and celebrate but save some funds for dry months. Pay your suppliers as late as you can possibly get away with and collect your accounts receivable early or sell on cash basis.
Interruption from Friends and Family
It's unfortunate but you will find that family members interrupt you constantly especially if you work from home. Friends will also think it is okay for them to drop in at any time.
Solution: You need to make it clear to family and friends that when you are working they should keep away. Don't compromise on this.
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