Strange as it may seem, the current recession has been a boom time for businesses of the smaller variety. In fact, most recessions, depressions and downturns, have one factor in common in that they see a huge rise in the numbers of people operating their own businesses and becoming self-employed. Although at first glance this may seem odd, the reality is that with jobs scarce, many people find that they have little choice but to employ themselves.
Previous depressions have led to the founding of one or two companies that you may have heard of – Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard and Marriot Hotels, to name but three. These firms also didn’t start with vast resources and at least one began life in somebody’s garage. So if you’re tired of queuing in the job centre or tired of sitting in the same office day after day, with little chance of upwardly mobile movement and a great risk of the downwardly type, where do you start?
How to get started
Thanks to technology it is easier than in the past to find ways to run your own firm. At one time “businessman” meant just that; but the Internet and associated technology has transformed businessmen into business-moms, business-teens and business-grannies. People from all walks of life are now doing it for themselves and many with considerable success.
Before sacking your boss it’s important to consider different ways into running your own enterprise. In many of the smallest business models you’ll need very little in the way of up front funding and you can start part time, building to full and finally demanding a P45 from your current employer.
Part time start up is often the best way to begin if you do have a job at the moment, but would like to take the chance of improving your life and getting control of the future firmly into your own hands. If you are unemployed it can be harder, but the job centre will be willing to do pretty much anything to get you off their statistics, including offering help and advice on where to find funding and loans to get you off the ground.
What Business to Run?
Your business is your business, but you should consider all of your talents, skills, knowledge and experience in every area of life. There are a range of sites that look for remote freelance workers to provide everything from secretarial support to graphic design services.
Whatever your skills, they’re probably in demand more than you realise and many firms are keen to employ remote workers simply to cut down on overheads. Thanks to technology it’s no longer necessary for support staff to be located in one geographic location and this has provided opportunities for more and more people to sell their services effectively.
Essential Kit for Business
Depending on the profession that you choose, or the business you intend to run, the chances are that technology – computer, laptop, and mobile phone will all be fairly key requirements for your business. They will certainly form the basic administrative tools that you’ll need to run your accounts department, your HR department, your marketing and sales efforts and your web site.
Being self-employed means being the proverbial jack of all trades, and you should consider buying, hiring or otherwise acquiring, the best tech you can afford. Loans, grants and even payday loans sourced online can be used to fund this equipment in advance of leaving the day job and setting up on your own. In many cases the computing power you have to hand will be the foundation of your business and it pays dividends to invest in this kit from the outset.
What should I expect?
You should expect long hours, hard work and very little free time at first – if you are setting up part time this is as much the case as if you go fulltime from the outset. Working for yourself is not for the faint-hearted, especially in the early days, when the absence of regular pay, the amount of time you’ll need to invest and the obstacles you’ll encounter on the way will be daunting.
However, the difference between employment and self-employment is ultimately a significant one. You call the shots, you keep the profits and you’ll find that in terms of freedom you have far more than you could ever have hoped for in the world of wage-slavery. While a recession may seem like the worst time to set up your own business, history has in many cases proved that it can also be the best.