Self-employed, have your own business, freelancing, working from home – these are some of the terms we use when describing people who don’t necessarily work for someone else i.e. are not employees of another company. It sounds good to ‘be your own boss’. Depending of what vertical you are part of, some of the obvious benefits are that you can possibly work from home, chose your own hours (flexible) and if you are lucky – pick who you work with.
But (there is always a ‘but’), when can you declare your self-managed commercial activity a business?
In my opinion, whatever you are doing for yourself is truly only business when you can positively answer all of these questions:
- Once my order book is full, can I keep accepting more customers?
- Is my business taken care of and I’m still making money while I’m on an overseas vacation?
- Can I sell my business?
If you positively answered all of these questions, it probably means that you have employees and/or you are in some other way outsourcing some or all of your service delivery.
If the answer to some of these questions is ‘no’, it would be fair to say that you got yourself a flexible and if you are lucky a well paid job, but it probably can’t be thought off as ‘a business’ as much as you would like to think so. If you are ready to take your commercial venture into something beyond just a job and into a business, you would need to focus on turning the answers to the above questions into yes-es.
Some of the ideas to turning your freelancing gig into a business would be to either get a business partner, employ people directly or outsource the tasks.
Having mentioned all this, it is possible to make no changes and be happy especially if your intention and goal is to have a part time or full time ‘work from home’ business. This will certainly allow most people to have flexible arrangements and spend more time with their family.
Have you had an experience with running your own gig and / or working from home, what’s your experience?