Starting Your Own Business v. Finding a New Job | Articles & Tips | | Rochester




 Articles and Advice

 Starting Your Own Business v. Finding a New Job

By Joe Stein

For some, entering the job market is not just a matter of evaluating different employers and deciding what job to accept. You may be in a position from some combination of your skill set, personal financial situation, and personality to consider opening your own business and becoming self-employed.
It may seem like the perfect situation, a person can quit and become his or her own boss. It is especially sweet if it is a scenario where you do not think you have been treated well by your supervisor, or the company. Now you (in theory) do not have to report to a person who you don’t respect.
Deciding to start your own business, however, is a serious decision that requires a lot of thought and planning. If your termination from your last job was unexpected, then you have to decide whether or not you have enough time to properly make an evaluation regarding whether starting your own business is right for you.
There are so many variables to consider when making a decision to go forward with self-employment. Let’s list just a few items that you should consider when deciding between starting your own business and a new job search.
• Do You Have a Viable Business Idea? Do you have a skill set or idea that will allow you to uniquely position your business in the marketplace? For example, if you are an expert in IT Systems Security, you probably can slide right into a consultant business with little trouble. If your thought is to own a pizzeria and there are already 20 of them within 5 miles of your home, then you may want to reconsider.
• Are You In Good Financial Position? The cost of owning a business varies widely in cost, depending on what you want to own. It is expensive to even start up a one-person company when you consider the potential costs. These include the loss income as you are building up a client base, cost of benefits (unless you can jump on your spouses insurance), and any related expenses for retail space, tools, etc. that you may need to absorb. The flip side would be to really go into the deep end and get a small business loan/funding which can help you get started, but puts you immediately in the hole.
• Can You Risk What You Have? If you do have funding, then whether you can absorb the risk is a question that you need to ask yourself. If this money is for your retirement (or your children’s college fund), are you prepared for it not to be there if your business idea is not successful? With a regular job, you can continue to contribute towards your 401k (or even better, if the company has a pension you will be eligible for) as you move towards retirement.
• Do You Have the Right Mindset? It may seem utopian to have your own business and not report to anybody. In reality, you now report to all of your clients and the bank (if you borrowed money). The difference is now you don’t have a boss to keep you on track and to motivate you. This is all on your shoulders now! Are you self-motivated? Are you someone who can self-manage? If the answer is “No” (and this takes some true self-introspection), then owning your business is not right for you.
• Is the Timing Right for the Work Hours? Self-employment is often portrayed by others as being able to work the hours that you want to work and when you want to. The reality is that to get your own business off the ground usually requires significant hours, including nights and weekends. Are you in a position with your family and your own interests to make this commitment? With a regular job, you generally have an idea of when you are going to work and if you are currently non-exempt, then you are paid more for extending your workweek beyond 40 hours.
Starting your own business may seem like the perfect solution to your current employment situation, especially if your last position with an employer did not go well. Being “your own boss” can supply you with a tremendous sense of satisfaction and wealth if you are very successful. Owning your own business, however, (even if you start with just yourself) is a huge undertaking and a person should make sure that they are in a good position to be successful. If the timing is not right, you can always find traditional employment (and we are here to help at and work on your self-employment dream in order to be better prepared for the next opportunity.
As always, best of luck in your job search.