Last month, we looked at the four key things you need to consider – your goals, idea, pathway and mindset – before starting your own business.
If you feel you are now ready to take the first step on your business journey, then there is still one more thing to think about…
Is starting your own company the right move, or is there another way to achieve of your goals? Is there a halfway house to continue with some of the benefits of having an employer, while also going it alone?
Here Work Avenue’s Sara Gatoff guides you through four different possible alternative paths you can take.
Option 1: The Side Hustle
If you don’t want to quit your job completely, then there are ways to work around it. A side hustle is a flexible project that you work at “to the side” of your primary job.
It’s a way to bring in extra cash, flex creative muscles and gain professional experience in a different field. It’s also your chance to start the new business in your spare time, without putting your current employment at stake.
One idea is to try and negotiate your hours down with your current employer – for example going from five to four days a week – to enable you to begin your business on the side.
Option 2: Freelancing
A freelancer is an independent contractor who earns wages on a per-job or per-task basis, typically for short-term work.
The advantages are the freedom to work when and where you want to, with a better work-life balance and less risk than going it totally alone.
The disadvantages are you don’t enjoy employment benefits – such as pension, health care and holiday pay – and your income stream can be inconsistent, as it will be client and industry dependent.
Option 3: Consulting
A consultant is a person who provides professional or expert advice in a particular field, to either an organisation or individual.
If you have expert knowledge, then clients will pay handsomely for your advice and know-how.
As well as most likely enjoying a higher daily rate of a pay than a regular member of staff, you will also get the opportunity to meet and work with lots of different people and on a variety of different and interesting tasks.
The disadvantages are that, again, it can be an inconsistent income stream without employment benefits and, often, consultants may be given the ‘dirty work’ that no one else wants to do.
Option 4: Seasonal work (on commission)
Commission pay is a financial incentive given to employees based on high performance or achievements. It is almost always used in sales – which can include insurance, fundraising, estate agent and recruitment roles.
It enables employees to earn more money, on top of their basic salary, and it can be seasonal – so is therefore more flexible.
This option, however, is only suited to people who are comfortable with selling. You are also often ‘working against’ your colleagues, making for an aggressive environment.