There are many reasons why you might choose to go into business for yourself – it could be the flexible hours, creativity or the independence. Along with the freedom of calling the shots and weighing the pros and cons of a home-based business, self-employment also brings unique financial responsibilities such as taxes, budgeting, regular paychecks and retirement savings needs.
Whatever goals you may have in mind, MSN can help you get a good start to stability.
Keep Work and Personal Life Separate.
Business owners intertwine business and personal finances all too often. Keeping these things separate not only helps you reduce problems, it also greatly simplifies things and makes it easier to manage your finances. Some things to watch for crossover in are checking accounts, credit cards, record keeping, personal assets and company expenses. Treat your business, big or small, like a viable entity.
Create a Realistic Plan of Action.
Starting out with a realistic plan of action (budget, business plan, retirement, etc.) is valuable to your future success and will allow you to monitor and evaluate your business’ progress over time. You wanted to change your lifestyle in the first place, so identify what you expect self-employment will give you in all areas of your life, salary, enjoyment, creativity etc., and create your plan from there.
Still not sure where to start? Consider sitting down with a financial advisor. By taking a look at your entire financial situation, they can help you establish a customized plan designed to meet your short- and longer-term goals. Consulting others will also allow you to find potential partners who can assist you with your goal by providing their own counsel on aspects of the business you may not be familiar with.
Stick to a Routine.
Decide your goals for the week, the month, the year. Keep them in front of you and adjust until you figure out what works.
- Set boundaries. In order to keep your sanity intact, it’s best to set up some clear boundaries for when “work” occurs and when it doesn’t.
- Allow yourself flexibility! Remember, one of the biggest advantages of being your own boss is setting your own hours. Spend time to figure out what's working and what isn't. Don't be afraid to make changes if something isn't working for you or if your balance is out of whack.
- Set work hours. It doesn't have to be 9 to 5 but setting office hours keeps you on track. Some weeks you may work more, some less, but try to stick to a routine as much as possible.
It will take some adjusting to get used to being your own boss, but it is possible to run a business and have a happy, fulfilling life at the same time. All it takes is a little understanding and a lot of discipline.