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Risks and Challenges of Self Employment


March 1st, 2024 08:43

What is Self-Employment?

A self-employed individual doesn't have a specific employer who gives them a steady salary or paycheck, and instead, they work for themselves. Independent contractors, sometimes self-employed, are paid by directly contracting with a trade or business.

Self-employed people may engage in various professions, but they typically have a high level of expertise in one field. A self-employed individual can be a writer, a tradesperson, a freelancer, a trader or investor, a lawyer, a salesperson, or an insurance agent. Freelancers, sole proprietors, partnerships, gig workers, actors, lawyers, and other professionals are examples of self-employed persons. Self-employed people work a variety of jobs rather than concentrating on one.

Advantages of being self-employed

The significant amount of independence and flexibility associated with self-employment is undoubtedly one of its most important benefits. It enables the individual to pursue their passions, arrange a schedule that's convenient for them, and choose the work they want to do or not and frequently entails working from home, which reduces commute time significantly.

Self-employed people can become their bosses, exercise unrestricted creativity without worrying about manager disapproval, and have total control over most business decisions. Ultimately, having a profitable business and having the freedom to make changes as one sees fit are benefits of being self-employed.

Disadvantages of being self-employed

Yet, self-employment has drawbacks, such as high employment insecurity and financial risk. Although the compensation of a self-employed person is not constrained, there is a potential that they will only receive a salary if their firm is lucrative. Also, they must bear all losses and accept general liability, which means they are responsible for paying all costs. Here are some risks and disadvantages associated with self-employment:

Unstable source of income:

There is no assurance that you will receive a particular minimum every month. You can have incredibly successful days or months, and those where you receive no pay since you have no jobs to work on. It would help if you prepared for and budgeted for the variable remuneration of freelancing. You need to be ready for the month when there will be little to no payment.

Financial disincentives: 

Other financial drawbacks include the requirement to provide the employer's portion of the self-employment tax for Social Security and Medicare. Because employer-sponsored healthcare plans typically include health insurance, self-employed people must pay for their insurance. Also, self-employed people need to get the monetary support that employers usually give to retirement plans.

Building a clientele: 

You must set aside dedicated time for activities about sales and marketing of your business, such as prospecting the market, reaching out to new customers, selling your services, and others. With this, you have the freedom to pick your clients, and if you consistently do a good job, you're likely to build a reputation and have future customers actively seeking your services. Nevertheless, accomplishing those duties and finding the time to do it can be difficult.

Finding the work-life balance: 

Most self-employed people are free to choose their working hours and places. Even though this might be a significant advantage over traditional employment, it can also make it hard to keep your personal life and work distinct. Lack of set office hours and working from home might cause interruptions during working hours and make it harder to unwind during breaks.

By establishing distinct boundaries between the two, you may avoid this. It can entail designating a specific time for your work-related tasks and, whenever feasible, avoiding working in the same physical environment where you unwind or sleep. It would help to learn self-discipline as you don't have a supervisor.

Higher taxes: 

You must pay both the employer and employee portions of social security and income taxes if your small firm has only you as an employee. You typically pay more tax than you would if you worked for another company. Also, you must compute all taxes and complete tax forms. Working for yourself means you'll spend more, but you'll also make more money from your clients because you'll get all their payments and probably have fewer expenses than a more prominent firm. It eventually balances out, but you must do your calculations correctly.

So, if you plan to become self-employed, ensure you have analysed the associated risks properly before making a decision.

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