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Going on your own: evaluating the pros and cons of a great lifestyle choice
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Updated 29 January 2024

Going on your own: evaluating the pros and cons of a great lifestyle choice

Never before has the world of work been in constant evolution. For this reason, in order to avoid missteps that could compromise your career path, it is very important that you carefully evaluate all the alternatives available, including the possibility of setting up your own business.

The decision to start working independently, that is, without being employed by an employer, undoubtedly has many advantages, but it also puts you in front of some challenges. To understand if it is really worth starting to work on your own, it is therefore essential that you know what it means to take this step. More precisely, you need to be aware of what you need to do to set up your own business and know the mistakes to avoid and the pros and cons of starting a new business on your own.

Before examining in detail the advantages and disadvantages associated with this choice, it is first of all useful to clarify how to set up your own business. There are at least 3 different ways (or, better said, 3 legal forms) to do this:

• self-employed, in the case of a manual or intellectual activity carried out with predominantly self-employed work (example: consultant);
• individual entrepreneur, in the case of an independent activity of production or sale of goods or services (example: craftsman);
• company, in the case of a business that involves one or more shareholders (example: SRL company).


Self-employment: is it convenient for you?

To understand if it is really convenient to start self-employment, you need to keep in mind the commitment that you will be called to face.

Those who set up on their own do not play a single role but, on the contrary, have to deal with a series of tasks, starting from the creation of the product or service up to its launch on the market and its sale, passing through the management of the entire administrative area. Especially in the beginning, therefore, those who decide to set up on their own find themselves having to work even more than an employee. Are you ready to get involved 100% for your idea?

In addition to the various tasks to be performed, those who manage their own businesses also have other challenges to face, starting with the investments required to make the product or service competitive on the market. Like the economic investment required, however, it must be said in this regard that the success potential of those who set up on their own is greater.

Those who start their own business can achieve very important goals and must be able to withstand the strong mental pressure that this step inevitably generates. Opening a VAT number is not just a contractual option, but a real life choice and you need to keep all of this in mind.

Crucial, at this point, is a question: what is your purpose? You do not have to answer hastily: the possible answers, in fact, are many. You may decide to start your own business to be able to work from home and do what you love, but also because it is driven by the desire to make your personal positive contribution to society. You could start a new business “just” to accumulate the sum necessary to fulfill your other dreams (for example a house of your own) or you could dream of creating and running a company that will leave its mark in generations to come or even build it their future.

It is therefore very advisable to evaluate the pros and cons of one’s choice on a case-by-case basis. Let’s see in detail what they are.


Employee work: pros and cons

Those who decide to set up their own business often do so because they are dissatisfied with their position as an employee. It is therefore easier to draw a first balance of the pros and cons starting from the scenario in which you find yourself working for an employer.

The main advantage of the employee, compared to those who work on their own, is that of being able to rely on a regular salary. In addition to being able to enjoy this (albeit relative) financial security, it is important to be able to count on sick leave and paid holidays and to know that one’s professional growth and training is at the “expense” of the company.

Alongside these more “concrete” advantages, working in the company ensures other more abstract benefits, such as being able to collaborate with your colleagues on a common cause and in this way cultivate a sense of belonging to the company and to your work group.

We have just pointed out that having a regular salary is the main benefit of an employee; in the same way, precisely in this regard, it is very important that you remember that this income inevitably depends on the wage policy of the company you work for, with all the negative consequences that this can potentially have.

Among the main disadvantages that those who work in a subordinate manner complain about are the working hours and inflexible conditions and the office dynamics which, in some cases, can prove to be very frustrating.

That’s not all: those who work as employees, in principle, are committed to making another person’s “dream” come true. Is this really what you want for your life?


Starting a new business: pros and cons

Working on your own has several advantages: the income from work, without the constraints imposed by the company’s wage policy, is potentially higher than the salary of an employee. This inevitably depends above all (but not only) on how successful your idea really is.

As well as the potential earnings, in the same way the control and flexibility in terms of working hours and rhythms are also greater. The main benefit that you will enjoy when you decide to start your own business, however, could be that of being able to pursue your dream, putting all your efforts to see it realized.

As already underlined, working on your own also means getting involved from a financial point of view and having less security from an economic point of view, starting with holidays and illnesses which, in this case, are not paid. Even the challenges, as mentioned, increase considerably and managing them all can be complicated: the risk is that of having to extend one’s working hours and not being able to “switch off” at the end of the day, with possible negative repercussions also on relationships in family environment.

But remember that:

“your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do”
Steve Jobs


Side hustle (or Side Job): a good starting alternative

If you feel you have the right business idea but are not yet 100% convinced of leaving your employee job and starting your own business, you can start planning the project to put your intuition into practice in your free time. In more technical terms, you can start a “side hustle (or side job)”, that is a “parallel business (or job)”.

This way you can more accurately check whether it is really worth starting your own business, while keeping your paid job for the time being. This is, of course, a temporary solution, but it can be a good springboard with a safer landing, as this solution minimizes the personal and financial risks associated with your business venture.


Go on your own at 40/50 years

One of the obstacles that often self-imposed on oneself when thinking about the possibility of starting a professional activity independently is age: starting your own at 40 (or 50) represents, undeniably, a greater challenge than doing it. at the beginning of one’s working career, even if the experience accumulated over the years is often a competitive advantage that is often underestimated.

The fact that the challenge is more demanding does not mean that it is not possible to start your own business at 50. On the contrary: it is important to keep in mind that, with the right idea, starting your own business at 40 or 50 is possible, if you know how to do it.

Also and especially in this case, it is therefore advisable that you carefully evaluate the pros and cons of your present and potential professional condition, not only in strictly economic terms, but also in relation to your dreams (and, of course, to their degree of concreteness).


Ideas for self-employment

Having a good business idea is one (or, more likely, THE) prerequisite for deciding to go on your own and start a business independently with a good margin of success. Having said that, however, it is also possible to draw the winning idea from the market, trying to intercept the new challenges and thus anticipate what will be the new revolutionary ideas “that will change the world”.

Precisely in this regard, here is a list of specific sectors in the tech field that are now considered very “promising” by industry experts:


• Food tech
The food tech sector promises to be a rapidly growing industry in the coming years, as the success of Beyond Meat testifies.

• Fitness tech
Thanks to the introduction of products such as fitness trackers, wireless earphones and multifunction smartwatches to the market, technology has revolutionized the way people train. And, experts swear, it will continue to do so.

• Extended reality
In recent years we speak more and more often of extended reality: also called XR, it includes all the immersive technologies born with the aim of expanding the real world by combining reality with virtual elements.

• Robotics
“Robotics” is a fairly generic term, which includes within it elements of mechanical engineering, electronic engineering, information engineering, computer science and various other disciplines. Its purpose is to create machines capable of moving and reacting to sensory inputs. According to Statista, the world’s leading business platform, this sector will grow to exceed $ 200 billion in annual revenue by the year 2025.

• 3D printing
3D printing will have increasing importance in this new decade, as technology is becoming more and more sophisticated in response to the multiple needs of industrial production.

• Streaming services
The success of global services such as Netflix, Prime Video, Disney Plus and Twitch is the greatest manifestation of how much the way of enjoying audiovisual content in streaming has now become central in people’s lives. To enter this market without being “swallowed up” by these giants, it is advisable to aim for more niche content (and a target). A similar argument also applies to podcasts, which are now increasingly popular also in Italy.

• Video with drone
There are many sectors in which videos made with drones are increasingly in demand. An example of this is the real estate sector: in this specific case, aerial shots are used to market properties more effectively.

• Online teaching
Also thanks to the pandemic, remote teaching has become a customary practice for many. Sharing your skills and knowledge online has therefore never been easier.

• E-commerce
The e-commerce sector has also seen its numbers increase enormously in conjunction with the Covid emergency. Today you can open your e-commerce with minimal effort, from the comfort of your home. Even if you don’t have any products to sell, you can do it by taking advantage of the dropshipping mode.

Nicola Zanetti

Founder B-PlanNow® | Startup mentor | Startup consulting & marketing strategist | Leading startup to scaleup | Private angel investor | Ecommerce Manager | Professional trainer | Book writer

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