6 months ago -

Is self-employment an option for you in 2021?

Picture1

​​It's important that you understand the risks and challenges associated with setting up your own business in 2021.

Self-employment is an overarching term for several different potential career paths that might form a part of a career plan. And Right Management’s offering around self-employment covers setting up your own business all the way through to pursuing the option of interim management and contracting.

And each of these paths provide potential opportunities and benefits as well as associated downsides. Although the downsides will, to some extent, be impacted by individual circumstances. The focus of this article in on just one of these paths, and that’s setting up your own business.

  • Do adequate research

An important consideration when setting up your own business is spending the time needed to undertake adequate research. Setting up your own business shouldn’t be taken lightly, as the literature on our RightEverywhere website will tell you that more than half of Britain’s small businesses that collapse do so because of cash-flow problems.

And the sheer number of start-up businesses ending in failure often comes as a surprise to those who uncover the data for the first time. So, make sure you do your research to avoid becoming another statistic.

  • Assess market conditions

At the current time, market conditions remain depressed and the impact of Covid-19 on small businesses, and the wider economy, is yet to be fully realized. So it would be wise for you to act cautiously; being extra careful about due diligence, and ensuring you put a robust plan of action in place before proceeding. Ultimately, if you think now might just be a great time for you start a new business, you have ensure you keep abreast of market conditions.

  • Identify your market

It's extremely important that you establish whether the product or service being offered does in fact have a market. Identifying potential competitors is another important consideration and helps you think about viability. A practical example springs to mind of someone who secured funding for their software product from one of their clients, but when attempting to roll out their product more widely, discovered there was a limited market for it. 

In addition, there were so many competitors selling the same product at a much lower cost in an area that wouldn’t have been seen to be business critical, particularly in a slowing market. So, make sure you know and understand your market before starting your own business.

  • Spend time on marketing initiatives

Adequate marketing initiatives are essential. You simply cannot remain a ‘techie’ forever in a start-up business and hope to succeed. You might have a brilliant product from a technical perspective, but if you can’t market or sell the product, problems inevitably lie ahead. So, we recommend spending as much time  on your marketing campaign and sales effort as you put into the initial technical design of your product or service.

Remember, marketing is a fast-evolving functional specialism that's heavily impacted by technology. And new ways of reaching a target audience through Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) provide more impressive ways to connect with future customers.

  • Adopt a flexible approach

Remaining optimistic is key but it’s also essential for new business start-ups to question and challenge their thinking on a continuous basis. It’s easy to become so emotionally attached to your plans that you lose objectivity and perspective; failing to re-evaluate and change approach when necessary.

Take time to consider plan B and avoid rigid thinking. Identify when to stop investing money into the venture if it’s unlikely to succeed. And do this when you’re level-headed rather than in an emotionally charged state facing increasingly stressful times. Remember, adequate planning up-front can help mitigate the risk of the situation becoming overwhelming.

Ultimately, there’s no perfect time to start a business. And given the challenges in the market at the current time, it’s advisable to take an even more critical view of your plans and have them tested by friends, colleagues and experts in the field.

A good starting point is to make use of Right Management’s RightEverywhere website, as well as our superb self-employment experts who can guide and support you with your plans and challenge your thinking in a supportive, yet constructive manner.

This article is contributed by Right Management UK.
Author: David Hurst, Consultant — Right Management UK