Chances are we’ve all considered self-employment at least once in our lives. After all, there are a lot of good things that come along with it and who wouldn’t want to be their own boss?
However, many people decide not to take the plunge for a variety of reasons, whether it be fear of failure or biting off more than you can chew. When working for someone else you have the security of a steady job and knowing where your next pay cheque is coming from – but where’s the adventure in that?
If you’ve ever thought of working for yourself but just aren’t quite sure if you’re capable enough, rest assured – you probably are! Thankfully, a lot of the skills you obtain when working for a company can be just as useful in the world of self employment!
If you’re wondering what they are, we’re here to help! Starting a business can be really daunting, but can also be really rewarding and challenging. There’s nothing like building a bit of character along the way!
Who knows, if you keep reading you may realise that you’re a lot more capable than you first thought…
No matter what kind of work you’ve done before, time management was more than likely one of the key skills needed during your employment. It helps if you know when is the best, most effective time to carry out a task. It might not sound too difficult, and it may seem like a lot of it is down to common sense, but in practice, managing your time can be a lot more difficult than it first seems. Throughout your working life, you naturally develop the ability to organise your time effectively with tasks that need to be done while also figuring out what takes priority and how long you should spend on tasks that need to be done.
This skill can very easily be applied to working for yourself and is quite important to have as your workload will seem a lot more severe until you fully get into the swing of things. It is important to chart your tasks for the weeks as it allows you to be a lot more productive and you’ll be surprised by how much you manage to get done. Of course, you will have to plan for contingencies and unplanned incidents are bound to arise, but by being effective with your time management, you’ll be able to handle them a lot better.
Most jobs nowadays require at least a basic knowledge of PC literacy. You don’t have to know anything fancy, but knowing how to use the likes of Microsoft Office to the best of your ability helps quite a bit. The same can be said when it comes to self-employment. Do you feel like starting a newsletter or creating your own business cards? Being able to plop yourself in front of a computer can both help you make your own mark on the business world and stretch those creative muscles!
Communication and Interpersonal Skills
If you’ve worked in customer service before, you’ll know just how important good communication and interpersonal skills are. It means that you’re extremely approachable, easy to get along with and ultimately it keeps customers happy. When representing a company, it is important that you do your best to create and uphold a positive image for said business, and it isn’t much different when you’re starting your own business. One of the more important tasks that you’ll undertake when starting your business and throughout its tenure is networking with clients and other businesses. Good communication and interpersonal skills will mean that you are able to develop a rapport with those that matter to your business while again, also creating a positive image for your business. Making sure that you are approachable will create a great atmosphere and will generate interest in your business.
Whether you’ve worked in customer service or the sales department of a company, you’ll know what we mean when we say “make a good sale!”. You’ll know exactly how to sway your customer the right way and encourage them to buy a certain product by outlining the pros of said product. Strong negotiation skills are also a must and having a likable personality means that you’re more likely to convince your customers that you know what you’re talking about.
If you’re interested in self-employment, skills in the sales department are very easily transferable. You need to be able to sell your idea to investors, potential partners and employees in order to get the ball rolling. Not only that, but you also sell yourself! Your business is much more likely to succeed if you let people know that you’re friendly, outgoing, passionate and that you know what you’re doing!
Even though it may not be possible right away due to funding and investment, if you see a gap in your skillset or feel that you lack some experience that you absolutely need, then hiring someone to help you out is always an option, whether it be an employee or a freelancer, or in sales, accounting or IT. This will mean that all your bases are covered and you don’t have to worry about being bogged down with too many tasks at once!
Hopefully we’ve helped you realise that the world of self-employment isn’t as daunting as it may initially seem. Of course, whilst these skills are easily transferable and helpful when you want to start your own business, it is important to remember that fundamentally, motivation is key. If you have an idea – go for it! There is no telling where it might take you and although it might seem a little silly to you, it might be the best thing since sliced bread! If you have a passion for something and think you can make a difference, run with the wind and let your determination do the rest!
If you want a balanced outlook on whether self employment is for you – why not read Self Employment – 10 reasons why being self employed may not be for you…