Saturday, May 25, 2013

Your Own Business

Business time
Having been in the working world for a few years, I have often heard from others how powerful having your own business could be. This came in the form of phrases like "freedom from the job" and "storage space for one's own ideas." With this document, I would like to make sense of this concept as part of the foundation for my own business.


Having started my career as an independent software consultant for two and a half years and now having transitioned to a full-time software development job at HP for 8 months, I have had the opportunity to experience both sides of the spectrum. From this experience, I can say that there are quite a few differences between running your own business and working as an employee for another company.

Below, I list what running your own business means:
  • You can choose the field you want to work in based on your interests and skills.
  • You can choose who you do business with.
  • You can structure your own working hours.
  • You are in full control of the integrity and standards of your business.
  • You are more prone to lawsuits from clients.
    • Much of this relates to who you do business with.
    • There are ways to protect your personal assets, such as forming an LLC.
  • Your tax situation is more complex (self-employment tax, business deductions, etc.).
  • You are responsible for marketing your business and finding clients with whom to work with.
  • You are responsible for your own medical insurance and other benefits.
Job freedom
In short, your own business is the storage space for your own ideas, while other businesses are the storage space for other people's ideas. Running your own business grants you a great deal of flexibility and freedom, but, at the same time, requires a lot of "smarts." To be successful, you need to not only understand your field, but to also understand the business world. For example, I could work as a software developer at HP solely with my knowledge of Computer Science, relying on the managers to deal with business. However, for me to run my own software consulting business, I would need to open up to the big world, keeping in mind things like customer support, marketing, business law, business taxation, product documentation, quality assurance, and company reputation.

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