Generally, someone who is self-employed works in their own small business and cannot rely on a regular income from an employer. Instead, they have to make sales, (and collect the money for those sales), pay expenses and have enough left over to meet their family financial requirements.
According to the Business Dictionary, ‘self employed’ means ‘Sole-proprietor or partner in a partnership to whom the legal requirements under a contract of employment do not apply. He or she, however, may employ others under such contract. Self-employed individuals obtain their own work or sales and pay their own expenses’.
Investopedia says: ‘Self-employed is a situation in which an individual works for himself instead of working for an employer that pays a salary or a wage. A self-employed individual earns his income through conducting profitable operations from a trade or business that he operates directly.’
In my view, self-employed also includes a family unit where both partners work in the business. For instance, both may be involved on a daily basis, but it may be that one person does the admin while the other person is ‘on the tools’.
In my experience, most self-employed people tend to put everything on the line because the only way the banks will lend them money is when they put up their homes and everything else of value as security.
They work long hours – usually much longer than employees are expected to work, and they are paid last because they have to pay employees and suppliers first, leaving the business owner to be paid out of the money that’s left.
This means that the life of a self-employed small business owner can often be very stressful, and hence the classification of ‘struggling survivors’ referred to earlier.
According to the Small Business Administration (SBA) Office of Advocacy’s 2018 Frequently Asked Questions, 30% of new businesses fail during the first two years of being open, 50% during the first five years and 66% during the first 10.
No matter how you cut it, those stats represent a boatload of heartaches and a whopping amount of money lost along the way.
The reality of what you are facing is staggering and without a foundation to lean on you could end up being one of the statistics.
You have chosen a path that requires more than just a half-hearted effort to succeed.
This guide is not about cheap tricks or quick hacks. Rather, it is all about the meat and potatoes of running your own business. It will help you understand how to avoid mistakes and how to correct mistakes that you have made. It will give you a direction and tools to help you avoid the bumps in the road that are always going to challenge you.
Before we take the deep dive into the rest of the Self Employed Business Owners Manifesto, we want to introduce you to the 4 Pillars of Business.
The four pillars are the foundational pillars of any business regardless of size and they apply to companies as large as Amazon or as small as your local Butcher.
You do not have to be a Rhodes Scholar to understand and apply the 4 Pillars.
A business that is not built on the 4 pillars is like a house built on sand that may look beautiful, but in the end, falls to pieces when the storms come as they inevitably will.
However, a business that understands and applies the 4 pillars is more akin to the house that has a solid foundation. It may not look as picturesque, but it will be able to withstand the destructive forces that can raise their ugly heads in any business.
The four pillars that apply to every business are these:
Let’s explore them in more detail. Click on the link below.
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