Working in a team doesn’t always fit one’s personality. In fact, many talented individuals are more productive and comfortable completing work on their own. On the other hand, those who have an affinity for a solitary employment experience have a higher focus on self-management and discipline to get the job done.
Starting your own business as a single-owner LLC or sole proprietorship may have been one of the most exciting and stressful career choices you can choose. It opens up a future of growth opportunities and the creation of personal wealth, but at the same time has a few drawbacks when working independently.
To better prepare yourself for the ups and downs of being a lone wolf in the business world, we’ve put together a brief list of common pros and cons of working independently.
Pro #1: You Have More Control Over Your Time
Not having colleagues in a nearby cubicle is a boon to time management because you won’t have constant interruptions throughout the day. Plus, you determine your schedule and priorities, which often get conflicted in a team setting.
While you’ll still have days where you’re distracted by clients, administrative obligations, or inventory snafus, having interrupted focus on tasks when you need it most is invaluable. Achieving maximum productivity and efficiency will be vital to your small business, and working solo can support this goal.
Con #1: You Risk Increased Isolation
As an independent worker, you may genuinely enjoy being completely self-reliant. However, this can have an isolating effect on your career. While it can be beneficial to take on new tasks and learn new tricks of your trade during this process, it never hurts to network with other professionals in your industry.
This could lead to partnerships that help you offset some of your workload and focus on a particular skill set you need to excel in. But on the other hand, you might also feel a sense of burnout when you wear so many different hats, which can potentially affect the quality of your goods and services.
Pro #2: Do Things Your Way
One of the more challenging aspects of working in a group is the difference in opinion about achieving project and company objectives. Working independently means it’s up to you to proceed with business goals. Creating your process for completing tasks creates seamless transitioning through your work’s different steps or phases.
Never worry about bottlenecks in your workflow due to needing approval from other team members to move forward. This allows you to create a consistent approach to how specific duties should be completed.
Con #2: Heavier Workload and Liabilities
Owning a business where you handle all aspects of producing its goods or providing services means you bear the brunt of the workload. You won’t have team members to delegate specific assignments to, which means if any mistakes get made, it’s squarely on your shoulders to make it right.
When mistakes happen, and customers get angry, you’ll be liable for damages you cause. Depending on your business structure, this could potentially jeopardize your assets and your company’s livelihood. Fortunately, business insurance can help mitigate this risk and protect your reputation as an independent worker. General liability costs are well worth the price if you consider how much you stand to lose financially without this crucial coverage.
Pro #3: Independent Workers Get All the Credit
It’s rewarding to provide a good service to your customers and know that your hard work made them happy. This dedication is a quality that will make you an asset to those you serve and earn you recommendations to attract more business. However, working in a team environment can leave one feeling underappreciated or overly competitive to help them stand out above their peers. Working alone means the entire focus is on your efforts.
Con #3: Struggle to Maintain a Healthy Work-Life Balance
One of the more negative aspects of running your own business alone is maintaining a healthy work-life balance. With the increased number of roles, you must fill, you will find yourself juggling several tasks simultaneously. If you can’t keep up with this demand, a cascade of inefficiency, workflow backlogs, and other related challenges will develop.
Many solo entrepreneurs work significantly longer hours and sacrifice their family time to focus on their businesses. This imbalance of work versus life demands can be a source of significant stress.
Final Thoughts on Working Independently
If you’re an individual who prefers to work alone, creating a business that relies solely on your abilities is an ambitious undertaking. Your most significant challenge is prioritizing your workload and developing a strategy that makes it possible to manage your company efficiently without jeopardizing the quality of your services or goods. In addition, single-owned ventures that rely on one individual to control every aspect of operations need proper insurance in case a costly mistake gets made that causes damage to your clients.
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