IS SELF EMPLOYMENT FOR YOU?
When we first think of self-employment we tend to focus on the positives and the “glamour” side of “being the boss”. We can find ourselves driven by the excitement of our business idea, and the belief that we will have the freedom to do things how and when we want. We tend to find ourselves so confident in our idea becoming the “next big thing” that we can easily lose sight of the start up costs, legal requirements, competition in the marketplace, delivery logistics, as well as some of the ongoing tasks like bookkeeping, ordering supplies, sales and promotion, and perhaps even HR duties. The popular TV show Dragon’s Den has done a lot to expose the excitement of entrepreneurship, while also doing a far job of demonstrating the reality of long hours, complex decisions, expensive lessons and the risks that can hold an idea back from becoming a sustainable way for someone to earn a living.
There are many different “types” of entrepreneurs and being able to recognize your strengths and challenges is an important step in the road to self-employment success. Here’s a great TedTalk that explores four general types of Entrepreneurs; Builder, Opportunist, Specialist and Innovator. Although this video is from 2013, the topic is still perfectly relevant. As you watch the video, think about which category best describes you based on your interests, behaviours and motivators.
There are several resources available online that can help you navigate some of the decisions connected to self-employment. Some key ones include; BC Small Business, Start up Canada, Community Futures, GoForth Institute , WeBC as well as WorkBC’s Self-Employment Program. Acceptance into WorkBC’s Self- Employment Program is based on several eligibility and suitability factors and does require a referral from your WorkBC employment consultant.
Every October, British Columbia recognizes Small Business Week and the successes and impact of small businesses in our communities. According to Statistics Canada, there were over 5,300 self-employed individuals in our region in May 2021. Every self-employed individual has had to find ways to overcome obstacles by building their knowledge, discovering what they don’t know, being strategic and most of all, by being diligent. If you are considering self-employment, we encourage you to start to grow your knowledge and discover your suitability to being your own boss while you explore the resources that are available to support you in your venture.