Have you ever considered the possibility of self employment? Nearly 5 million of us in the UK (and counting) have made that leap of faith, for what ever reason and are contributing very nicely to the UK’s GDP. When we start to breakdown this number, it becomes evident if some what surprising that being self employed is as much a decision of circumstance than it is a planned career path.
There is an argument that big corporates are leaving some parts of the UK’s workforce with little choice but to be self employed, recent court cases have uncovered some questionable practices in this regard, however that is too large a discussion for this humble blog post, so we will concern ourselves with some of the reasons self employment has become an attractive proposition.
The younger generation appear to be less aware of their options, for instance during one of my recent business start up workshops some were surprised when I suggested they could be employed and self employed at the same time. The numbers of part time self employed have increased significantly over the last few years, maybe due in part due to the Governments New Enterprise Allowance initiative but stats are unconvincing, below is a graph published by the Office of National Statistics giving a comparison of movement from unemployment to part time self employment by age group.
It seems more likely and anecdotal evidence supports this, that a move from unemployment to part time self employment is more to do with a lifestyle choice. Flexibility in working hours becomes attractive when there are children to take of as well as generating an income. The rapid growth in technologies also plays a part, more and more of us are seeing the benefit of managing a small online business, not surprisingly Amazon trade sellers, Ebay shops and drop shipping accounts have all grown in the last decade.
Other reasons for the growth in the self employed numbers
Companies engage in restructure during the slow down in 2008/09 and onwards, realised that making redundancies and acquiring that individuals talents as a consultant under contract reduce their overheads.
Ex offenders once released have stark choices to make, they can apply for paye positions and disclose their convictions, or consider self employment. Some large corporates have taken the lead in improving this situation, an initiative called ban the box removes the past convictions questions on paye application forms.
As the population in the UK ages and medical advances keep us healthier, more and more of us see self employment as a way to keep active and sharp after retirement. Being your own boss involves research and planning, but mainly it takes confidence to launch into the unknown, often with only the passion and convictions of our experience and skill sets to support us. With the help of family, friends and specialist information available through media outlets and websites, it’s never been easier to start your own business and enjoy the flexibility and benefits of being self employed.
Please get in touch if you have any questions.