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should you quit your job to be your own boss

Should you quit your job to be your own boss?

The number of small businesses in the UK has been on the rise since the year 2000. And while there were 27,000 less small businesses in 2018 compared to 2017, the number is up by 2.2million.

There a lot of people asking the same questions:

Should I quit my job?

Do you want to be your own boss?

Not everyone is ready for the reality of running their own business–but more people are giving it a go.

It’s our aim to empower entrepreneurs and micro-merchants, and whilst we want all small businesses to succeed, that doesn't mean we want everyone to go out and quit their jobs.

Should I quit my job?

There are a lot of valid reasons to leave a job, and even at times of economic uncertainty, 59% of UK workers are looking for a change (2017), which is the highest amount ever recorded.

But before we take a look at them, we want to highlight a few instances where leaving your job may not be the right decision.

Reasons not to leave a job

If you need a break

We all get caught up at work.

9 to 5 becomes 9 to 6, which becomes a 9 to 10 before you even realise it’s happened. But you’re at home at night, checking your emails on your phone in front of the TV, or worse, from your bed.

And when this becomes a habit, you start to get stressed. The lack of sleep leads to frustration, and work becomes a place that you’re not as happy to be at as you once were.

But this is not the point at which you should turn around and quit your job.

This is the point where you need to take a break.

Take some time out to relax, and to think about what solutions are available. So instead of making a decision based on emotion, you'll have thought it through thoroughly.

If you can't afford it

Quitting your job can be expensive. Especially if you don't have another source of income lined up, either from savings or a side hustle.

The last thing you want is the added stress of no money and no job.

First things first, work out a budget and a financial plan, to see if quitting your job is even a viable option, and then how long you will be able to stay up and running without any income.

If you really need to quit your job, but can’t afford to live without any income for a few months, you can consider working part-time or taking a temporary job to cover the bills until you figure out the next move.

All things aside, there are also very valid reasons to walk away from a job.

Reasons for leaving a job

A study by Crunch aimed to find out what factors contribute to people wanting to leave their jobs:

  • Bad bosses: 46% of people want to leave because of their boss

  • No progress: 36% of people felt like their job was going nowhere

  • Underpaid: 35% of people are looking for a higher salary

  • Stress: 34% of people didn't think the stress was worth it

  • Commute: 22% of people were sick of travelling

While valid, these are not necessarily reasons to leave a job right away.

A bad relationship with your boss could just need some time and work to get better.

A new source of inspiration could open doors within your current company that allow you to progress, and earn more.

And you don't have to move house to solve your commuting issues–working from home or having flexible work hours could reduce your stressful journey dramatically, and is a great option if your workplace offers it.

However, if you have tried to find a solution without success, moving on can be a good idea.

If you're unhappy at work

Often people feel like they don't have a lot of control over their own situation, especially in the workplace, but you have more control than you think.

“When workers do leave a job, they are increasingly doing so on their own terms.” Nick Bunker, economist

It’s up to you to find something that will be a better fit, and you can use your experiences to make sure that your next position is better.

If you can progress

Leaving one job to go somewhere else can be a good way to move into a higher position, or to increase your wage.

A workforce report from ADP showed that moving job at the right time earned workers a 5.2% increase in their wage, compared to a 4.3% rise for those who stayed put.

A new opportunity could bring a new-found motivation with it, and give you the chance to start fresh.

When you change companies, or even industries, you experience a whole new way of doing things and get to help others grow by bringing your previous knowledge to the table.

Quitting your job to progress can be a good idea for a lot of reasons when you do it at the right time–just be sure that you can justify your move to a potential employer.

Another way to progress, and potentially increase your wage is to start your own business and become your own boss–which 18% of people in the UK who leave their jobs do.

Be your own boss

  • Having the freedom to decide for yourself

  • Choosing your own working hours

  • Waking up motivated

  • Learning a lot in a short amount of time

  • Doing work that makes you smile

There are many reasons people want to start their own business and become their own boss.

The reasons listed above are just the beginning.

And when you look at the list, it’s easy to get carried away and imagine what a great life it would be if you did decide to quit your job and become your own boss.

The reality is probably a little bit further away from what you are imagining–you do get to choose your own hours, but you do have to work a lot, and it can take some time to see results.

But the benefits of being your own boss are real.

“Why should people slog away in 9-5 roles they no longer find fulfilling? In the modern world of work, people should be able to find flexible, exciting careers that fit their lifestyle, whether that’s in a change of job, industry or following their dream of becoming their own boss.” Crunch CEO and founder Darren Fell

Everyone wants to be an entrepreneur, and there is a huge opportunity for small businesses to succeed everywhere, especially with access to the kinds of tools that were previously only available to huge corporations.

The online marketplace is booming, and the smartphone gives every business access to a market like never before–claiming a 52% share of all internet traffic, compared to a falling 43% for desktops.

So it truly is a great time to start your own business.

Even from the comfort of your home…

Jobs you can do from home

  • Virtual assistant

  • Web developer

  • Translator

  • Blogger / social media influencer

  • Baker

  • Consultant

  • Teacher

The list goes on, you can do pretty much anything you can think of. You can sell t-shirts that your kid designs. You can use your voice for radio ads. You can teach guitar to people on the other side of the world.

When people think of starting their own business, they often think about building the next Google, or the next Facebook, but it rarely develops to be anything beyond a thought.

If you want to be your own boss, picking a job that you are already doing, or something that you are already good at is a great place to start. Think about your past experiences and see what you can bring together to offer as a service.

When you think about your skill set, and the experience that you have, try to keep in mind what kind of market you could target, and what price they would be willing to pay.

Once you have a business idea, it can be quite confusing to pick from all the different ways to finance it, but it’s important to do the research because picking the right option can really help your business.

So if you think you’re ready to make the switch, we wish you the best of luck.

And don’t worry if you’re not ready yet, we expect the number of small businesses to continue to grow in the future, and yours could be one of them.


Alex Thumwood