Starting your own firm and becoming your own boss might sound great in theory, but may not be a realistic option for all. Knowing when it’s time to forge your own path may be one of the hardest decisions you make.
A change of scenery might be necessary for those growing too accustomed to the mundane routines that have surrounded them for too long. The duration you’ve spent with your firm could play a huge role in this.
Being your own boss comes with it’s benefits, but like anything there are always cons to bring the pros back down to earth.
You don’t need a chauffeur, you can drive yourself
If working 9 till 5 has become far too routine, then picking your own hours could be a good option, choosing your own hours could offer the flexibility you need. However it does also mean you are always on call if a crisis comes your way. Working for yourself from your home is a very different experience to answering to someone within an office. It can be too much pressure or quite isolating for some, however if you are self driven, but know when it’s time to log off for the night then this is definitely an option to consider.
You know your niche
Being interested or, more importantly, skilled in a particular area of accounting could give you a competitive advantage. Studies done by Hinge Marketing have shown that niche firms are being favored over unspecialized practices. So much so that 35% of clients ranked specialized expertise as their deciding factor when choosing a firm. That was well above customer experience, firm reputation and referrals, and just ahead of existing relationships.
It’s not just about the money
It’s possible that you’ve reached a stage in your life where a change would be refreshing but most importantly you’ve got the cash flow to do so. Accountants chatting in forums about their own experiences in starting a firm recommended having at least a year’s worth of living expenses aside as it may take a while before you start generating real profit. They explained that the start up costs alone are pretty minimal however it was the on going expenses of day-to-day living where they struggled. Making sure you’ve got enough cash flow to maintain a reasonable standard of living is something to think about, or perhaps taking out a small loan could be another option. Either way planning and preparation will take you a long way.
Before you go out on your own it’s important to take a minute to reflect and understand your purpose in achieving this goal. Determining if being an entrepreneur is something you really want to explore or whether it’s just a matter of job dissatisfaction. If the latter is the case then moving jobs to give yourself a change of scenery could be all that you need. But if forming your own firm sounds like it’s for you then there’s an exciting road ahead and Xero has education and support to help you get there.
Amy Vetter is Xero’s global head of Accounting and education shared her insights on questions to ask yourself about starting a new firm with Accounting Web, you can see it here. To hear Amy share further insights on this topic and many more join us at Xerocon in San Francisco this August.