Do you have the skills and qualities for self-employment?

When you're working for yourself it's not enough to be highly competent in your specialised activity.  You need business skills too.  For example:

Dave writes computer software. To be successful in his business he needs to have the skills to be able to produce excellent software, but also market his products, calculate how to charge his time to make a reasonable pricing policy and not be embarrassed to chase customers for payment.

What skills do entrepreneurs need?

  • Innovation - are you the type of person who can  see a gap in the market which no one else has spotted and carve out a niche for yourself?
  • Self-confident all-rounder - do you have the capacity not only to make your product or deliver your service but also to market and sell it and manage the finances?
  • Perseverance and resilience - will you be able to bounce back after making mistakes and have the confidence to continue?
  • Results orientated - do you enjoy setting goals and targets and do you get pleasure from achieving them?
  • Professional risk taking - can you take calculated risks, moving one stage at a time to minimise the risk?
  • Total commitment: You must have single-mindedness, capacity for hard work and strong drive in order to succeed

Many of the skills that are required by employers are also required in self-employment. Check out your transferable skills and also consider to what extent you have the entrepreneurial skills above.

Working with others

Some people choose to set up a business with others.  How might a diverse group of people work together in a business?

Remember that you must take professional advice before setting up your own business.