The Pitfalls of the Self Employed

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Posted on July 18, 2012

Good Day readers,

On most days I am glad to be self employed. It really does afford me certain luxuries that do not come with a steady 9-5 job. I am able to make my own hours, work at my own pace, leave early, and have the flexibility I need to reduce stress if I take advantage of it. This being said; however; in order to generate enough work, and to keep up with the existing load, my hours are generally longer, I must work at a higher pace than normal, NOT leave early, and juggle every available minute of my day to satisfy the business machine. My personal philosophy for success is that every customer I do work for should be happy, which often times means I have to invest more of my time and energy.

As a contractor, I am also limited to the amount of qualified leads that come through my door. This year has been especially poor for job volume. It seems to be a widespread scenario that is playing out among all different fields of trades and suppliers. Is it a natural cycle; are there economic implications? My guess is it’s a little of both. Locally; some larger companies have closed in the past year, flooding the market with unemployed, thereby reducing the market, and saturating it with pop-up renovators. This has a double whammy effect on existing contractors.

I have been in business for myself for over 10years now, and it has taken some time to establish a base, and to find a balance. When I have to compete with someone who is only interested in undercutting the competition to get the work, I simply cannot justify lowering my prices to compete with someone who has far less qualifications and experience.

I pride myself on the follow up with my customers.

Obviously there will be issues that arise from some jobs; in my opinion you differentiate yourself by following up on these, to keep your customers happy, and in return they will recommend you.

As far as natural cycles go; they happen. If you experience growth for many years in a row; chances are; so is everyone else.

The market needs time to catch up.

People will always need the types of services I provide, so it just a matter of time until things get back to normal. Until then, I have to suffer one of the pitfalls of the self employed.

Until next time