Self employed handyman

Why I’ve decided to go self employed

Many people throughout their careers ask this question at some point in time. For me, I came to this conclusion about 2 years ago when I realised I have certain skills in other areas that I really enjoyed doing. I began to wonder if I could make a living doing what I truly love?

I think in most cases it is possible to make money doing what you love, if you have the passion and drive to make it happen. You will need to be self motivated and be willing to put a lot of time into your new venture. Things will inevitably be slow to start off with but the important thing is, if you don’t try, you will never know.

For me, making this decision came from a number of key changes in my life. Here are a few of the positive reasons:

Why I've decided to go self employed
  1. Finding a better work / life balance. I wanted to be able to be more involved with family life, spending more time with the kids and helping out with the daily tasks, such as the school runs, general cleaning around the house and being able to spend more quality time with my wife.
  2. Working my desired hours. I’m not sure who invented the 9 to 5, but I don’t like it. It doesn’t provide the freedom to manage the day to day tasks such as taking the car to the garage, going to the post office or popping into town for some bits and pieces. Most of these tasks involve being available during “normal” working hours and it becomes a juggling act to make it all fit. Many of us are restricted by this and end up having to negotiate with our bosses to find the time to complete the simplest of tasks.
  3. The freedom to work on what I want. Whilst this is true most of the time, depending on how desperate I am for work, I get the opportunity to work on the jobs I like and enjoy. I am free to say no to jobs that don’t interest me. I also get to make and try different things which helps increase my versatility and try new and exciting things all the time.
  4. I can choose where I work. I’m not restricted to working in one office, at the same desk, day in day out. I get to travel to new locations and meet new people all the time. It provides great variety and something new to experience on a daily or weekly basis. Never boring.
  5. Potential to make more money. In many ways my hourly rate is higher than if I was in full time employment. Providing I have a full schedule I have the opportunity to make much more than when I was employed.

There’s the positive bits but if your thinking about doing this yourself you should take the following into consideration:

  1. There’s no guarantee of work. No work equals no money so ensuring that there is a constant flow of work is vital to survival. You have to be a proactive go-getter in this world to ensure the diary is full and the work keeps coming.
  2. Finding the work in the first place and quoting for jobs is a time consuming task and can often take up as much time as actually doing the work. Carefully planning each week is essential to ensure there’s time to manage the work along side the marketing and quoting aspects of the role.
  3. No holiday or sick pay. If you’re not working, your not getting paid. Calling in sick to work and getting paid is no longer a luxury you can afford. Taking care of your health and well-being is now more important than ever.
  4. Saving for a pension. Being self employed means that you now have to start thinking about paying into your own pension. This can cost as much or little as you like but no one is going to do this for you now.
  5. Tax returns. It’s now your responsibility to ensure you save and pay your taxes. Filling out the self assessment forms can be somewhat complicated and something that cannot be ignored.

Luckily my wife has been self employed for a few years now and understands the pros and cons of self employment, so I feel like I have that help and support in place already. She’s discovered lots of ways to make money online and tried so many methods that she has a wealth of knowledge in several areas, including selling online. If you’re going in alone it’s definitely worth chatting to someone with first hand experience before you take the plunge.

Offering handyman services in my local area is almost a dream job for me right now! It provides a certain level of freedom and flexibility in my life that the 9 to 5 didn’t, but most importantly it makes me happy, doing the jobs I love doing at home, as a full-time career.