Launching a business vs getting employed: which is better?
This has been an ongoing debate for the last one decade. Some people believe in starting their own businesses, where they are free to operate as you see fit. Other people prefer to get employed and remain assured of stream of income.
In this article, the pros and cons of launching a business and that of getting employed will be listed out. You can decide which is preferable.
CHAPTER 1: Stating Out As An Entrepreneur
An entrepreneur is an individual who creates a new company, bearing most of the risks and after a long time of toil and resilience, enjoying most of the rewards. Entrepreneurship is the process of launching a business.
Entrepreneurs that do not have funds to run the company, will have to find ways to raise money in order to ensure the company’s survival. The easiest route to acquiring startup capital is to develop a convincing business plan that promotes a formidable product.
Advantages of Entrepreneurship
1. Being your own boss
The reason many people start businesses is because of the independence it allows. As the proprietor of your own business, you are only answerable to yourself and in part to the customers you serve. This also allows you determine your own creative expression. Your personality comes out in your brand, and you determine the creative expression of your business. That does not necessarily refer to the colors and imagery, but the core values and patterns the company functions.
2. Choosing your team members
You can choose the people who work with you depending on your tastes. You would not pick individuals with conflicting personalities or philosophies to you. When you start your own business, you get the privilege of choosing the team members that will best represent the brand.
3. Learning from your mistake and experience
Real-life experience is an effective teacher in the business world. Even if you did not study business in school, the things learnt in the work space are more memorable and better understood. For example, while you may have learnt how to handle customer, coming face to face with rude clients will show you that no lecture really prepares you for the real thing as it is slightly messier and less structured. For the success of your startup, you will have to learn on the job.
4. Greater potential profit
An entrepreneur is the decision maker, you allocate resources to areas that will be more profitable, and save money in certain places, such as expensive marketing methods or costly office fixtures to beautify the company environment.
5. Set your own office
You can pick your office set- up style. It may be an opened office or one with cubicles and small offices. Depending on the size of your business, you can also choose to work from home, or in a shared environment. Some entrepreneurs even travel while working.
6. No professional ceiling
You do not have to wait years for a promotion. Observing traditional work hierarchies is not a concern for an entrepreneur. You automatically become the CEO of your company. You just need to run the business smoothly.
Challenges of Entrepreneurship
Creating your own space and policies can be fun. Unfortunately it can also be hard. Some individuals realize quickly that they are not cut out for the entrepreneurial life. They would rather stay under the safety of an employed role. Can you blame them?Who wouldn’t want job security.
1. Multiple roles and responsibilities
Most entrepreneurs have to gain knowledge of every role in the company and may have to handle every role before finding a perfect fit for that department.
2. Work-life balance
The downside of starting a business is that at the first 1 to 3 years of the business, there is no free time; you will have to sort out all problems from wherever you are, whether at your parent’s funeral or your daughter’s birthday. There is nothing called a free time in the important phase of the business.
Without being answerable to anyone, discipline has to come from within. That may involve going to work when you are sick, teaching team members how to handle a task, or not observing public holidays.
4. Few business connections
Businesses are built on networks of investors, partners, influencers, and team members. To move up the latter you are going to have to build your business network from the ground up. That may be challenging when you have no connections at all. Also starting a brand can be one of the biggest challenges for a new company. You have to create a niche that will set you apart from dozens of competitors that offer similar services to your target market. This will require a lot of studying audience.
5. Legal considerations
In Nigeria today, there are regulations and laws that choke the life out of start-ups before that have the chance to breathe. A Lawyer will be needed to reduce this overwhelming challenge from the government and other bigger companies trying to steal ideas from start-ups.
Leadership role is never easy; It is a position that requires a mind that can separate rational thinking and emotions. Managing people is the hardest job on earth. No matter the good you do, it is always not enough. Someone will still complain. Thank God leadership skills can be learned and developed over time.
7. Limited supplies/technology
In Nigeria basic amenities needed to boost the production of a new company end up being cut-throat expensive, these services are therefore accessed by only bigger companies that can afford to pay. For example to sew a good sweat shirt you will need a fabric for China, where the importation cost is nothing to write home about.
CHAPTER 2: Remaining Employed or Seeking Employment?
An employee is a subordinate of an employer who may be bonded by an employment contract. They may work part-time, full-time, or at leisure. These persons exchange their skills, knowledge and experience to be compensated by an employer.
A good employee can be said to become a great employer. There are some benefits to being an employee;
- Your Salary is guaranteed;
When there is a a process or strategic breakdown, only the employer (board) faces thee repercussion. The employees do not bear the direct effect of any misfortune. We work about not caring because regardless of the situation we will go home with our salaries. When a building burns down, employees go out to get new jobs. The employer life has practically come to a stand-still.
2. Uninterrupted Paid Leaves;
Employers go for vacations but when something does not go as planned or a sur-ordinate did not do a clean job, the best man for the job as to be available to create a soft landing for the company. Meanwhile, when an employee goes on a paid leave and his called back to sort out a company issue/ problem. They are paid compensations and better still someone else is asked to fill in for them until they return. This leaves the employers wishing that could get capable hands, even at that there must be a benefit. Nobody wants to work for free.
3. Not getting involved in dirty jobs;
Many companies are built on the sweat of the employers. They go to look for the customers, build relations with the customers, and attend social gatherings just to appeal to the customers. If employees are sent, they might just grumble or not represent the company in the most professional manner Employee only job is to follow a pattern that has tested on trusted by their employers. Therefore building on the foundation their employers have already laid.
4. You Can Be Sure Of Benefits
In Nigeria, according to the Pension Reform Act of 2014, any employer that has neglected his/her payment of pension using the RSA (Retirement Savings Account) of their employee will remit the pension already due, be liable to a penalty to that will be stipulated by the Commission, which will also be paid to the employees, This when the penalty is not be less than 2% of the total contribution that remains unpaid for each month while the default continues.
5. There is a defined working structure;
Patterns are created after a given time of operation in a particular department of a company. You know the possible task that awaits you at the beginning of work and easy tits that will help you accomplish it in no time. This brings a level and certainty and comfort which come from being able to plan out your work week with confidence.
Challenges of Remaining as an Employee
In the safety of working under an employer that takes all the hard punches, some of the punches may come from below you and will get to you before they reach the top. Some of these challenges are;
- Little or no Control;
As an employee you have little or no control over the affairs of the company. You do not pick the team members, your resumption time and leave time. You can make suggestions but the final decision will still be by them. There is usually an organogram that controls the affairs of the company; going against hierarchy stated in your employment contract is called insubordination. While as a boss what you say is what goes. Once you become useless you will definitely be out of the door.
2. Unreasonable Deductions from salary;
In most companies in Nigeria, many benefits are written on your employment contract and that is all they are. Written on paper and not being functional for any employee. They are companies that promise to start pension schemes for their workers, deduct it from their salary. When they are about to leave and ask for evidence of payments for their pension scheme, some funny story comes up. Even the bodies in charge of form being returned for pension from these organizations in Nigeria are too laid back. Leaving the employee poorer than when they started
3. No Job Security;
As an employee your employment is at their mercy of your employer. Once you stop being valuable you will be out of the door. When you do a little mistake, all the good things you ever is suddenly thrown out of the window. Sometimes you can even be sacked with no warning, no explanation and no room to vindicate yourself. You work as long as they want you to work and no more. Profit is majorly all that counts and not relationships.
4. No Insured Equity;
In most companies you come in and leave without having a long lasting impact to the company or take some parts of the company when leaving. This means you have equity in nothing. Even when you are the oldest worker, ones all your receivables are paid, the company owes you nothing more.
5. Monthly Targets;
In companies in Abuja, employees are paid according to the target met at the end of every month. This is solely dependent on your social skills and the people do not posses these skills are the first to be offended. These targets can be unrealistic, even the Employers may not meet some of them. You will have to intentionally work on those skills, seeing that you want your salary at the end of the month.
This elaborates the fact that employees are not the direct receivers of any responsibility that the company faces. Of course, there are time when a company may lay off its staff to save cost due to challenges arising from bad business outcomes. In very bad situations, an employee may decide to pull out of the company.
Most employers were once employees that diligently learnt or improved their skill under the leadership of another employer.
Change is inevitable