In the words of the famous song ‘Times they are a-changing’, and more and more people in the beauty industry are deciding to work for themselves. In fact, according to recent research, as many as 57% of beauty professionals have taken the leap into self-employment. It’s a tempting decision, especially if you enjoy the freedom to choose your own hours and do things your own way, but would it be the right choice for you? Here are a few pros and cons to consider:
If you’re independently minded and want to take control of your own destiny, going freelance is definitely the way to do it. When you’re self-employed you can select the clients you want to work with according to your own skills and interests, and make sure you’re the perfect fit for each other. It’s also easier to move around between jobs and meet new people, expanding your personal network and learning some valuable new skills. Even if you work out of your own spa or salon, you can still make your own decisions about the way your business is run. If you’re confident, self-reliant, and you’re willing to hustle to find new work and ride out the rough times when clients are few and far between then being self-employed might be your perfect option.
Getting started is always tricky. You’ve got a lot of decisions to make (not least filling out all the tedious paperwork re. tax and insurance etc) and establishing a regular clientele can take a while. When you’re self-employed you’ll have no guaranteed monthly salary, no holiday pay, and only statutory sick pay if you’re ever too ill to work. You’ll also have all your day-to-day administration to take care of: arranging appointment bookings, dealing with cancellations, marketing your services. And if you become so busy that you decide to hire somebody else (which, let’s face it, is a nice problem to have!) you’ll also have the responsibility of being an employer, and all the extra expense and form filling that entails. In fact, many freelancers are surprised by how much of their time is taken up by administrative chores they wouldn’t have to think about if they were employed by somebody else.
Is self-employment for you?
Going freelance can reap great rewards, but it also comes with tremendous risks. You have to be passionate and driven about working for yourself and you have to stay motivated every hour of the day. So, if the main reason you’re a beauty therapist is because you love being ‘hands on’ with your clients and enjoy a regular income (as well as the company of your other team members), going solo may not be the choice for you. However, if you’ve got ambition and chutzpah and a diary full of useful personal connections, self-employment might just be your avenue to success.
Could you be tempted to join the brave 57% who are going it alone?