Advantages and Disadvantages of Starting a Consulting BusinessConsulting has been becoming a popular work at home option in recent years. Certainly, the internet has made the process of providing consulting services so much easier, making it a viable consideration for many want to be entrepreneurs.

Here are a few basic advantages and disadvantages of starting a consulting business that you’ll want to think about if consulting is one of the options you are considering.

Advantages

1. You are your own boss. As in any work at home business, this advantage stands out as a key point to the positive. Even if you have the greatest boss in the world, you’ve probably had issues with them at one point or another. If you start your own business, you get to be your own boss and make your own rules. (Though your customers will be as high on the priority list as any boss!)

2. No office politics. In addition to not having a boss, you also won’t have co-workers. This means you have to do a wider variety of work than you might be used to in regular employment. However you won’t have to rely on other people or deal with their problems.

3. Higher pay. Typically, you’ll face income challenges in the start up stages of your consulting business. That’s why starting out part time is often recommended. While you may have to settle for lower rates initially, once your name is out there and you have an established customer base, you can set your own prices and generally make more money than you would working for someone else.

4. Working with what you know. The beauty about being a consultant is that the term is so ambiguous. A consultant is simply someone who gives advice. This means that you give advice on what you decide. You get to teach people about what you already know.

5. Pick your own work. If your boss gives you a project you don’t want to do or disagree with morally or for some other reason, you have to suck it up and do it. When you run your own consulting business, you get to decide which jobs you want to work on.

Disadvantages

1. Unsteady income. Most jobs provide a pretty steady income, but when you run your own business, you have no guarantees. Even if you have steady clients, there’s always a chance they’re going to have to cut their budget permanently or temporarily.

2. You’re responsible for your own benefits. Most employers provide benefits like health insurance and reduced rates on other insurance. They also pay a chunk of money into EI, CPP and take taxes out directly from your paycheck. When you own your own business, you are responsible for taking care of these expenses on your own.

3. You have to do the unfun part of business as well. If you run your own business, you are responsible for keeping the books, running your schedule, answering phones and emails, and a whole slew of undesirable tasks. You can always hire someone else to do that, but you’ll have to be making enough money to support their salary.

4. No work, no pay. It’s simple. There’s no sick leave, no vacation time, no personal time. If you want to take a break, you’re not going to get paid so you have to have enough extra income to compensate. Creating a business that combines consulting with other income sources like affiliate sales can create a more stable business to accommodate for vacations and sick time.

5. You must be self-motivated. Not having a boss breathing down your neck may leave you less stress, but often it means you’ll get less work done. Plus, if you’re working from home, you’ll find there’s a lot more distractions there than at an office. To be successful, you have to learn how to keep yourself on task.

What’s next?

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