Who doesn’t dream about being their own boss? You get to work the way you want, do business with who you want, and build a career just how you imagined it. Be it freelancing or entrepreneurship, the ability to make your own decisions is very valuable to a lot of people, even if it’s at the price of putting in a bit more work. Those with a clear vision and great business skills might feel like they are wasting their time at their current workplace, but at the same time, they may be unsure of how they could capitalize on their idea or skills.
Today, it’s easier than ever to start your own business: the sheer number of startups that pop up every year is a great indicator of this. However, it’s easier than ever to fail, too, with such a huge worldwide competition in today’s overconnected world. When it comes to investment, there’s always a certain amount of risk involved, however, you can mitigate some of it if you inform yourself well before submitting your two weeks’ notice and pouring all of your funds into an unsure project. There are many ways you can invest your money and by studying them, you can choose the model that best fits your skills and expectations and start working towards your dream. Here are a few investment options that let you be your own boss.
Start your own business
To many, the most straightforward way to become your own boss is by starting your own business. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t necessarily need to have a huge amount of money put aside; in fact, money in itself will not get you too far. What you do, by all means, need is a solid idea and a great business plan. Your idea needs to be unique enough to fill a market gap in order to be profitable, therefore, it is of the essence that you do thorough market research beforehand. You need to learn about not only your target audience and their needs but also about any other similar businesses in your area that would make yours superfluous. But besides a unique idea and a plan, another thing that you will need is effort and a lot of it.
Even before you open shop, there is a lot of work you will need to put into your business, and only those can do it who is truly fueled by a passion for this endeavor. From figuring out the optimal way to fund your business, through choosing a business structure, figuring out the logistics, coming up with a name and registering your business, all the way to applying for permits and hiring employees, there will be a lot of work you have to do yourself as your own boss. All in all, starting a business from scratch is recommended to those who want complete freedom and don’t mind making all the decisions themselves, even if it means a lot of responsibility.
If starting your own business from scratch sounds a bit intimidating to you, there are other ways of becoming your own boss and leveraging your business skills. The second option that eliminates the need for a unique idea would be franchising. Purchasing a franchise does require a certain level of investment. However, the risks involved are much smaller. Being a franchisee means that you gain access to the strengths and assets of an already established brand, giving you a head start that will likely result in much faster returns than building a business yourself.
Another reason why purchasing a franchise is a good way of becoming your own boss is that it also gets you ongoing support. The franchisor will train and help you, as both of you have the same goal: to see the franchise succeed. When checking out franchise packages, you will see that they come in different shapes and sizes. Some franchise packages even include the equipment and the real estate your business will operate from, so you don’t have to worry about figuring out the market yourself (still, make sure you study the FDD thoroughly before making any commitments). However, keep in mind that this also means giving up a part of your “freedom” when it comes to operating the business. If you are okay with that, buying into a franchise can be both a lucrative investment with fewer risks and a great way to become your own boss and work in a fast-paced environment.
Try a business opportunity
A golden mean between starting a business from scratch and taking on a franchise would be trying a business opportunity. A business opportunity is a similar model as a franchise. You purchase a package that, like in the case of franchises, includes some training, equipment, and documentation. However, the difference between a franchise and a business opportunity is that after the initial stage, a business opportunity won’t provide extensive ongoing support.
Another crucial difference between franchises and business opportunities lies in their financial aspects. In franchises, you gain use of the parent company’s original trademark and therefore, agree to pay a certain percentage of royalties to your franchisor. On the other hand, a business opportunity does not sell you a trademark. This means that you won’t be paying royalties and will be enjoying greater independence once the business sets off. There aren’t many rules and guidelines to stick to either when it comes to how you operate your business, which makes this option more appealing to those who want more freedom. However, the lack of an established brand and ongoing support also make this option riskier than franchising.
Invest in bonds
Whether we are talking about a startup, a business opportunity, or a franchise, there is no question that extensive involvement is required. However, for those looking for a more passive way to profit off their investment, investing in bonds could be a great idea. By purchasing bonds from a company, municipality, or the government, you are essentially lending them money they can use for development. As time goes by, you are paid interest regularly, and once the time frame that was agreed on passes, you get back the money you initially invested. Another way to make money off bonds is by reselling them when their value increases, gaining a smaller but more instant profit.
One of the reasons why bonds are a great investment opportunity is that they are relatively safe. They are not as volatile as some other investment options, and you know exactly when you are getting paid interest. You also have the option to invest in a cause you believe in, for instance in the improvement of your town or the growth of green business. However, just like everything else, bonds are not without downsides either. For one, you are not making a huge profit with bonds. There is also the risk of the interest rate changing over time. Nevertheless, they are still a great option for low-risk investment and portfolio diversification.
Being your own boss certainly comes with a slew of responsibilities. However, if this is what you want, it’s worth making the effort. Today, there are plenty of opportunities for those who are willing to try. Choose your path depending on the level of freedom you want and the degree you want to invest yourself in this endeavor.