Small-business owners still believe self-employment the way forward


“The future of self-employment is strong, and I think it will only increase given the global trends of the service economy, globalisation, telepresence, skills volatility and the sharing economy.”

Recently-released research by invoicing app provider Invoice2go reveals that small-business owners are optimistic about the future of work and, despite the concerns that keep them up at night, they plan to keep running a business as self-employment is the way to go for them.

The top concerns for Australian small business owners are:

  • work availability – 45 per cent
  • cashflow – 38 per cent
  • market economic conditions – 34 per cent

The research, which looked into the behaviour of Australia’s self-employed work force, found that there are some key concerns for small-business owners but of those who have made the change to being self-employed business owners, only a tiny 1.5 per cent are considering making the change back to a Monday-to-Friday job within the next decade. Say goodbye to 9-5: Only 22 per cent believe the 9-5 full-time job will continue to be predominant working style for most people in the future.

Despite their concerns around work availability, cashflow and economic conditions, small-business owners still believe the future of self-employment is bright, with 89% happy with their current working situation, and 87% optimistic about the future of employment.

Drawn to self-employment for flexibility and working the hours they want (61 per cent), the ability to generate more money (46 per cent) and follow their passion (43 per cent), working for the man is becoming a less popular career choice for Aussies, and those ditching traditional employment and opting to be their own boss instead are happier for it. For small-business owners, it seems that the pros outweigh the cons when it comes to being your own boss.

Mr Chris Strode, founder of Invoice2go, is familiar with the concerns of small-business owners, starting his business as a side project 14 years ago. He believes that there is a bright future for those willing to build a business of their own.

“Business owners don’t choose to start or grow a business because it’s the easy choice. There is rarely instant success, and there are constant learnings and obstacles along the way,” said Strode.

“Working for yourself can be hugely rewarding, both personally and financially, when it goes well, but it’s important that business owners adopt the right tools and technology to help them overcome challenges like managing inconsistent cashflow.

“Of course, there are always concerns around economic conditions in any form of employment. Despite this, we’re seeing growing numbers of people opt to work for themselves and the future looks bright. While it is hard work, more and more people are eager to carve out their own path to success, and to call their own shots. It’s an extremely rewarding way to earn a living.”

Edward Greenaway, a Management Consultant based in Melbourne, deals with the issues facing the self-employed every day.

“As a self-employed person, the main concerns and challenges we face, in comparison to working a ‘regular’ full-time job are finding work, estimating effort correctly, appropriate pricing and administration. Coming from two of the largest worldwide consulting firms I am used to operating with a support system and safety net – these I no longer have. The use of Invoice2go solves the last of those concerns and allows me to focus on the other three,” Greenaway says.

“As a self-employed person, cashflow is always at the back of mind. Self-employment allows the freedom to work the hours we want, but it’s still very hard work. The future of self-employment is strong, and I think it will only increase given the global trends of the service economy, globalisation, telepresence, skills volatility and the sharing economy,” Greenaway concluded.

Inside Small Business