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Don’t want to work for someone else, but not sure you have what it takes to start a business? Launching a startup isn’t the only route into self-employment. There are many other routes that you can take that allow you to experience autonomy and flexibility. Below are a few self-employment alternatives to starting a business.

Buy an existing business

An alternative to starting your own business could be buying an existing business. This can have many advantages over a startup – the framework, the tools, the staff and the customers are already in place, allowing you to start making a steady income straight away. As with a startup, you have creative control over the future of the business once you take over the reins, but simply don’t have to worry about the whole setup phase. Buying an existing business can be expensive of course – you’ll likely have to take out a loan similar in size to a small mortgage for most successful small businesses. You’ll also need to make sure that any business you buy is definitely profitable (some owners may be selling up as a way to escape a failing business) and you’ll need gain the trust of the previous owner (much like selling a treasured family home, some sellers are likely to be picky when choosing a new owner). 

Buy a franchise

When you buy a franchise, you’re essentially buying a part of a larger company that you still get independent control over. You’ll either be tasked with setting up a new store or managing a new area. Unlike buying an existing business, you’ll have certain restrictions as to what you can do, which are put in place by the franchiser. You’ll likely have to follow a certain business model, use their branding and a certain type of equipment. However, you have control as to who you hire and which customers you take on. Take time to compare different franchisors in order to find the best company – if senior care is your desired industry to get into, you should spend time comparing different senior care brands to find the top senior placement franchise. Buying a franchise can be expensive, but is likely to be cheaper than buying an independent business. 

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Become a free agent

As a free agent, you get to work for yourself without any ties to a brand or employees. Just like running a business, you get to decide when and how you work – you have only your customers to answer to. It could be ideal if you enjoy having control and working alone. Others may find it a little lonely and may not like the responsibility of finding customers themselves. Of course, working for an agency can be a way to get around this. You don’t have the struggle of looking for customers when working for an agency and you may have some of the camaraderie of working with others, however you’ll likely have to meet the standards of the agency (much like working as an employee for a company, but with a little more freedom as to which jobs you take on).

By Erica Buteau

Change Agent. Daydream Believer. Maker. Creative. Likes love, peace and Jeeping. Dislikes winter, paper cuts and war. She/Her/Hers.

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