Information about Businesses
Every business is made up of many different elements, all of which will affect your enjoyment of it. The main elements are the environment, the people, the tasks, the subject and the values. Here we will look at each element and highlight what you need to consider when assessing a job’s suitability for you.
Business can take place in many different environments, the most obvious one to start with is weather the job involves being primarily inside or primarily outside. If you don’t immediately know which of these you prefer consider how you spend your free time but make sure you think about all the different seasons and variations in weather as if you’re based outside you’ll have to enjoy it in the snow as well as the sun.
Some businesses involve staying in one place all the time and others involve travelling around. Consider carefully weather or not you would be happy working in lots of different places (for example visiting clients in their homes), if you like to know where everything is and be in your own space that may not be for you.
Other factors it can be useful to consider are weather the environment is formal or informal, this may influence what you wear which could be important to you and whether the environment is public, for example a shop or private, like an office.
Who you see on a daily basis can have a big impact on how much you enjoy your days and while you can’t guarantee you’ll like everyone come across you can consider the sort of people you’re likely to encounter. If you’re working online then you may not see anyone most days so you’ll need to be happy with that or look in to local groups for self employed people, these can be great for bouncing ideas around and keeping you sane.
You’ll also need to consider the types of relationship you will have with the people you encounter. If you work with the general public you may meet lots of new people everyday but your interaction with them might be limited to one conversation. In other types of business you might work one to one with a client over a period of time and get to know them well.
If you’re going to employ people you may be managing them which could mean a more formal relationship the people you work with. If you’re considering a franchise you’ll need to consider your relationship with the franchisor, which can be a bit like having a type of boss. You may also have fellow franchisees which can help with the isolation that can come with some types of self employment.
By subject we mean what your business is all about so if you run a clothes shop the subject would be fashion, if you run baby massage classes it would be babies. Sometimes, the subject of the job and the tasks, which we’ll discuss below, is directly related for example if you are a coach your tasks will be about coaching. This isn’t always the case, in our first two examples the subjects and the tasks may be quite different. In a clothes shop the key task will probably be customers service and the key task in massage classes would be teaching.
When looking at business ideas you may be attracted to ones where the subject is something that interests you. It’s important to consider whether the tasks you do day to day relate to that subject. If they don’t you’ll need to consider whether or not they are tasks you enjoy or if working with the subject is more important to you than the tasks you do day to day. It might also be the case if you feel very passionately about the subject which may be the case if you feel passionately about the benefits of baby massage. You need to be very careful if you consider this option, if the tasks are things you don’t feel strongly about either way it might be ok but if they are things you hate then you are likely to become miserable very quickly.
The tasks you do on a day to day basis are likely to have the biggest influence on how you feel about a business. When reading information about a particular business it’s useful to try and imagine what a day doing that business would involve. The best way to find out is to ask someone doing it but you can gather quite a lot of information from what is written in information.
Some people will enjoy doing the same small range of tasks everyday as they will become good at them and using a skill you are good at is generally enjoyable. For others learning is the skill they enjoy using the most and they will want to do new tasks on a regular basis.
You may also want to consider the level of challenge the tasks will offer you. The challenge of learning a new skill can be enjoyable but if the skill is in an area you know is not your strength it may be frustrating.
It’s also important to remember that there is a great deal of administration related to running a business. If you really hate that side of it you could consider outsourcing it to people like accountants and virtual assistants but that may not be possible until you’re established.
Your values can have a significant influence on how you feel about your work. It may be important to you that your business helps people in some way or that it behaves ethically.
Other kinds of values can also have an influence. You may want to achieve a particular status, for example being a recognised professional or earning a certain amount and you will need to consider weather or not a particular business will allow you to achieve that. If you value flexibility, likely you if you have children, you will need to find out if the business you are considering offers you this.