A lot of people dream of quitting their jobs and starting their own businesses. In fact, we've probably all had that dream at one time or another. Being your own boss, after all, means never having to worry if getting stuck in traffic will get you in trouble with your supervisor, never having to think about staying late just to impress a higher-up, never having anyone else tell you what to do. Related: 4 Reasons To Quit Your Job To Be An Entrepreneur For some people, the dream is more entrepreneurial: the chance to run a company your way, the opportunity to make more money than you ever could as an employee, the thrill of having creative control of a business, the chance to develop a product or service of your own. If you share this dream, you're not alone - Forbes reports that a 2012 study by Economic Modeling Specialists International indicates that 10.6 million Americans are their own bosses. This group includes small business owners, freelancers, consultants, and creative types of all kinds. It could also include you -- if you have what it takes to work for yourself.
What types of "be your own boss" opportunities are out there?There are as many business opportunities as there are individuals. However, the types of jobs that are available to people who want to work for themselves tend to fall into a few specific categories:
- Small businesses: This is what most people think of when they imagine "working for themselves." A small business can encompass anything from a corner store to a coffeeshop to an online T-shirt catalog. Web startups also fall under this general category. If you're interested in starting your own small business, the U.S. Small Business Administration has many resources to help you get your business idea off the ground.
- Freelancers/consultants: Freelancers and consultants sell their work to other companies, one project at a time. This is a great way for people in creative industries to earn money and build their own brands. A freelance business also requires very little overhead; you can work from home and connect with clients online; in many cases, the only thing you need to get started is a laptop and an internet connection.
- Franchise owners: This option is often overlooked, but is a great way to take control of a business and be your own boss. With a franchise, you have the name brand of a major company behind you, but are in charge of the day-to-day operations of the business. Many well-known companies offer franchise opportunities; UPS, for example, has many profitable franchises available to people willing to put in the work. Owning a franchise is a great way to learn how to run a business and lead a team.