Being self employed makes having a holiday really tricky, you have to plan time off and its very difficult when lots of the work you do is reliant on other peoples schedules. You can be sure that a job you have been waiting on will finally be ready to commence around the time you’ve booked your holiday.
This got me thinking about the pros and cons of being self employed and some of it specifically in the furniture/interiors industry..
You can’t just ‘take time off’.. For births and deaths in our family Steve has been working. In significant times if there is a deadline and/or you really need to finish a job to get paid to pay a bill then you have to work, whatever the situation.
Making new designs costs money- There is a great demand to always be producing new ideas but this takes time and money to do. New designs can take days and days to make(labour costs) and money to buy the materials. Often if you are working alongside a manufacture such as printers there is a minimum order so you often have quite large overheads before your designs are even launched. Then photographed, publicised etc..
Finding a retailer. This is one of the most difficult aspects as it is very hard to find stockists. Even when you have worked with a retailer it does mean that the relationship is a continuos one. Some don’t even acknowledge an email and you may have even had meetings and sold with them before.
Retailers also work on a ‘trend’ basis which can be tricky as this isn’t usually how a designer works.
People ripping you off.. Don’t ask..
Being poor.. We have been so terribly poor at times that we have had to rely on family to help pay bills. Any self employed person will tell you that an invoice is rarely paid on time.. This can be crippling.
When we argue we still have to work/eat dinner together.
Doing what you love.. There is nothing we would rather be doing.
We get to talk about what we like all the time. Our job is a way of fulfilling what we are interested in.
We don’t have to go to ‘nonsense’ meetings for health and safety/team building etc.
Most of the time we get to pick who we work with.
We don’t have to go on work ‘dos’.
Get to work with my best friend.
So even though it can be really really tough sometimes and difficult not to take it personally when its your own business..
We know what we want to make and have a strong vision and many ideas which we hope will stand the test of time.
So we are off on holidays on Friday and to catch up with some good people. As with every year we go away the last few days are fraught trying to finish work, until the long drive west is done and the first sip of alcohol is had.