日期:2008-11-23 14:47


I write a lot about personal finance. I hear a lot about how different employers are handling the current economic crunch and, lately, what I’ve been hearing makes me pretty uncomfortable about working for a long list of companies. Some employers are slashing benefits — effectively cutting their employees’ salaries while inflation reduces their buying power.

I want to suggest entrepreneurship as an alternative, but I realize that it isn’t a great option for everyone. I’ve been putting together a list of pros and cons in an effort to decide whether starting up a business is really a good idea for some people, especially in the middle of ongoing financial problems. I’ve tried to stick to financial

and business issues while it’s nice that many small business owners can spend more time with their families, I don’t think that’s the biggest issue for many folks considering entrepreneurship right now.

The Pros

1. If your employer is letting you go, offering early retirement or using another euphemism for firing you, it may be hard to find another job immediately. Being in business for yourself allows you to immediately start working on making money, rather than proofreading your resume.

2. Without the middleman (a.k.a. your employer) you can charge significantly more for your services — along the lines of what your employer was charging for your work.

3. You don’t have to go whole hog into running your own business. You can try out your business on a part-time, evenings and weekends, basis while still working your current job.

4. It can be easier to pick up overtime if you no longer have to get your manager to sign off on it. If you run your own business, overtime is a matter of finding another client or customer.

5. The cost of working at home is much lower than for your employer: you don’t have to pay to commute, you can eat inexpensively in your own kitchen and you only have to meet a dress code when you’ll actually be seeing a client. And, while this isn’t particularly noble, you can avoid the constant birthday parties, baby showers and other office events that constantly drain your time and your wallet.

6. Just about all of the expenses associated with your business are tax deductible. Running your own business can make your tax burden significantly lower — and a surprising number of things are considered business expenses, like conference registrations.

The Cons

1. While getting health insurance without an employer providing it isn’t impossible, it can be pretty difficult — especially if you actually need. Pre-existing conditions can make it absolutely impossible to get health insurance on your own.

2. With a job, if you aren’t quite on the ball one week, you still get paid. But if you fumble on your own business, you can wind up losing money. Even if you have a contract, sometimes things can go very wrong. An employer absorbs those problems, but can you do that if you’re on your own?

3. There are some great jobs that simply aren’t possible to do in a small business that you’re just starting yourself. If you have one of those jobs and you like it, why mess with a good thing?

4. It’s all well and good to jump off the deep end if no one’s depending on your earnings. But if you have a family or other dependents, you have to be absolutely sure before you strike out on your own.

5. You have to buy your own equipment when you run your own business: no more company laptop — or printing out your personal stuff at work. A computer, a printer, maybe even a fax machine: you’ll have to buy what ever you need for your home office.

6. There’s no such thing as vacation time or sick leave when you run your own business. You can certainly take time off when you need to — after all, you’re the boss — but you just don’t get paid when you’re not working.

7. While the flexibility of working for yourself can be nice, more and more employers are offering flex time and telecommuting options. You can have a lot of the benefits of working for yourself without having to give up a regular salary.

My Conclusion

Freelancing, consulting, and running your own business isn’t for everyone. There’s a certain amount of security in working for an employer, even if that employer is considering cutting costs with little tricks like suspending 401(k) benefits. That said, if you’re comfortable with the risks, I think there are a lot of opportunities right now: even big companies are turning to freelancers and consultants to handle the workloads of those employees who suffered under a cost-saving measure. Either choice requires a lot of careful consideration and shouldn’t be made lightly.

There are plenty of situations that can negate the cons I listed, as well as the pros. I mentioned that there’s no such thing as paid vacation if you run your own business — you can get around that negative fairly easily if you concentrate on building passive income. A lot depends on your field, as well as whether you have the self-discipline to run your own company. Before you make your decision, research all your options. You might even consider doing a test run: with a lot of businesses, you can get a head start on things even while you’re still gainfully employed.



1. 如果雇主正要解雇你,提出让你提前退休,或用其它委婉的说法解雇你,你可能很难马上找到其它工作。自己做生意能让你立即开始工作赚钱,而不必一遍遍地给人看简历。

2. 没有了中间人(也称为雇主)你可以从自己的服务中获取更可观的效益——包括雇主从你的工作中获取的利润。

3. 你不必须一心扑在自己的生意上,可以花部分时间,晚上或者周末试着做做生意,而主要精力还放在当前的工作上。

4. 如果加班不必非要经理签字了,就能更容易得到加班费。如果自己做生意,加班是寻找新客户和联系老主顾的重要环节。

5. 在家工作比为雇主工作费用低得多:你不必付交通费,还可以花很少的钱在家做饭吃,而且只有当你确实要去见客户的时候,才需要穿正装。即使这些都不特别重要,你还能逃避接连不断的生日宴会、新生儿喜宴,以及其它不断消耗你的时间和金钱的办公室活动。

6. 和你的生意有关系的一切费用就只是扣除营业税了。经营自己的生意能让你的税务负担大大降低——像会议注册这样被视为业务费用的事情多得惊人。


1. 然而,虽然没有雇主为你投保,也不是绝对上不了医保,但可能会非常困难——尤其是已经患病的人,根据预定的参保条件,要想靠自己得到健康保险是完全不可能的。

2. 如果有一天你已不那么能干了,有份工作还能得到报酬。而你如果处理不好自己的生意,就可能损失钱财。尽管有合同,有时情况还是会很糟糕。雇主承担了一切问题,但是,如果是你,你能做到吗?

3. 有些很好的工作,你刚开始做的小生意是不可能做的。如果你有一个这样的工作,而且很喜欢,为什么要毁掉它呢?

4. 如果没人靠你的收入生活,能跳出困境当然好,但是,如果你有家庭或其他依赖你的人,那你就必须在自主创业之前绝对有把握。

5. 经营自己的生意时,你必须置办自己的设备:不再有公司的便携式电脑可用——也不再可能在上班时打印自己的东西。电脑、打字机,也许甚至传真机:你不得不买所有家庭办公所需的物品。

6. 经营自己的生意时,没有休假或请病假这样的事情。当然了,如果需要,你可以抽出一部分时间——毕竟,你是老板——但是,你不工作就得不到钱。
7. 由于为自己工作的灵活性很受欢迎,越来越多的雇主提供了弹性工作时间和远程工作的选择。你可以享受到为自己工作的很多好处,又不必放弃定期获得的薪水。


做自由职业者,顾问,经营自己的生意并不适合所有的人。尽管雇主为降低成本耍些像暂停为你的401(k) 帐户充值这样的小花招,为雇主工作还是有些安全保证的。也就是说,如果你对这些保证感到满意,我想现在就有很多机会:就连大公司也在求助于自由职业者和顾问医生,讨论因节约成本而深受其害的雇员们的工作量问题。哪种选择都需要认真仔细的考虑,不能轻率地做出决定。


  • effectivelyadv. 事实上,有效地
  • negatev. 否定,否认,打消
  • constantlyadv. 不断地,经常地
  • alternativeadj. 两者择一的; 供选择的; 非主流的 n. 替换
  • constantadj. 经常的,不变的 n. 常数,恒量
  • optionn. 选择权,可选物,优先购买权 v. 给予选择
  • flexibilityn. 灵活性,柔韧性,适应性
  • euphemismn. 婉言,委婉的说法
  • considerationn. 考虑,体贴,考虑因素,敬重,意见 n. 报酬
  • drainn. 下水道,排水沟,消耗 v. 耗尽,排出,排干,喝光