What about the downsides?

Obviously here at face2faceHR HQ we think being a self-employed HR consultant is just great, and I’ve written loads before on why it’s a good decision for many people. And equally clearly, we have a business interest in persuading people of that.

But if you’re considering going down that route, either with us, with another similar company or on your own, it’s important you consider the downsides as well, and make an informed decision.

With that in mind, here are five of the potentially less-good bits for you to think about:

No guaranteed income

This is the biggy really. You won’t have a regular monthly salary coming in regardless of what happens, how well you perform or what you do. Your income can and will vary, and at the beginning as you’re getting started, will probably not be very high. The extent to which income will be unpredictable may depend on the kind of clients you target and the kinds of work you specialise in. We attempt to reduce that unpredictability as far as possible with our business model, but there is no doubt that no guaranteed income can be a dealbreaker for some in their decision about whether to leave traditional employment.

No in-depth involvement in a business

I actually like this; I like the fact that I am on the periphery of my clients’ businesses, and am not therefore embroiled in any internal politics, don’t feel as personally involved at the difficult times and get to know lots of businesses instead of just one. But some people prefer a more in depth involvement in and knowledge of one business, so this type of work may not suit them.


While working with a franchise arrangement should minimise this, there is no doubt that some people really need to work in a team and be surrounded by and working with others most of the time. As a self-employed consultant you are likely to be spending a fair amount of time working on your own. There will be lots of interaction with different people, clients, business contacts and similar, but you won’t have that day-in-day-out interaction with a team.

Working at home

For some people working at home can be brilliant. They are productive, getting loads done without the distraction of an office, it saves loads of time with no commute, and there are tons of upsides. But some people find working at home difficult, find it difficult to motivate themselves and find themselves easily distracted by domestic chores. There are ways round this and things you can do to become more productive at home, but it doesn’t suit everyone.

Ultimate responsibility

As a business owner, you have complete responsibility for the success (or failure) of your business. You are responsible for making those big decisions about how to manage the challenges you come across, and for getting in enough work to make the business financially viable. Some people thrive on that responsibility and enjoy the challenges associated with it, but some do not, and find that ultimate responsibility difficult.


Starting your own business is a big step to take. While we try and mitigate the downsides as far as possible, and provide support and guidance to help deal with them, there is no doubt that there are possible negative consequences or challenges that anyone considering taking that step should think about.

If you’d like to discuss how we can help mitigate the downsides, do get in touch