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The Rewards and Risks of Starting Your Own Engineering Business

Aug 19, 2021 · 4 minutes to read

Starting your own engineering business is a big undertaking. There is so much to do before you can accept your first client and start on your first project. In many ways, it might even be harder than becoming an engineer in the first place!

Despite the hard work needed to start a business, there are many great rewards that can make it all worth it. Unfortunately, like everything in life these rewards also come with risks. Let’s take a closer look at the rewards of starting your own engineering business and ways you can help minimize the risks.

Reward: Being your own boss

This is a driving force behind many small businesses. Being your own boss means you have more control over your work schedule and the types of projects you accept. You get to make the big decisions and reap the rewards when things go well. For engineers, this could mean a better work-life balance, bigger salary, and more professional freedom.

Risk: Everything is on your shoulders

Freelance engineers working as sole proprietors are one-person operations. Being the boss in this scenario means you’re in charge of everything about your business, which can quickly become overwhelming. Even bosses with a few employees may need to wear multiple hats to keep their business running smoothly.

Learning to delegate can help you manage the behind-the-scenes tasks of running a business while also working as an engineer. Hiring an office or personal assistant could help you navigate some of the business admin and free up your time to focus on other tasks.

Reward: You can start from scratch

Starting your own engineering business gives you the opportunity to build something from the ground up. You make the rules and can shape the work culture around the corporate values that you find important. This is a chance to create the business you’ve always wanted to work for, hire the types of people you’ve always wanted to work with, and work in a way that fits your lifestyle.

Risk: You’re not sure where to start

While it can be exciting to build a business from scratch, you might not know where to begin. You’re the expert when it comes to engineering, but you’re likely an amateur when it comes to marketing, bookkeeping, drafting business contracts, and the many other skills it takes to start and run a successful business.

If you’re new to small business, you may need some professional assistance to help you get started and operate smoothly. There are many types of business professionals that you may consider hiring, such as a lawyer, marketing specialist, or accountant. These individuals offer valuable services to small business owners, such as reviewing legal contracts, writing a marketing plan, or preparing and filing your business taxes.

Reward: Gaining financial independence

Owning your own engineering business gives you the opportunity to become financially independent. While it generally takes some time to get your business going and start turning a profit, when you’re past these lean times you can hopefully look forward to building wealth beyond your paycheck. A successful business can become an asset to sell or pass down to your children.

Risk: Leaving your finances vulnerable

Even a successful engineering business is open to financial risk. A small mistake in your work, missed deadlines, or a dissatisfied client could lead to a liability claim or lawsuit. If you are found liable for a client’s financial loss, the resulting legal action and compensation could devastate your business accounts—and possibly your personal savings as well.

Engineering insurance, including Professional Liability, can help protect your business’ finances. This form of coverage protects your business against claims of negligence, misrepresentation or mistake, as well as document or paperwork errors. It can provide important peace of mind to you and your clients by paying legal fees, including settlements and judgements, so you are not left paying them out of pocket.

Depending on how your business is structured and how you work, you might also consider other forms of engineering insurance, including General Liability, Workers’ Compensation, or a Business Owner’s Policy.

Facing the challenges of business ownership

Starting your own engineering business can be challenging, but the rewards might just outweigh the risks. With enough hard work and determination (plus a little luck), you could build a business to last for generations.

BizInsure is here to help engineers protect the business they are building. Save time by entering your details once to receive quotes for multiple types of engineering insurance from top-tier insurers at the same time. And with greater pricing transparency, you might even save money too!

Learn more about engineering insurance and find policies to fit your business needs.

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