06 Aug 2020

Setting up your Own Business as a Project Manager

Nik Ruparel
Setting up your Own Business as a Project Manager

Taking the first step to setting up your own business can be challenging; there are a myriad of emotions to contend with from excitement, to self-doubt and fear. 

The more positive emotions are the obvious lure of flexibility, freedom, achievement and gratification, but do you really achieve these outcomes by setting up your own business?

If you are “successful” it may provide the opportunity to create a lifestyle that you’re looking for, you will be the master of your own destiny and not beholden to an organisation.
In this blog, Nik Ruparel, from ProNexus provides a balanced view of what you should consider if you’re thinking about setting up your own business and taking the leap into the unknown.



The perceived safety net in working 9-5 and collecting a consistent income every month is rapidly making way for more entrants into the gig economy. With the employment market continuing to evolve, coupled with the impact of technology and dare we say, a Global pandemic, it may be the ideal opportunity to take control of your own career. 
Project management can be viewed as the ideal skill set for those wanting to set up their own business, because a project manager’s capability, can be utilised by organisations in a modular way.

Over the years, at ProNexus we have worked with countless individuals who thought they were immune to being made redundant. In any environment, but particularly in the current climate, there are no guarantees, so does it make it less risky to strike out on your own?

The ATO says that "the profile of Australian workers is evolving more generally, with more ‘white-collar’ workers adopting forms of contracting and self-employment in many sectors".

The evidence is overwhelming that white-collar, high-paid, professionals heavily dominate independent contracting. Some of the other defining characteristics tend to be active seekers of information, and above-average income earners, with a high business competency. The research report by the ATO findings “debunk the popular misconception that workers are forced into setting up their own business due to job loss or lack of alternatives”.


  1. Resilience - You need to have a certain drive and personality to set up on your own. Be aware that it is unlikely to be easy and that things will not always go your way. In fact many things may not go to plan, but you need to be able to keep going.
  2. Health - Be mindful of all areas of your health, as you will invariably work longer and harder than you may have before. It will be easy to push things like exercise and mental health to one side as your business becomes your number one priority, but without your health achieving the former is not possible, so remember to take time out for you.
  3. Clients - Have you considered how you will position yourself and where you’re going to gain your first client? Once you have your first client, don’t forget to think about the business cycle. There is a risk of your business stopping because you are so deeply entrenched in delivering the work and you do not have time to think about where your next project will come from. Being your own boss means you must dedicate time to working on the business as much as you do in the business.
  4. Employees - Play to your strengths and employ others for theirs - you may need assistance outside your core skills. These often fall into the areas of Marketing, Accounting, IT Support and Sales.
  5. Network - You may soon find that once you are outside an organisation it can get lonely. It is important to have people to talk to, so find likeminded communities and network. We’re not suggesting collecting as many business cards and mobile numbers as you can, but rather work on making meaningful connections.
  6. Finances - Manage your finances. It is advisable to complete a detailed financial plan so that you can manage your cashflow. Also be mindful of possible legal issues and conflicts of interest.
  7. Patience - Success and achievement look different for everyone, be realistic, be patient, be persistent and set some achievable goals. It can be tempting to revert to contracting, determine whether you are selling hours or whether you are selling a service as part of a business.

For help getting your business off the ground, visit business.gov.au and the ATO website. Also call on experts who can support your business, such as a Lawyer, an Accountant, Insurance Broker and IT Support.
There are certainly many positives and negatives to setting up your own busines. If you are unsure, you may want to test your ideas with a group of trusted friends, colleagues and even prospective clients. Setting up your own business is a brave decision, one that could reap significant long term benefits.
Good luck, no matter what path you undertake!




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