“In recent years, we have witnessed a huge shift in the UK economy, towards entrepreneurship and business ownership as an emerging norm. The UK has never had a bigger business population and small businesses are driving growth and opportunity right across the economy." Simon Burckhardt, MD – Vonage UK telecommunications.
Since the 2008 credit crunch and banking crisis more than a million new businesses have emerged in Britain, and most of them are run from home. It means home-run businesses are far from marginal these days. In fact they're in the majority, with more than two and three quarter million people doing it, between them making a total contribution of £94 billion a year to the UK economy. You could call it a home-working revolution.
Against this exciting backdrop, plenty more people are thinking of doing the same, either giving up their employed roles or signing off benefits to make a go of it alone. It's brave. It's bold. But if you can make it happen, make it succeed, home work has a great many advantages. Thanks to the Vonage report on Home Business Britain for the stats.
First, some facts to inspire you
There's been a 23% increase in home businesses over the past decade. These days just over 52% of all UK businesses are run from home, and 52% of them run by people aged over 55. One in 11 workers in the UK owns a home business and the sector as a whole supports 3.3 million jobs, with 11.5% of home businesses employing at least one other person. And 42% of the new companies created in the nation since the year 2000 have been run from home. In the north east, where the economy has long been wobblier than elsewhere, 65% of all businesses are home businesses. And the average annual revenue of a home business right now is an impressive £77,000.
20 benefits of running a business from home
If you're dreaming of starting a new journey into the unknown and starting off your own mini-business at home, here's some useful insight into the benefits.
1. Firstly, there's no age limit. Interestingly, a high percentage of British home businesses are run by people at or near retirement age, but it's also a popular model with people of every age
2. You might be past retirement age but there's no law saying you can't run your own company from home until you finally drop off your perch!
3. It's totally flexible. You can work when you want, for as long as you want, without a boss looking over your shoulder. If you've ever found yourself finished for the day but forced to 'look busy' because it isn't 5pm yet, you'll know how frustrating it is. You could be elsewhere, doing useful things rather than stuck at work for no good reason
4. If you've ever bemoaned the fact that everyone at work habitually stays until 8pm, and you're too scared to leave on time because nobody else does, you already know how dysfunctional that is. You won't have to do that any more when you work at home. You work when you want and stop when you want
5. You get to maximise your skills
6. You can choose do more of the things you love, less of the things you dislike or are not very good at
7. You're making profit for yourself, not someone else. You're in full control of how much you earn
8. It doesn't matter if your expertise doesn't include every aspect of running a small business. There are countless fellow small businesses offering support services for everything from marketing to admin, call answering services to invoicing, tax, VAT and accounts, so you can delegate effectively while you learn, or decide not to learn and leave it to the experts
9. Your overheads are much lower – You don't have to hire office space, pay for your commute, pay office rental or business rates
10. You grab back lots of lovely time simply because you don't need to travel to and from work every day... which also benefits the environment
11. It has never been easier to start a business thanks to digital technologies
12. The latest government guidelines makes it easier for people to run a business from a rented home
13. Home businesses are not usually subject to planning permission
14. The proportion of women running home businesses is higher than the overall small business
population as a whole, suggesting that the model is particularly attractive to women
15. The government is supposed to be looking into tax simplification, which should help enormously in future
16. The government is also supposed to be looking at delivering superfast broadband across the UK, making it available and affordable for everyone
17. Home-working means you can spend more time with the family
18. It's a brilliant way to test-drive a bright business idea relatively simply and cheaply
19. You can use the skills you developed in your employed career
20. You can do things properly and be proud of your work rather than being driven nuts by bad practice, short cuts and quality issues
Ready to press 'go'?
If you're keen to start up a new business from your home, we provide a varied collection of support services to help you get where you want to be.