James Robbins, Founder and Managing Director of Drysure, shares his tips for balancing home and business without spending a fortune on a working space.
13th February 2017
After a fun-filled day of skiing and extreme weather change in Kitzbühel, Austria, the thought of my wife and I having to put on our wet ski boots the following morning was not an inviting one. I asked myself, “how do I dry my boots without heat, electricity, or even removing the liners?” and so the brainstorming began and my boot drying business came to life.
In February 2016, I soft launched Drysure – a range of boot and shoe dryers requiring no heat or electricity and drying footwear up to 12 times faster than air – from my loft in Wandsworth, London. While I was still working as a project manager for a local building company, this was the perfect solution. It meant that I did not need to raise extra funds for a working space and work for someone else, all at the same time.
The soft launch was a success and we achieved what we had set out to do – which was to determine if the market liked our product and whether we should take it to the next level. It was then that I realised it was time to start thinking about my family life and how my Home Business was slowly beginning to affect it.
The official launch of Drysure at the Telegraph Ski and Snowboard Show in Battersea was now only months away. Over the summer months, we strived to improve our product and had outer packaging made – which effectively meant more boxes, everywhere! It seemed as if my business was growing and my loft was shrinking. While it was exciting for us all in the family to watch the boxes pile up, the effects of my growing Home Business were being felt.
The home is a place to relax, entertain and watch your children play – it is important to remember that. If you are unable to do this because you are constantly surrounded by stock, boxes and rubbish then it is time to make a change. Define clear boundaries for where your Home Business is allowed to exist, and where it is not. Stick to them.
Here are my tips for solving some of these issues, and without having to spend a fortune on a working space:
Rent a self-storage unit locally
This is the first thing that I have done. When selecting a self-storage unit, think of convenience. The location closest to you may be more expensive, but at least it is close – and time is money.
Pre-assemble your product
Should your product require assembly, begin early and have it pre-assembled at a fulfilment center. In this way, your products are less likely to take up otherwise valuable space in your home.
Sign up to a courier service which offers daily collections
It may be more expensive, but it means freeing up already occupied space in the house for new stock. I resisted this move until very recently, and it has vastly improved my productivity as I am no longer having to load up the car or drop off parcels at the depot.
Running a business from your home is a wonderful thing and offers many benefits. Ensure that you are protecting these benefits by finding your optimal work/family balance.