From lightbulb moments of inspiration, to changing personal circumstances and long-held individual ambitions, there are myriad reasons why people choose to start a home business.
16th November 2016
Above all, starting out from home allows for a flexible and affordable approach that reduces the risk inherent in a new venture.
For Marcus Wilson, Founder of Little Fingers Baby Food, starting at home was a way of trialling his idea for organic, self-feeding baby food, without taking on the full infrastructure costs up-front. “We wanted to get the business going but not put ourselves under immense pressure, and the home business route [allowed] us to significantly keep costs down. My wife works full-time, so childcare would have been a much bigger issue if I weren’t operating from home,” he says.
Many who start out from home are looking to minimise costs, even if they eventually envisage running their company elsewhere. For Tom Tigwell, founder of premium juice maker Mission Juice, starting the business from home was a way of making the most of his small pot of initial funding: “Because of my low level of investment, I need to save as much money as possible,” he says, “So, I’ve set up a home office and although I want to move out eventually, it works for me right now.”
Family circumstances are often the motivation for new home business owners. Ali Golds, who runs a business development consultancy, built her business coaching expertise into a home business to “give the best home life that I could to my son. I found it very hard to balance being a single parent and working: trying to get from work to the child minder, or even finding a child minder to start with. It’s much easier to plan your life when you work for yourself.”
For Clara Bentata, Co-founder of online baby boutique retailer Lucy and Belle, the inspiration was to provide something missing in the market: “It all started with me trying to find brands for my children that weren’t widely available in the UK,” she says. “I started discovering all these great products from around the world that I knew the UK market would love. So I decided to stock the brands myself.”
Other home business owners are harnessing the skills they have developed during their career. Film-maker Paul Wightman gave up his job with a sports production company to launch Indigo Dingo, a creative agency working with big and small brands in the sports, entertainment and corporate sectors. Initially concerned about the lack of interaction that working from home would mean, he found that vastly improved connectivity has allowed him to maintain effective collaborations: “It’s made it easier to make and maintain close contacts and to collaborate in real-time with remote colleagues, without having to always be in the same room. Technology has completely redefined how creative people interact.”
Above all, it is the flexibility that attracts many who start and run businesses from home. As Tom Pugh-Jones, Co-founder of recruitment and relocation service Progress People, reflects: “You don’t need to be in the City of London, wearing a suit, getting on the tube every day – you just need a good phone line and good relationships.”