More and more people in the UK are starting their own business. Figures from Startup Britain show that a record 526,000 new businesses were registered with Companies House in 2013. Whilst 2013 was a bumper year, the number of business start-ups is projected to be even higher in 2014.
The internet has made it much easier to start your own business from home. Creating a professional looking website to market and sell your product or service is now inexpensive and will allow your new business to hit the ground running.
Advantages of starting a business from home
• Lower start-up costs: no office furniture to buy
• Lower ongoing costs: no rent to pay or travel expenses
• No time wasting and stress inducing daily commute
• Provides greater flexibility for mums or dads with childcare duties
• You may be able to benefit from tax relief on some of your household expenses. Check out www.hmrc.gov.uk for more information.
• And my personal favourite: you can go to work in your pyjamas!
Disadvantages of starting a business from home
• May lead to a lack of separation of home life and work life
• Creates opportunities for procrastination
• Can make growing the business and taking on employees trickier
• Lack of contact with the outside world can lead to loneliness and isolation
• Working from home can affect your mortgage and your home insurance
Tips for working from your home
• Ideally your home workplace should be a discreet space separate from the rest of the house: for example, by creating an office in the attic or a workshop in the garage
• Your home workplace needs to be comfortable, well lit, and draught free
• You may want to have a separate telephone line and answering machine for your business calls.
• Present a professional image by using a local hotel with a lobby to meet with clients or suppliers
• Go the extra mile for clients that you really want to impress by renting office space by the hour from specialist companies such as Regus.
Planning Permission and Building Regulations for home workplaces
You do not usually need planning permission to work from home. The test is whether the overall character of your home will change as a result of the business. If your home still functions primarily as a home you will be fine.
However, as your business grows or if building work is required to extend or alter your home this may trigger a need for Planning Permission and Building Regulations approval.
With the growth of the internet, more and more businesses can be operated from home.
You could convert your garden shed into workshop for creating a niche product. Or you could be offering a consultancy service from a home office in your attic.
There are almost limitless opportunities out there. Bye Bye, and good riddance, to the old 9 to 5 job.