Recession helps to push 300,000 into starting up a home-based business

The recession has played a key role in persuading many more that setting up a business from home is the best option for them, with many of the new entrepreneurs using redundancy pay-offs as seed money for their new ventures. Others have used the economic climate as a reason to wrestle back control of their lives and achieve their ambition of being more in control of their own destiny.

Emma Jones, founder of home business website, Enterprise Nation, and author of the Report, said, “This year’s report confirms that more people are starting up at home on account of lower costs and wanting a better work/life balance. Basing the business at home is certainly no obstacle to growth as home business owners are making the most of technology to outsource work and collaborate with other talented minds.”

The reports reveals that over 60% of small businesses started in the UK are started at home and that 2.8 million businesses being run from home, generating an annual and collective turnover of £284 billion. These home based businesses are ambitious for growth and they’re growing by focusing on what they do best and outsourcing the rest.

Bill Murphy, Managing Director, BT Business said, “It’s an inspiration to see so many people boldly responding to the recession by starting new businesses from home. The Home Business report shows technology to be a key enabler to this trend with 81% of survey respondents stating that technology is critical to the success of their business.

He further added, “It’s great to see that businesses in this sector are also early adopters of social media, with 74% using social networking sites, such as BT Tradespace, to attract new customers and defy the challenges of today’s economic climate.”

The 2009 Home Business Report is based on findings from the annual home business survey and national data sources. While the recession has played its part where people were motivated to start after being made redundant but many others have voluntarily chosen to regain control over their working life with 49% of respondents saying what they are enjoying most about self-employment is the freedom to make their own decisions.

The Survey and Report show high levels of confidence and optimism with 89% of businesses expecting to increase turnover in the next 12 months. This growth is not being realised by hiring staff as home businesses are instead growing by outsourcing and subcontracting work to freelancers and professionals.

The report calls on central government, business support providers and enterprise agencies to take action in ensuring that support schemes allow for ‘increase in turnover’ as opposed to ‘increase in headcount’ as a credible company growth option.

Other findings from the report show ‘Working 5 to 9’ is on the rise as people hold down a day job and build a business at nights and weekends, and the continued strong reliance home business owners place on technology.

Full survey findings are included in the report on along with a ranking of the UK’s Top 100 Home Business Hotspots and case studies of successful home businesses from across the UK.
Now in its third year the report has recorded year-on-year growth in what is a bright and vibrant sector. Key contributors to the 2009 Home Business Report were InfoUK and Professor Colin Mason of the Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship at the University of Strathclyde.