For entrepreneur and business guru Emma Jones, spare bedrooms aren’t just about storing junk or putting up the occasional visitor.
She sees them as ideal starting points for individuals aspiring to be their own boss and set up a new business from home.
Emma, herself a home worker operating from the Shropshire town of Shrewsbury in the West Midlands Region, has written a book all about the subject of setting up and running a home based enterprise.
Called ‘Spare Room Start Up: How to start a business from home’ and published by Harriman House, the book is an easy to read guide focusing on the specific issues that affect home business start ups. It retails at £12.99 and was named Waterstone’s Business Book of the Month upon its launch.
Key themes include planning and promoting a business, finding the right technology and striking a balance between work and family life. Emma’s advice and suggestions are interspersed with quick tips, colour photographs from her own home and real life case studies from successful business owners.
She said: “I had a great job working for an accountancy firm, but after five years decided I wanted to be my own boss and have more control of my life. I left to start a business from my spare room and haven’t looked back since.
“There are so many benefits to running a business from home. Set up costs are lower, which means you instantly reduce your risk and keep your overheads low as the business grows.
“It also cuts out the daily commute, saving you anything up to a day a week. Home workers enjoy arriving at the office on time in a matter of seconds, feeling both refreshed and enthusiastic.”
Emma is a formidable figure in the world of home business. In 2006 she created the home business website Enterprise Nation (www.enterprisenation.com), a free resource for anyone starting and growing their own business from home and the largest site of its kind in the UK with a regular readership of more than 36,000 people every month.
Managed from within the West Midlands Region, Enterprise Nation includes news, video features, discussion forums, plus regular podcasts and e-bulletins for members.
Emma is often called upon to speak on the subject of home business and advises Regional Development Agencies, including Advantage West Midlands, on how to encourage and support home working.
Her own research into the subject, backed by sponsor BT and published in the Enterprise Nation Home Business Report, paints a positive picture for new business start ups in the West Midlands.
It says the Region is the second fastest growing location when it comes to people starting a business from home. There are now more than 180,000 home businesses operating in the West Midlands – a 2.3 per cent increase year on year.
Furthermore, the home is the most popular location for starting a business. Around 60 per cent of all UK start ups begin from a home base, the equivalent of 1,400 every week.
Home Business Success
Emma’s top five tips for running a successful business from home are:
1. Do something you love. Let your business idea be based on a passion, hobby or skill. That way, it will never really feel like work.
2. Find dedicated space in the house. This will make it easier to create your ideal work environment and to switch off at the end of the day.
3. Make the most of technology. Invest in tools that make you super-efficient and use the web to promote you and the business.
4. Get out of the home office. Meet new people, including customers and suppliers, by attending meetings, shows and events. Even pop to your local coffee shop when in need of a little human interaction!
5. Enjoy each day of being a Spare Room Start Up. Your commute to work takes 60 seconds and you get more done in the hours you have. That frees up time for doing all the other things you like.
For further information, photographs or interviews please contact Nick Trueman or Oliver Du Croz at Seal Communications on 0121 200 0780
To find out more about the West Midlands visit www.thewestmidlandsregion.co.uk
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