The thought of working from home is so attractive to us as individuals that larger employers having taken advantage of this fact more and more over the last decade which has been made possible by technological advances and affordability. The result is happier workers which equates to increased commitment and output plus reduced overheads simultaneously. Win win. The entrepreneurs amongst us take this attractive offering to another level founding and successfully running our businesses from home, the kitchen table becomes HQ, perhaps an office is built in the garden.
2013 saw me and my business Domestic Angels ride the roller coaster of an awards system and wow, what a ride it was too. We won the category of Home Based Business for the county of Dorset and then nationally. The interesting point here is the name of the category, Home Based Business. A little research on my part has not revealed similar categories within other business award systems, why is this? There appears to be an assumed consensus that once a home based business (hereafter referred to as HBB) starts to become successful it will re-house to a formal office environment therefore having a formal office or similar environment away from the home is perceived as successful. This is a mis-perception that desperately needs a make-over. It is so last century.
Technology makes it possible to run quite sizeable businesses from home. I employ 20 staff, I’m based from home, my staff are independent and don’t really need to visit HQ all that often for them to be committed and efficient. Other HBBs vary in size, shape and nature, they could be one or two man bands commanding large turnovers as well as profits. However none of us feel the need to move to a formal office to evidence our success. Economically this would increase overheads but more importantly we are very happy and successful based from home. We can achieve as well as anyone else commercially and we have the added bonus of being able to put the washing machine on whilst on a tea break, just one example but you get the idea. We are fully independent, super successful and enjoy an incredibly high quality of life.
Darren Northeast is an HBB heading up an award winning PR business, his team are all based from their own homes “Why would we want to be in a clinical office environment which often stifles creativity and thinking time? The bottom line is that clients do not care where you work from – as long as the job is being doing. The associated costs are also often extremely high with no ROI.”
In summary, HBBs of the 21st century are very likely to remain based at home. If we choose, we do graduate from micro to a small or even to a medium sized business classification, perhaps further is possible or happening already. The perception and consensus of the wider business community needs to change to keep up with us. Do we need more HBB categories in awards systems or do we need the judges to change their perception of success? Probably both together with a paradigm shift within the world of commerce.