By Daniel Hunter
After surveying its members, iHubbub, Britain’s fastest social networking community for home-business entrepreneurs, found that most people starting up a business struggle with a number of vital requirements for their home office.
Generally 35% of the people surveyed said that they worked from their spare bedroom with 17% having their own study. Up to 12% worked in their bedroom, all of which shows a fierce determination to start up their own business.
When asked what items they felt are the most important for setting up a home office, desktop PCs won the vote with a whopping 60% compared to home office furniture coming in second with a 7% vote, almost a draw with a desk phone of 6.44%. A big jump between first and second place!
Strangely enough, a question comparing the preference of using a desktop PC or laptop showed the latter outbid the former, 220 against 161. Clearly, this shows that even though most business entrepreneurs prefer to use a laptop, many are still using a desktop PC for a variety of reasons, such as cost. Many of those surveyed reported using their family PC ‘just to get going’.
Crucially, on the all-important question of internet connection and communication, use of a business landline and business broadband limped in last against home lines/broadband and mobile communication scoring the highest points. Home broadband came in at 271 against 259 for personal mobile devices used when starting up a business.
The most interesting information that came out of the survey was finding out that only 25 of the people surveyed actually use business broadband. What does this tell us? Are the business broadband suppliers charging too much and start-ups are finding it a juggle-struggle to upgrade? Or could it be that home business owners simply find it easier to use what they have installed, whether it is home broadband or personal mobile accounts?
Moving on to meeting clients, 41% of the people surveyed said they had meetings at their client’s office, 25% met in coffee shops, 10% booked a meeting room and 9% used hotel lounges. This indicates a big need for the mobile business owner to find suitable space for meetings on a regular basis.
Paula Wynne, Co-Founder of iHubbub’s home business community network, said: “That’s a surprisingly large difference between coffee shops and hotel lounges. Personally, I prefer a hotel lounge if I can locate a quiet place to meet clients. High street coffee shops can be rowdy, but they are around every corner and possibly far more accessible for town entrepreneurs. Remote home business owners, like us, may find hotels more suitable.”
The survey points to a great need for home business owners to constantly review and upgrade their support systems as their needs rapidly change.
Within the 4.5m home-businesses in the UK, male and female home-business start-up entrepreneurs often seek help and guidance from iHubbub’ business advice magazine.
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