By Marcus Leach
An increasing number of people are setting up a business in their own home, ranging from computer consultancy, teaching and counselling to physiotherapy and gardening, new research has revealed.
A survey of 1,400 adults by Lloyds TSB Business Insurance showed that 200 ran a home-based business, with a quarter being launched in the past year.
Bedrooms, sheds, garages and even living rooms have been made into classrooms, studios and other work spaces.
Half of those running a business from home said they wanted to be their own boss, while a fifth decided to change their career.
Two-fifths said they enjoyed the flexible working hours, while others said working from home made it easier to look after their children.
"The number of enterprising people opting to turn their home into their business hub is set to increase over the next year as the recession continues to bite," Stuart Curtis, of Lloyds TSB Insurance, said.
Keith Bird, CEO of eSellerPro, believes the figures are a step in the right direction for entrepreneurship.
"It’s encouraging to see the results of the survey from Lloyds TSB that finds there are an increasing number of people setting up business from home," he said.
"As well as service-based businesses, we’re also seeing a marked increase in retail-based home-businesses cropping up. From high fashion to car accessories, online retailing offers a great opportunity to those with an entrepreneurial spark to become their own boss.
"We’re seeing a rise — particularly among graduates who might be struggling to find traditional graduate roles and people who have been made redundant — turning to the likes of eBay and Amazon which provide the perfect platform for people looking to set up a retail business from home.
"The low entry costs and broad support mechanisms offered by these channels leave the seller with minimal risks — and a host of opportunities to reach millions of potential customers.
"With the economic climate still challenging, many people are looking for new ways to make money and are considering online retail as a career option. Many of eBay’s PowerSellers started out essentially selling from their armchair and have gone on to operate successful and lucrative businesses.
"This survey should be seen as hugely positive for the UK economy, with the small, home-based businesses of today having the potential to become the retail giants of tomorrow."