The challenge for homepreneurs to hire, retain and engage a team
The rise of the homepreneur
Almost half of Brits aspire to run their own business from home and with one in ten Brits already doing so (full or part time), Wren Kitchens have conducted a study into the current homepreneur landscape. With many workers starting side hustles and growing these into full time businesses from the comfort of their kitchen tables, the survey of 1,000 UK adults has found that though there are plenty of perks to doing so, the process also has plenty of challenges along the way.
One such challenge can be the lack of resources available in terms of having help and expertise in HR, recruitment and employee engagement.
Challenges working/running a business from home
- Too many distractions working from home 42%
- Not knowing when to switch off/separating business and personal life 38%
- Lack of real interaction with other people/colleagues etc. 36%
- “Cabin fever” – being in the same building all day and outside of work too 34%
- Lack of resources e.g. printing, travel expenses 23%
- No meeting space to entertain clients 17%
- Less inspiration from other people – harder to bounce ideas around 17%
Working from home is great but, how do you tackle growth in terms of recruitment? If you are able to offer remote working to employees so that they too can work from home then there’s no need to change your current home set up. Freelancers and contractors are a great option as they will be used to working more flexibly.
Alternatively, if the job you need doing doesn’t tie into a particularly specific skill, you could consider hiring family. Natalie and Daniel from luxury children’s clothing retail brand Fred & Noah are a husband and wife who started their business together, which meant they could easily share responsibilities. By starting the business part time and growing it slowly, they were able to quit their day jobs and avoid having to recruit in the early phase, taking on extra work themselves.
How long did it take for you to take it full time?
“It was a very organic process. We never intended or set out to start a business, this was just an opportunity to be creative again. We had no expectations and as we still had our day jobs. I worked as a full-time lecturer in fashion design at Essex University and Dan owned his own building company. We felt very little pressure.
“Within nine months of starting the business and selling the first product, both Dan and I handed our notice to work from home full time.”
Encouraging employee engagement
Working from home can be lonely for team members, so try to create opportunities for face to face interaction where possible. Samantha Kelly, a social media mogul and inspiration leaver at “Tweeting Goddess” started her business from home and gave the following advice around remaining connected to the industry and real people.
Did you do it alone?
“Yes, all on my own. It was lonely, a bit isolating to be honest. I was in a rural area but I knew that I could reach a global audience through social media. I’ve overcome this by creating a network of like-minded female business owners around me and I just keep learning as much as I can in order to become the best.”
According to the survey 38% find it challenging to switch off and separate business from personal life. This can also be true for your staff and much harder to recognise if you aren’t working in the same space. It can be easy to miss!
Encouraging team members to set themselves a schedule and stick to is as best they can is massively important to ensure they don’t over work themselves. However, they still need the option of flexibility too. When speaking to homepreneurs about the perks of working on their business from home (full time or on the side), flexibility came out as the biggest plus. 59% said that this was the best part of working from home, followed by extra income and time saved on the commute.
Illana Smith runs Hari Hari, a business making healthy curry kits and explains her thoughts on this.
What’s the best thing about being your own boss from home?
“I love the flexibility of being my own boss. I control how much time I put in and balance it with the needs of my family. Don’t get me wrong, being your own boss is one of the hardest jobs ever – you can’t close the door on the job at 5pm and go home. It’s with you 24/7 and I do find it quite hard to step back, but I love what I do!”
According to the survey findings, the top perks of working from home are
- Flexibility 59%
- Extra income 49%
- Save time on commuting 47%
- Control over company success 33%
- No office politics 33%
- Lower overheads 25%
- Tax advantages 10%
To explore real life homepreneur stories and more, please visit Wren Kitchens “Concepts from the kitchen table” campaign and research findings.