As we’ve highlighted previously through this column, the East Yorkshire economy has a high percentage of micro, small and medium-sized businesses. A lot of these you will not find on the High Street as a lot of the owners base themselves from their homes.
People starting up a business often take the step of renting premises to work from when it actually may be possible to work from home.
The Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015 amended the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 to allow tenants to operate a business from rented residential property under a ‘Home Business Tenancy’, which must be granted by the landlord.
The permission is not always guaranteed as sometimes the business may cause an unnecessary nuisance to neighbours, such as noise, parking issues or frequent deliveries.
So what sort of businesses could work out of a home? Arts and crafts, home baking, certain therapies, pet care and freelance services are examples of where it is often better to be based at home rather than having the expense of business premises.
Freelance services, such as bookkeeping, allow for a good work/life balance when based at home.
Sandra Wilde, from Bookkeeping Yorkshire Limited, explained the following to me: “I gain more time in the day by working from home. I don’t have the commute to the office before going out to meet clients and without the running costs of premises working from home is cost-effective and time efficient for me. The time is the important thing and working from home is like gaining an extra half day a week.”
Holly Matthewman, from Floral Grace Clothing, also prefers the freedom of working from home with her children’s clothes business.
She said: “It just makes everything a whole lot easier being based at home. But if you are thinking of starting, be aware of any regulations and permissions you may be needing.”
This is an important consideration when deciding to work from home. Although in most cases planning permission is not required, any changes to the property to accommodate the business may need prior approval. Insurance is also important as most domestic home policies do not cover the business activity so it is vital to get the correct policy in place.
Similarly it may be necessary to be licensed or registered by the local authority for certain types of businesses, such as animal boarding or food preparation.
The thought of excessive ‘red-tape’ can put people off the idea of starting their own business, but free and impartial advice is available from Bridlington Business Centre. Just call 01262 401399 and we can provide advice and signpost you to other available support and services.
Like with anything, working from home has its pros and cons.
If you are thinking this is the route for you it is important to remember that, during the working day, the home is also a workplace, albeit with the added bonus of improving your work/life balance.