Work as we know it
Recent months have truly shown us that ‘work’ as we’ve all known it for decades, can be done differently. Whether it’s working from home using your ironing board as a desk, or spending days in ‘meetings’ over Zoom or Google Groups, our ability to evolve professionally and find flexible ways to remain connected and productive has been remarkable. These months of lockdown due to a global pandemic have had many negatives but one positive has been an evolution of the traditional idea of ‘work’. Long commutes, busy offices, and ever-stretching days at your desk have been replaced with remote meetings, focused productivity, and creative thinking.
With that said, perhaps you have been reflecting on your professional life, your work-life balance and the demands of your family? Perhaps you have seen the possibility of building your own business that could work for you, suit your life and be flexible to your own needs? If you are currently juggling home-schooling, work and everything else life requires, taking the leap into self employment may seem very attractive.
It’s also clear that the economy is shifting. Perhaps your job has changed or disappeared? Perhaps you are retired and now looking to get back into the work place to secure your future a little more? While things continue to change, many speculate that now is the time for the entrepreneurs to flourish. Businesses are being challenged to pivot, to evolve, to re-imagine in this new Covid-19 world and opportunities for individuals to do the same are plentiful.
Where to start?
So what can you do? From home, with limited resources and possibly with a family to juggle? The answer is – a lot. There are many businesses that lend themselves to working from home. Businesses that necessitate low overheads, that can be run flexibly, and that can be scaled according to your own needs. We suggest you take some time to consider what your skills are, what you enjoy doing, and importantly, what are the parameters within which a business would need to work in order to suit your home life. Once you’ve established a few key factors, it’s time to hone in on a business that ticks those boxes.
We’ve put together a few business ideas that lend themselves to working from home:
If you have skills and experience working in the world of graphic design, website building, coding, and other technical roles, all you need is your laptop to get started. Take some time to clarify what you’re offering potential clients, set up clear value-based pricing and start spreading the word. Providing reliable and up to date technical skills to small and medium sized businesses is always in demand.
As the economy is reopening, the demand for cleaning services will reach a new high. With minimal overheads and the option to cherry-pick your hours and clients, you can build up a cleaning service quickly. Commercial cleaning (from small to large scale) will be in huge demand as will services required by schools and community projects so you can easily tailor your offering to fit with what clients will be requesting over the next 12 – 18 months.
With the wellness industry growing year on year, there are huge opportunities within this sector. Consumers are now looking to satisfy their fitness needs more flexibly. With gyms and group classes unavailable, bringing individuals their daily workout or fitness regime remotely is a desirable proposition. Fine-tune your fitness niche. Get the word out via social networks. Encourage your clients to spread the word about your services.
If you have any specialised skills or trades, do not underestimate how desirable they are. Being able to up-cycle a piece of furniture through upholstering or refreshing. Building bespoke cabinetry. Or even repairing clothes and other fabric items are all skill many will be looking for. Make sure you have a presence on social media. Build up through small projects that you can showcase online and go from there. Your overheads will be limited and you can work on your own schedule as far as possible.
Offering accounting or book-keeping skills on a consultancy basis is a steady and ever essential service. In particular, for sole traders and small businesses who may not be comfortable undertaking their own accounting and tax responsibilities but would not be in the position to recruit the help of a larger firm, there is scope to build a loyal client base here. Make sure you are on top of professional and insurance requirements before you launch.
As businesses and communities become increasingly global, the need for translation services is at an all time high. If you have fluency in more than one language, you can carve out a niche for yourself. Consider specialised areas that you can focus on, for example medical, technical and IT, or construction language and your services can be even more valuable to clients.
We are a nation of garden lovers and that has never been more true than now. If you have gardening experience and the necessary tools to provide basic services (lawns, hedges, garden clearing and planting etc.) this is a great place to start. Launch small with local customers . Be reliable and consistent. Price fairly, and let word of mouth help you to build up your client list.
Most homes are now familiar with the joys of homeschool. And during recent months it’s been clear that families are looking for specialised help to support them. Whether it is to prepare a child for their transfer tests or to assist a high school student in specialised study, there are so many households looking for academic assistance. Tutor in person when possible or via Zoom or FaceTime if not. Children adjust quickly to their environments so establishing any kind of connection is helpful. Consider where your academic strength is and start putting feelers out with colleagues, friends, and schools.
These are just a few ideas to get started with. There are so many skills and businesses that suit working from home. Once you decide where your focus lies, the opportunities are huge.
Be sure to spend some time looking into the legal and insurance requirements of any business that you start up. Each is different. Its worth making sure you have everything covered before you get too far into any business plan.
Whatever your business idea, whether it’s just something you’ve been mulling over or whether you’ve taken some steps on the entrepreneurial path already, we’d love to help. Read some of our Go For It Success Stories and get in touch. Our business experts will be delighted to hear from you and to talk you through everything you might need to know to move forward with your business concept.