Tax & admin · 15 November 2017

Over half of UK “homepreneurs” have taken a pay cut to follow their dream

More Brits than ever are taking the financial hit to strike out on their own and start a business
More Brits than ever are taking the financial hit to strike out on their own and start a business

Over half of Britain’s so-called “homepreneurs” have sacrificed a paycheque to follow their dream of working for themselves, new research has found.

The study, undertaken by online printing company Solopress, showed that 85 per cent of entrepreneurs who had launched and were running a business from home were happier since calling time on regular employment, despite the likelihood of a pay cut.

The desire for greater flexibility and control over day to day life was the key decision maker for leaving the traditional working world. What’s more, half of respondents believed running a business from home was an aspirational way to live.

A closer look at survey findings uncovered the typical earnings of homepreneurs. While a majority took the salary hit to follow their dream, a diverse range of earnings were revealed.

At the top end of the scale, one in ten took home between £30,000 and £40,000, while over one in eight achieved a national average between £20,000 and £30,000. Around one in nine were in the modest £10,000 to £15,000 bracket.

Recent data from LinkedIn revealed a surge in UK entrepreneurship in the last 18 months, with the number of its users identifying as a sole trader (13.5 per cent), an entrepreneur (6.4 per cent) and micro business owners (4.1 per cent) all increasing in the 12 months from April 2016. Large corporate firms were most at risk of losing workers to the pull of entrepreneurship.

Read more: Five ways to achieve work-life balance when your home is also your office

Regardless of how much money is on the table, it’s clear that more Brits than ever are striking out on their own to start a business. So, does happiness trump money? We spoke to two homepreneurs who made the leap and haven’t looked back.

“People are realising that the financial and career rewards of commuting and long hours are out-weighted by the negative impact on our health and wellbeing,” said Tom Wheelhouse, director of wellbeing consultancy Mightify. Wheelhouse founded his company after five years of long hours, intense physical demands and high stress levels as a Metropolitan Frontline Police Officer.

For Wheelhouse, wanting to feel a stronger connection between effort and progress dictated his shift from employee to homepreneur.

Friendship Vegan Shoes director Caroline Back
Friendship Vegan Shoes director Caroline Back

“I think people have decided their efforts are better invested in building a lifestyle that suits them, rather than being a small cog in a much bigger wheel,” he added.

Caroline Back, director of Friendship Vegan Shoes, agreed that directly seeing the fruits of her efforts had outweighed the risks of starting a new business and leaving behind the security of full-time employment.

“These days the workplace is all consuming, the demands made are too immense, you can find yourself fantasising about being free to an unhealthy degree,” Back explained.

“I don’t think having your own business necessarily equates to freedom, but instead it means the hard work you put in is at least on your own terms”.

Commenting on the study, Aron Priest, Solopress co-founder, said: “With homepreneurship becoming a more aspirational career path, we wanted to reveal whether biting the bullet and launching your own business was satisfying and rewarding. It’s interesting to see that despite the hard work and risk, the majority of home business owners are feeling happier and more fulfilled.

“Money doesn’t always motivate people the way happiness and appreciation in a career can, which is something companies should take note of if they want to retain employees.”

We’ve brought together ten side hustle ideas you can launch using just your laptop

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ABOUT THE EXPERT

Simon Caldwell is a reporter for Business Advice. He has a BA in politics and communications from the University of Liverpool, and previously worked as a content editor in the ecommerce industry.

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