A new study into home working has revealed some staggeringly healthy figures for the current and projected state of UK home-based businesses.
According to a poll run by Shedworking for supermarket giants Asda, home-based businesses will contribute £8 billion to the UK economy this year. That's up from just over £6 billion in the same poll in 2010, and contradicts the latest economy figures released last week which showed zero percent growth.
While around four in five (78.9%) expect to work from home indefinitely, the majority of the home businesses polled were bullish about the prospects for growth and possibly expanding out of the home this year, with 13.5% of those polled expecting turnover growth of 20% or more.
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Only five percent of respondents expected no growth or a decline in sales this year. More than a third (35.1%) expected growth of between five and ten percent this year.
The poll also showed that there are as many as 100,000 businesses based at home, with some 16% of the owners polled said that their turnover had been in the £100,000-150,000 range in the past year, while 7.9% said that it exceeded £200,000.
Nearly a quarter employ more than one person and one in 20 have a workforce in excess of five employees, although we're not sure how they would all fit around the kitchen table, or in the shed.
"Many households are taking a go-it-alone approach to business and are reaping the rewards," said Alex Crowe, Asda's homeworking specialist. "The low cost of starting up a business means that many households are pursuing the entrepreneurial dream. With the value of the back garden economy reaching an amazing £8 billion, home-based businesses are now lending a whole new meaning to the term 'home economics'".