Get some space in your business.

Micro business confidence soars, but difficulties expanding beyond the home are restricting growth

  • Half of home start-ups (48%) have more business confidence now than this time last year

  • 76% believe that storing stock at home has a negative impact on their personal lives, but 41% are nervous about expanding out of their home

  • Big Yellow addresses the concerns of small businesses as they expand – offering great locations, flexible contracts and security

Half (48%) of UK home start-ups have more business confidence now compared to this time last year, new research has found. In fact, 38% have now outgrown their working space, despite the recent and difficult economic climate.

Rachel Bridge, SME expert and author comments: “We are seeing a spike in entrepreneurial spirit with kitchen table start-ups and online traders taking the plunge and starting their own businesses. According to official figures, the number of people working from home has risen to three million in the past decade and they are not only starting their businesses from scratch, but also growing them successfully.”

The study to examine the pressures on home businesses as they look to grow was commissioned by Big Yellow Self Storage. It found that while business confidence is booming, micro businesses are apprehensive about expanding into an office space or warehouse due the costs and risks involved in committing to an inflexible, long-term contract, as well as concerns about location. These apprehensions are especially apparent for the 36% of micro businesses that keep their stock in the home.

Anthony Chenery, Big Yellow Self Storage spokesperson comments: “We’ve found that currently 41% of home businesses are nervous about expanding out of the home despite the increase in confidence. Many small businesses don’t even realise that self storage is an option. Rather than a costly relocation to a rented office, stock can be put into self storage to free-up space in the home. Location needn’t be a worry with our 76 stores in easily accessible locations across the UK. SMEs want flexibility and at Big Yellow Self Storage, you have the benefit of storing for as little as seven days, there is no tie to long-term contracts and you are able to upsize or downsize as and when required. In addition to this, we offer a selection of useful services such as accepting deliveries and arranging couriers on behalf of our business customers. We have a range of safe and secure storage spaces, from the size of a phone box to a warehouse and everything in between.”

The implications of being unable to expand beyond the home

SMEs are an essential part of the UK economy, creating jobs as well as generating progressive new ideas and innovations. While the government supports SMEs through a number of schemes, it is clear that small businesses are still struggling to finance expansion beyond the home.

76% of former home businesses admitted that, in hindsight, working from home encroached on their personal lives; not being able to ‘switch off’ was the biggest difficulty along with stock physically taking over their living space, causing friction with partners.

Bridge adds: “It’s important to draw the line between home and work to avoid both areas suffering. Home business owners who are surrounded by their stock can experience a lack of physical separation between the home and work that results in the temptation to work endlessly.

Arguments are also caused when stock starts to obstruct communal living areas and the home begins to feel cluttered and cramped as a result.”

Chenery concludes: “We know that these goods represent a lot of investment for a small business and storing stock in the home is a risk, with goods being prone to theft and damage. Big Yellow Self Storage gives a small businesses peace of mind, offering purpose built storage units that are secure, local and easily accessible.”