March 25 ,2015 | by Erin O’Neill

Research shows Easter holidays cost home-run businesses £220 million

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Do holidays have an adverse effect on work-from-home entrepreneurs? We look at the positives and negatives of home-run businesses.

According to the BIS Business Population Estimates and BIS Small Business Survey, there are around 2.9 million UK residents running businesses from home.

There are many reasons that this kind of entrepreneurship has seen a boom in recent years. The flexibility, non-existent commute, reduced overheads, and prospect of being your own boss can make it an attractive alternative to full-time employment.

Home-run businesses need more support

It is not all positive; new research from small business insurer Direct Line for Business reveals that around 60% of the 844,000 home business owners with dependent children take time out from their business to focus on their families during the Easter holidays.

This shift in focus during the Easter break costs home-run businesses around £220 million, with on average, 20 hours per week taken away from work.

Gemma Whates, co-founder of online marketplace All By Mama, has a two year old son and runs her business from home.

She said: “I often work until the early morning to make up for hours I have spent looking after my son in the day.”

Speaking about potential support for parents running home businesses, she said: “It is incredibly hard for self-employed working parents to run a business from home around their children. However it isn’t impossible.”

“I think childcare support for parents running start-up businesses would be beneficial, which I believe is due to improve in autumn 2015. More open work spaces with crèches would be great. Some business owners, like myself, want to work from home to spend more time with their children whilst they are growing up,” she added.

Children of work-from-home entrepreneurs benefit from exposure to business skills

There are also some notable positives. Direct Line for Business’s research showed that many children gain valuable exposure to the world of business through their parents.

Over a quarter (27%) of home-run business owners with dependent children said that they think their children learn the value of work through the exposure from their parents.

Gemma Whates said: “Personally, I think it is great for my son to see me working. I would like him to understand that he needs to work hard to get where he wants and I am proud that he sees the ambition I have.”

She added: “Overall and through the childcare struggles, I do think the positives outweigh the negatives.”

Erin O’Neill

Erin O’Neill is an LSBF News Writer who reports on small business, careers, technology and education news.

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