Businesses are sprouting at the bottom of Britain’s gardens. We asked five business owners why they chose to set up shop in their sheds and the benefits that a home-grown base has had.
Jump On A New Opportunity
Dawn Fry set up The Melting Pot in 2009, offering chocolate workshops. Dawn told us how a redundancy became an opportunity to pursue a dream job:
“When I had the idea for my business, I thought it might remain a pipedream, until redundancy forced my hand. I felt it was a ‘now or never’ moment in life.
“I was made redundant in the June of 2009 and I spent that summer refurbishing the shed and I launched in the September of the same year! It was a rather mad time, but we did it, adding a false wall so we had some storage out back, underfloor heating, water supply, painting and prettifying.
“Having this very special ‘shed’ at the end of our garden has proved a brilliant investment for the whole family – and many local chocolate enthusiasts too. If you are thinking of investing in something in your garden – DO IT, you will be so glad you did!”
Nick Hanington’s barn in Norfolk proved to be the perfect, peaceful place he needed to start his canoe making business, Weston Canoes. He tells us why its countryside location is the ideal place to work:
“Working from my garden is brilliant. It’s very peaceful. Some people wonder if it’s a bit lonely but I love putting the radio on, working at my own pace and concentrating on my work.
“There are also no other people coming and going which could be a bit distracting. When things are going well I sometimes keep working late into the evening. The days can fly by.
“The best thing about working from my garden shed is that I’m in the countryside. The fact that I make canoes probably tells you that I didn’t really want to work in a city office. I don’t have to wear a suit and tie. I can take as long for lunch as I want. As long as I get the work done it can all be very relaxed.”
Setting up Griffin Designs in her shed proved to be a great financial decision for owner Karen Griffin. Karen explains why leaving her costly business unit was a great choice:
“I run a thriving internet business making wall stickers as well as a sign writing business
from a shed in the garden. It started because I couldn’t cope with the cost of the business unit.
“It was cost considerations that made me move back home – originally it was a temporary idea, but that was six years ago. It allowed me to keep working through the holidays and into the evening. So much time saved on commuting without mentioning the petrol!”
Make the Most of What You Have
Gary Kincaid has had great success utilising existing shed space at home to set up his plant marker business, Kincaid Plant Markers. He tells us how to make use of existing utilities:
“My son and I run a plant marker business from our garden shed and garage called Kincaid Plant Markers. We see many benefits from manufacturing our materials from home and have seen great success since we started.
“We’ve found that you do not need a professional building. You can utilize what you already have. You have the convenience of being close to the business at all times and can utilize existing utility infrastructure, electricity, water, heating, phones and charge the appropriate expense to the business. You can help customers after hours and on weekends if you choose to, and family members may be able to cover for you if you are away.”
Create Your Own Space
Tina Gasperson embraced the opportunity to create her own unique space when she set up Tinahdee, her jewellery and unique handmade wedding rings business. Tina explains how she maximised the space she had available:
“There was not a lot of capital expense in creating this little workplace; I don’t have to pay rent or buy an entire building. I had the inside built out with workbenches on the three sides and there is room underneath the benches for storage, including a small refrigerator and a shelf all the way around for even more storage. It’s just enough space for me. I have a computer and a small sound system so I can keep up with emails and listen to music while I am working.
“The best thing about having my shed as my workplace is that it is my own space. Everything I need is right there. I am still at home, but I am “at work” too, which helps with efficiency and saves me a bunch of money since I don’t have to commute every day. It’s a great way to work.
“I’ve had my shed set up for about three-and-a-half years now. It’s the best thing I ever did for my rustic rings business and I highly recommend it.”
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