Home businesses from a range of sectors have reported an increase in turnover and profit as holidaymakers choose the UK as their destination of choice. With the staycation trend set to continue, businesses are preparing to maintain new customers and ensure the sunny times of increased turnover continue.
Results of higher turnover for home businesses came from an Enterprise Nation poll, supported by Business Link. Over 70% of the 230 respondents said their turnover had increased on account of more people holidaying in the UK. The majority (57.1%) also saw an increase in profit, with one in four reporting gains of up to 50%.
Home businesses are benefiting from a staycation trend that looks set to keep on running. According to YouGov* 54% of people plan to take their main holiday at home in 2010, more than double the 26% who said they were doing so this summer. With staycationing set to be more than a one-year wonder, home businesses are preparing for the new opportunities this presents.
Alison Vaughan is considering a new colour in her line of Muksaks; her own invention and a product that allows dog-owners to carry dog waste safely and securely. “With the increase in people holidaying in the UK and taking pets with them, I’ve seen orders rise this summer” says Alison “I’m working on plans for new colours in the range so as well as serving a practical purpose, the Muksak can also be a holidaying fashion item!”
Business Link advises other ways to attract new staycationing customers through incentives and promotions in the form of loyalty cards and competitions, and offering discounts as an effective tool in keeping customer coming back.
Patrick Elliott, Chief Executive of Business Link in London, said:
“Entrepreneurs can take themselves to the next level, setting themselves apart from their competitors by developing tactics to retain new customers. Keeping in touch through e-shots and using creative ways to interact with customers by making the most of social networking tools such as Twitter will all help in making the most of what is a new and growing customer base.”
Businesses are taking note. Over half the home businesses polled are planning on improving their marketing strategies (44%) and 38% said they will be customising their products or services.
The general message seems to be, let’s make hay whilst the sun still shines!
Emma Jones is Founder of Enterprise Nation and author of ‘Spare Room Start Up – how to start a business from home’
*YouGov poll carried out for The Sunday Times, August 2009