The survey, commissioned by the world’s biggest office products company Staples, and carried out by Enterprise Nation, the UK’s largest website for home based business, confirms that the ‘5 to 9’ trend is spreading across the country.
Of those 5-9ers questioned, 50% said their business was growing and over 60% expected to be going full time within the next 12 months.
Enterprise Nation Founder Emma Jones said: “We were amazed by what we found. Although we knew there had been a tremendous growth in home business, we had no idea that much of this was coming from the 5 – 9 trend.
“What’s particularly significant is that the current economic climate is the impetus behind this trend. For some people it’s about increasing their income to cope with a partner’s redundancy while others felt uncertain about their future career prospects and wanted to make sure they were better placed if they lost their job.”
There’s also the added attraction that building a business at night and weekends from a spare room is low risk and low cost, allowing people to increase sales, confidence and cashflow, whilst holding onto a salary.
“In a recession people often set up their own business as a way of taking control of their own life again. But the current downturn is so severe that people are being more cautious, hanging onto their full time jobs and testing the water first before making a decision. This clearly makes good business sense.”
The survey also highlighted that 72% have considered giving up their day jobs to spend more time on their home business. When asked what would make them leave their job, 42% said it was the only way they could grow their business while 32% said it would be when they could afford to.
Staples commissioned the research after noticing a shift in shopping patterns with more people visiting their stores after 5pm.
Yetunde Ige, Staples Head of Marketing said: “Clearly this trend is something that we’re interested in as our stores are open late. As a result we are looking to launch a 5-9ers club, which will reward people shopping after 5pm and hopefully be a real benefit to those trying to start a business in their free time.”
Trendwatching.com – one of the world’s leading trend firms – has picked up on this phenomenon. Its monthly report confirms: “A recession induced need for cash and an ever-growing infrastructure enabling individuals to act as part-time entrepreneurs, are fuelling concepts that help ordinary consumers make money as well as just spending it.”
A free copy of ‘Working 5 to 9 – how to start a business in your spare time’ is available at www.enterprisenation.com