Working 5 to 9

Adjust your clocks as the world of work is changing. People in their thousands are heading home from the day job to build a business at nights and weekends. It’s what we call the 5 to 9 economy and it’s a great way of starting a business as it means low cost and low risk. Are you interested in joining this growing group of part-time and spare-room entrepreneurs?

Starting up a business in your spare time is, I would say, the best way to start. You give yourself time to research the market, test out your products & services, build a presence on the web and, critically, make some sales. And you can do all of this whilst holding down a job that continues to pay the bills and cover your overheads.

Consider a few small investments to get you going:

Find dedicated space in the house – it’s important to keep home as a place to which you return from work and unwind so find a dedicated space/room which becomes your home office and in which you can comfortably be in ‘building my business’ mode.

Technology – a growing range of products are designed to help the 5 to 9 entrepreneur. Create a home on the web through a blogging tool like or, sell your products through sales platforms such as and keep in contact with customers with a BlackBerry and follow-me numbers. These products and gadgets mean you can keep in regular contact with your business in a way that’s not detrimental to your job.

Develop relationships – use your time to develop relationships with possible partners, suppliers and an all-round support network. Much of this can be done online by visiting business sites (such as my own at and and industry-specific sites where you can keep an eye on new ideas coming to market and follow what customers are buying.

Business branding – promote yourself and your business at every opportunity with stylish stationery like business cards/promotion flyers/stickers etc. I particularly like as they offer good quality for low prices and the ordering process happens online.

As your brand grows and, with it, the number of customers knocking on your home office door, the time you devote to the business will increase. Before you know it you’ll move from working full time for someone else to working full time for yourself!


About the Author:

Emma Jones is Founder of Enterprise Nation,  the home business company, and author of ‘Spare Room Start Up – how to start a business from home’

Emma Jones

Emma Jones is Founder and Editor of Enterprise Nation, the home business website. She has successfully started two businesses from home offices in London, Manchester and rural Shropshire.Following a career with an international accountancy firm, Emma started her first home based business at the age of 27 and successfully sold it just 15 months after launch.Redbrick Enterprises Ltd was founded in 2002 to advise the public sector on effective homeworking. Spotting a gap in the market to provide information and inspiration to homeworkers, Emma launched Enterprise Nation [], the home business website, in January 2006.The website is a free resource for people starting and growing a business at home and has a readership of more than 390,000 people. As well as site content, there is also a free fortnightly e-newsletter and podcast.Emma’s first book on how to start a business from home Spare Room Start Up: How to Start a Business from Home will be published by Harriman House in May 2008.

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