The Start-Up \ Space To Work Conundrum

One of the problems with being a start up home business is space. And one of the problems with my type of business is the amount of space.

People are often surprised at how much I own. But I don’t. My business does though. My living has almost nothing. I own a bed, a dressing table, a car and three chickens. That is pretty much the sum of my ‘house’. The rest of it (and it is substantial) is business – mostly sale stock and materials.

The problem with this, and the precarious financial situation of many start up businesses, is having somewhere to live and work. I am restricted to houseshares which of course do not allow for much space wise, and renting two rooms in one property is financially impossible.

I have moved three times this year but in two have been very fortunate in having spare rooms. In the third I happened to be renting some exceptionally cheap studio space in town but this has now gone and I am once again at the mercy of space restrictions versus rent limitations.

Now I have to prioritise reducing what I have in stock. If I have to move into another standard houseshare in 2014 I will almost certainly have to close my business and go into full time work somewhere else.

This would be a disaster but sadly it is also a possible reality. Rising rents, expensive business rates and the general malaise in industry make these challenging times for any fledgling enterprise and I am sure there are many small businesses all around the country facing these problems.

Studio cooperatives which offer vastly reduced rates on office or artist space are a solution but not widely available. Simply bearing with it until incomes improve may be the only answer for many.


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