Business is booming for ?5 to 9 brigade?
by John Barrett
DOLLY PARTON famously complained about working 9 to 5 in the song of the same name. Well, an ever-increasing number of us are working 5 to 9 ? and loving every minute of it!
While Dolly moaned about the drudgery of commuting and ungrateful bosses, the 5 to 9 brigade are running small businesses that inspire their enthusiasm, and they answer only to themselves.
?5 to 9-ers? is a label coined by businesswoman and author Emma Jones, who found through her website, Enterprise Nation, that there?s a whole category of entrepreneurs selling everything from bespoke shoelaces to rare-breed pigs via their home computer every evening ? usually after getting home from the ?day job?.
?It?s the reverse of the Dolly Parton song,? Emma told The Weekly News. ?In fact, we?ve taken the liberty of re-working the lyrics for the book to illustrate
what our 5 to 9-ers do. ?It came about after one of my clients, the stationery firm Staples, commissioned us to do some research into modern working trends and, from contributions to my website, I could see that setting up a small business from home was a growing area.
?I talked about it in a short 60-second slot on BBC Breakfast and, suddenly, hundreds of emails were pouring in from people with examples of their own businesses.
?I decided to write the book to showcase some of those who?d already become 5 to 9-ers, and to give examples of businesses that people could potentially start.
?It features 60 people, covering 50 different types of business. Most of them already have a full or part-time job, and their own little business is totally different from the work they do.
?For example, we have a female estate agent, who wears a business suit and high heels during the day, then puts on her wellies and breeds rare pigs in the evenings.
?She and her husband even entered one of the pigs into Britain?s Got Talent. It became known as the trampolining pig!
?It didn?t win, but it generated great publicity for the business. The sausages they make are now sold in Michelin- starred restaurants.
?Another of the 60 is a man who by day trains RAF jet pilots. By night, though, he sells shoelaces! He had the idea when he bought some extra-long laces while on holiday in the States and discovered that no-one in the UK supplied them.
?Now, his house is filled with boxes of huge shoelaces, but he?s still training the pilots.
?We have a female architect who knits in the evening and sends her goods to the top fashion boutiques in LA, a TV shopping channel producer who runs a lucrative website called Rock ?n? Roll Bride and a lawyer who set up a site called leavinglaw.com because he wasn?t enjoying his job and wanted to get out ? only to rediscover his love of law because of his evening work.?
Emma added, ?Many people have always fancied being their own boss, but fear might have stopped them in the past. Because of the ease of setting up an Internet business, you now have low risks and low costs.
?If you stick with your normal job, you have the security of a safe salary and you get to be your own boss, doing something you?re really passionate about.
?My advice would be to tell your employers what you?re doing.
?We?ve found that in many cases, the new skills you learn in running a small business really help in many occupations.?
● Working 5 To 9: How To Start A Successful Business In Your Spare Time (£12.99, Harriman House) by Emma Jones.