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Working 5 to 9

Cover of  by Emma Jones

The queen of working from home returns with her second book that builds on the success of her previous book Spare Room Start Up. If you have been thinking that it would be great to start your own business in the spare time you have in the evenings and at weekends, this is the book for you.

In essence, Emma provides not only inspiration with page-after-page of business ideas that give insight into how other people have embraced the 5 to 9 ethos, she also provides a practical roadmap that anyone can follow. In her new book Emma reveals a hidden commercial landscape that ordinary people are shaping with hard work, determination, but above all, a belief in their abilities to improve their lives by staring a new business in their spare time.

This hidden economy is surprisingly vast. In the first chapter the facts, figures and statistics that support this paradigm shift in how people earn their living, banishes once and for all the notion that part-time home-based enterprises are nothing more than lifestyle businesses that have no bearing on the UK?s overall economy. Millions of people are now working 5 to 9 and contributing to the overall wealth of this country.

If you have ambitions to work for yourself, but if taking the plunge and handing in your resignation is too radical, then working on your business idea in your evenings and weekends is the perfect solution. Students, retired people, new mums and a plethora of other people are finding that they do have the entrepreneurial drive and spirit to change their lives for the better. As one 5 to 9?er states:

?I hold onto my long-term vision that in five years time I will have created a successful and profitable online business, which allows me to have a more flexible working life, escape the corporate 9-5, and do something I truly enjoy and feel passionate about.?

One of the threads that runs through this book is passion and an unbridled excitement about beginning and developing a new business. The cost of entry into the world of business has continued to fall. This has delivered to millions of people the impetus they needed to begin their new enterprises. Many of the people showcased in this book have much in common as people, but what is astonishing is the diversity of the businesses that Emma has chosen to highlight.

The majority of the book is taken up with profiles of 50 home-based businesses that have taken the plunge into the heady world of working 5 to 9. From estate agents by day, but pig farmers by night, to business support adviser by day and magician by night; if you need inspiration for you new home-based business, then this is available in abundance in Emma?s book.

Emma has taken a step back and surveyed the entire working from home sector, and chosen businesses that illustrate the wide diversity of enterprises that have been started by ordinary people. And perhaps this is a major component of this book: that anyone can start a 5 to 9 business. In the past the entrepreneur was revered as someone with special innate skills. What this book shows is that passion, commitment and a belief in what you are doing are more important skills to develop.

Of course starting a new business is not just about the idea and developing a good work/life balance. The practical aspects of enterprise also have to be considered. In section three, these matters are dealt with in detail. If you want to start your own business but are put off by the red tape you have to negotiate, Emma has distilled all the essential steps you need to take into one handy reference.

But even before you think about your accounts, marketing, network opportunities etc. market research and understanding if your business idea is viable is also covered. If you have been put off by other business books that talk about business plans and SWOT analysis this book will come as a breath of fresh air. Emma understands that these matters must be considered by all new business start-ups, but has packaged this information in an easy to access form. Having read many new business books over the years, I have seen few that are as easily read, and impart essential information about VAT, tax, contracts, business planning and structures than this book.

Advice about marketing comes next including information about how to use the many social networking services that are swept across the web over the last few years. Many 5 to 9 businesses suffer from a lack of market exposure, with many of these business owners finding that marketing is the most difficult skill to master. Concise yet comprehensive advice is included in this book to not only give you the practical skills to shout about you and your business, but also to help you dispel the fear that often comes when a novice business owner steps into the world of marketing and public relations.

Of course technology has transformed all businesses, but none more so than the micro enterprises that are operated 5 to 9. An entire section of his book is devoted to how you can use technology in your new business. In addition you will also see how the Internet is often at the heart of many new home-based start-ups that simply could not exist without the web and the supporting technological ecosystem that has developed around it.

Overall, Working 5 to 5 is packed with help, advice, hints, tips and masses of web links to information you could spend days locating yourself. But this book is more than the sum of its parts. As a resource for small home-based businesses it is essential. For people thinking that there must be more to life than the 9-5 drudge it will become their bible and constant companion as their plans for a new life in business takes shape.

Business and the people that run today?s enterprises are changing. Big business is transforming into micro commerce where anyone with a good idea and a few hours to spare can start and run their own successful business. What many people that want to enter the 5 to 9 community lack is a guide to show them how to achieve their dream. With the arrival of this book, you now have the tools to turn your dreams into reality.

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