Can you turn your garden shed into a money-maker?

After producing the world’s first brewing shed where you can make and sell your own beer, outdoor building manufacturer, Tiger Sheds, has gone on to take an in depth look into why Brits are choosing to start businesses from the comfort of their own homes or even back gardens.

All big companies start from humble beginnings, but, as government data highlights, over 620,000[1] new enterprises registered in the UK last year alone, and around 70% of companies start in the home. With this in mind, it seems that business really is booming for home-based startups.

But which city has the best startup survival rate for those looking to launch their own business? Taking inspiration from some of its customers who have launched companies from their back gardens, Tiger Sheds has looked into the UK’s top cities for startups based on five-year survival rate; to help those entrepreneurs who may be considering starting their own businesses in 2018.

After analysing data from the Office for National Statistics, Tiger Sheds can reveal that Aberdeen topped the table, with 54% of new companies going strong for five years or more.

The top ten cities in the UK with the highest five-year survival rate are:

  • Aberdeen - 53.5%
  • Winchester - 52.8%
  • Carlisle - 50.8%
  • Stirling - 50%
  • York - 48.9%
  • St. Albans - 48.7%
  • Londonderry - 48.6%
  • Cambridge - 48.6%
  • Oxford - 48.6%
  • Lisburn - 48%

Despite, of course, not being a city, the Isles of Scilly deserve an honourable mention, boasting a five-year survival rate of 100%! With a population of just 2,300, the ten companies founded on this group of Cornish islands in 2011 were all still running in 2016.

While Aberdeen is the city where businesses are most likely to flourish, London tops the tables for sheer number of enterprises founded, suggesting that the capital may be where entrepreneurs will face the most competition. As a whole, including outer London, the capital saw a huge 102,000 startups in 2016 alone.

Perhaps London’s oversaturation of businesses is why the capital’s five-year survival rate sits at 42% much lower than other big UK cities. For those looking to start a new enterprise, Scottish cities seem to be the best bet, with both Aberdeen and Stirling sitting in the top three for survival rate.

With 620,000 startups founded last year and roughly 70% of businesses starting at home, Tiger Sheds calculated an estimated average of 434,000 companies starting in the UK’s homes, and in many cases, gardens. Tiger Sheds spoke to some of its customers who have launched businesses from their sheds to find out why this was a tempting solution for them.

Sarah Kilbride started her business, Flower Shack by SarahTiger Sheds, in her potting shed: 

“'I started my business earlier this year after having a passion for flower art and following a year long diploma in floristry at my local college. I initially started the concept of floristry as a vent from my full time admin job in the ever struggling NHS. I started the business in my garden embracing the concept of cottage industry and combining the art of floristry within a natural environment of my garden. The inspiration of nature also gives me a peaceful working environment. Starting the business from my garden was a logical step because there were low overheads and this also gave me flexibility on working hours whilst I'm still working in the NHS."

“If you’re looking at starting a business from home check any rules and regulations applicable before you get too far into your new venture as you might need to adapt your business to suit regulations. Register with HMRC to ensure the tax element is all above board. It's a good idea to let neighbours know of your plans early on too.”

60-year-old Max Wiseberg, who makes and sells an organic allergen barrier balm, had this to say:

"My partner Chris and I set up our own family business, HayMax, from our shed! This was a massive life and career transition for me, as I used to work in an office. We don’t commute – our office is at the bottom of the garden – so I go for a walk in the woods every morning which keeps me going for the rest of the day. When you work from home, you learn to weave everything into your life. Our children sometimes help with post when they come home from school or help us on the stand at trade shows. I think growing up experiencing a business environment is a great benefit for them. For example, they can now equate a new pair of shoes with the number of HayMax pots needed to be sold to pay for them!”

Commenting on the rise of home startups, Kiarna Benson from Tiger Sheds said,

“Being a family owned business, we love that people are using our sheds to start their own companies. Some of the most successful organisations in the world started in people’s homes so we’re thrilled to be able to help people use their talents and passions to bring something new to the world. Sheds and summerhouses are great workspaces as they are separate from the house, but close enough for easy access. Whether it’s a craft workshop, yoga studio, or a home office, we love seeing all the exciting things that entrepreneurs come up with.”

For tips on starting your own home business, check out Tiger Sheds blog here.