COVID has sparked a surge in kitchen-table entrepreneurs – including one selling cakes that arrive through your letterbox.
One in five adults has launched a money-making enterprise since the start of March — and even more plan to do so, according to a study by online marketplace Not On The High Street.
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Choosing your hours and not having a boss are the main attractions. Most are happy to earn less than £25,000 a year — under the average salary of £30,000 — to get started.
Success stories include librarian Abigail Amankwa, who ditched bookery for cookery to start her “cakes by post” baking business.
Abigail, 23, worked from home in lockdown but was baking in her spare time and began selling birthday brownies and cookies through the letterbox, plus cakes in a tub.
In June she gave up the day job in a school library when orders to her M&H Cake Co went through the roof after she started selling through Not On The High Street. Abigail, from Enfield, North London, said: “It’s amazing. I mean, I’m only 23 and I never imagined I’d be my own boss until I was at least 40! I still live with my parents so I’m lucky they don’t mind that I’ve taken over their kitchen and dining room.”
Teacher Charlotte Taylor-Frape, who was diagnosed with cervical cancer at just 30, took up embroidery during her recovery. At the beginning of lockdown she started her business, Modern Floss, to sell her creations. She has had to work 70 hours a week in her spare room to keep up with demand.
Astrophysics graduate Lucy Raff previously dreamed of joining NASA. Instead she created her own jewellery business, Eclectic Eccentricity, and joined Not On The High Street.
At the start of the pandemic she had a ground-breaking idea of delivering rainbow necklaces through people’s letterboxes. Business increased by more than 600 per cent in lockdown, and she is now moving into bigger premises.
Not On The High Street executive director Ella D’Amato said: “It’s fantastic to see so many people following their passion and making it their business.”
TIPS FOR GOING IT ALONE
- Ideas that fire you up will keep you motivated through hard times.
- Know your customer. Think about what will matter to them most and prioritise these things from the outset.
- Feedback. Ask everyone and anyone to give their honest thoughts on your product and ideas.
- Plan for the worst. Ask “what’s the worst that can happen?” and plan for each case.
- Know your numbers. Be clear on cost and profit margins.
WATCH WHAT YOU SAY
APPLE’s Watch is now a standalone Dick Tracy-style phone on your wrist – and it could tell you that you’re suffering from Covid or a heart condition.
Since going on sale five years ago, it has been an iPhone accessory – but new versions unveiled this week fulfil the vision of a standalone wrist phone.
Tesco is selling gin gift sets worth £15.50 for £2.80
A new Family Setup is aimed at younger children or OAPs who want to easily make calls or share locations but not have a full smartphone. A family member sets it up with their iPhone – the watch gets its own number, and can send and receive calls and texts. You’ll pay for a separate phone contract, available on EE only for now.
The Apple Watch 6 looks like last year’s but now offers better battery life and a new health feature to monitor blood oxygen levels – which can indicate breathing or heart issues.
The Watch 6, priced from £379, is joined by the “affordable” Apple Watch SE, which will start at £269.
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