“Homework pays off for start-ups” was the intriguing headline on a half-page feature in the Sunday Times. The article underlined the ever-expanding value of running small businesses from home. Marie O’Reilly, who gave up a high-powered sales job to set up the Dublin franchise, Primary Times, a magazine for parents and teachers, was cited as a case history.
O’Reilly said she had difficulty starting off. “I couldn’t work in jeans. To feel professional I had to put on a suit every day, even though I was running the business from a corner of the dining-room table,” she said. Eight years later she is much more comfortable with the idea of a home business. Not only does she run Primary Times from her house, her husband Ned Kelly operates his own design business, Imageart, from an office upstairs.
“It just makes so much more sense to do things this way,” says O’Reilly who is about to take on an extra staff member who will, in turn, work from a home office nearby. “I reckon having a home office saves me about €1,000 in office rental, plus utilities and I don’t have to commute. The magazine is thriving and these days I can happily work in my pyjamas.”