HomeWork Workspace co-founder, Claire Tucker, and her three tips for entrepreneurs

As part of Bdaily’s feature focus looking into entrepreneurship, I hear from Claire Tucker, co-founder of HomeWork Workspace. HomeWork Workspace is a co-working and business support company with locations throughout south west London (and growing!), that is dedicated to creating a better working environment for individuals and small businesses.

Claire was keen to create an environment people were passionate to work in. She said, “HomeWork Workspace is all about providing an environment and community for small businesses and local professionals to grow and be their best selves. We want it to be accessible and affordable for people who are often on tight budgets trying to get businesses off the ground.

“It’s a place for people to feel happier and more purposeful - so they have somewhere professional to meet their clients and colleagues, and get that all important separation between home and work.”

Claire trained as a chartered accountant on a graduate scheme at PwC. she worked there for 12 years in total, taking two years out in the middle to work as a finance manager at Macquarie in Sydney. Discussing her time at PwC she said, “I loved it at PwC and got a brilliant foundation in business and management from my time there, but I never planned to stay there for my whole career.

She had always dreamt of starting her own business, and in 2017, she made that happen. “My husband had been involved with a coworking startup during his time working in private equity and when we were discussing it, we both felt there was an opportunity to do something more local and flexible than the traditional coworking offering. After scouting a few locations, we discovered the perfect spot in Putney and went for it.”

I was keen to find out what she believes she’s learnt from her time running her own business, as well as what advice she would give to would-be-entrepreneurs. She said, “Just go for it! There’s never a ‘good’ time to set up a business, however as long as you have the passion and determination to make the leap, you’re already one step ahead of others. I promise you it’s an unbelievable journey.”

She distilled her beliefs on embarking on an entrepreneurial journey down to 3 key tips.

Future proof your funding - even if you don’t have a lot of operating/start up costs, managing your finances is imperative. There will always be costs you forget to consider, so I’d recommend spending a decent amount of time figuring out your cash flows, and that may even include getting in a professional to do it for you.

Make sure you have access to a great support network - you need people around you who believe in you and will tell you to keep going when things get tough.

Read - a lot of people assume that they can make a business from a good idea or from being an expert in something, but this is only a small part of the overall picture. You will need to learn lots of other skills too and reading is a great way to do this. There is so much great business literature out there and it’s a brilliant, affordable learning platform.

With such a clear sense of what tenets entrepreneurs should strive to follow, I wanted to find out if there were any entrepreneurs who inspired her. She answered, “It’s cliche to say but my main inspiration and the reason I always wanted to be a business owner was my dad. He started his own business years ago and since has always shared snippets of his experiences and advice.

“One thing that he always said and something that has always resonated with me is that it ‘takes five years to make a great business’ - and as we near that milestone at HomeWork Workspace, it marks a monumental step for me. Sadly I lost my dad a couple of years ago, but I’d like to think that his advice has had a real impact on the success of HomeWork Workspace.

“Before starting my own business I didn’t actually know many other entrepreneurs and was unaware of the details involved in creating and running a successful business. Since starting HomeWork Workspace I’ve found a business community and met many other entrepreneurs who I can now share my experiences with. Becoming a business owner is like joining a members club, however I wish it wasn’t as exclusive.”

By Mark Adair – Correspondent, Bdaily

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