Work From Home UK
A home workers guide to starting a home based business
Research on how to be your own boss

work from home based business


Bedroom Barter

I’ve used plenty of hotels in my time, and don’t recall ever being asked whether I wanted to pay by providing the owner with a service. I suspect I’d have been a little unnerved if I had, but the Italians, it seems, are a little more open minded.

Last week, the Italian Bed and Breakfast Association held their second annual barter week – as the name suggests, a period during which customers are encouraged to offer services in exchange for accommodation. According to the organisers, the most common swaps offered last year were accommodation swaps, live music and translation services.

It’s an interesting idea, and I don’t think the chosen week (the third week in November) is entirely insignificant. I can’t imagine many hotel owners being forced to dust off the ‘No Vacancies’ sign under normal circumstances, that particular week.

A couple of things to think about here:

  1. Might a similar scheme work here in the UK?
  2. Would your business lend itself to a barter scheme during otherwise quiet business periods?

Best Share Advice

We often introduce members to share tips provided by our friends at and are currently doing our sums to see if 2010's tips have outperformed those of 2009. More to come on that.
Meantime, Bengt Saelensminde in Money Week offers some really sound advice for when it comes to doing your due diligence on companies. 'Look for simple accounts. Make sure you can see what's going on straight off. Look for companies with directors that speak in a normal and candid way.'
As Bengt says, 'When it comes to investment, I don't want to be a super-sleuth..' In effect, what you are looking for is a 'what you see is what you get' company. If you are interested in shares but haven't invested before, drop us a line for a how to piece.

New Energy Plan

EON has a new fixed price energy plan which appears to be the cheapest available from the main energy suppliers. EON Fix Online 9 fixes energy prices until 1 March 2012.
But you need to do the maths! Emma Bush at has a warning. "A fixed energy plan protects budgets over the months ahead but this peace of mind can come at a premium with fixed price plans averaging out at £104 or 11 per cent more than the average online plan as well as carrying early exit penalties."
Bottom line? Check out the different plans at and make sure you know what you are getting; as ever, read the small print. 

Quick Credit Check

I was standing in a queue in a department store the other day when a man in front of me took up the offer of the salesperson's '10 per cent off if you take out a store card today' deal. (Of course, with interest at more than 25 per cent per annum, it's a duff credit deal but more on that another time).
Having taken up the offer, the salesperson duly made a phone call and then rejected the man there and then. That was the trigger for all sorts of fun and games and argy-bargy. But - and I am getting to the point eventually - it made me think about others maybe applying for credit in similar circumstances in the run-up to Christmas and then being turned down.
Before you go out and about, do check what is in your credit records. The man in the queue seemed to think he had a perfect credit record. Obviously, the store knew something he didn't. You can see what would-be lenders are seeing by getting hold of your report from, or; you can access your online report for £2 a time. It may well be £2 well spent.