Thanks to some sweet technological advances, it’s never been easier to start your own venture. Armed with little more than a laptop and the germ of an idea, we have the potential to create something amazing from pretty much anywhere. In the UK, 70% of adults aged between 25-34 admit to harbouring ambitions of launching their own start-up, with nearly 600,000 actually doing so last year.
Admit it: we’ve all used time between waking up and getting out of bed on a Monday morning to fantasise about working from your very own bed. Well, some start-up stars have managed to pull off this feat, launching their own venture from between the folds of their sheets. We all know where a bed-in business idea took Mark Zuckerberg, but what other ‘bedroom businesses’ are booming? Here are some of our favourites.
The phone repair franchise
In 2009, Justin Wetherill dropped his iPhone and smashed the screen. (We’ve all been there). Reluctant to pay Apple $200 to repair it (we’ve been there too), Justin – a trained accountant – taught himself to fix it instead. Realising that repairing phones cheaply might be a viable business, Justin began a small mail phone repair operation from his bedroom in Orlando, Florida.
After quickly establishing that most customers wanted a same-day service, Justin rented a bricks and mortar store locally. Within three years, UBreakiFix had 47 stores and $27 million in revenue. Since he decided to franchise the business in 2012, UBreakiFix now has 262 stores in 25 states, as well as Canada and Trinidad and Tobago, with corporate revenue exceeding (AU) $70 million.
The online tax pioneers
When Todd Trevillion, his father and Brent Trimnell-Ritchard stumbled across an online tax returns website way back in 1995, Todd thought to himself: we can do it better.
The result was Net Tax, Australia’s first online tax return system which even beat the ATO to the online tax game. Since selling that business, cofounder Todd and Brent have gone onto build The Gruden Group, a multimillion-dollar digital marketing and app development firm with offices across Asia and Australia, with a staff of around 80 on their books, as well as launching mobile payments platform MobileDen which counts Woolworths, Disney and Starbucks as clients. The company also clocked a revenue of near $9 million during the 2015 financial year. Not bad for a partnership forged in a spare bedroom.
The online marketing guru
For Sabri Suby is no stranger to start-ups: the Melbourne-based serial techpreneur has co-founded both marketing firm The Click Factory, sports group-buying site GameTime and King Kong, an online marketing agency.
“I made a decision and started the business in my bedroom, with nothing more than a computer,” he told Inc of King Kong’s beginnings in 2014. “I was cold calling prospects and had my first client within days.” Now, the company banks an estimated $4 million dollars a year in revenue, just two years later.
The teenage entrepreneur
By the time Mohammed Ali was 12, he reckons he had played pretty much every online computer game available – so he decided to create a game of his own. After teaching himself to code through books and YouTube tutorials from his bedroom, the teenager from Yorkshire, UK, launched Project 2006 just before his 13th birthday.
Just a few months later, Project 2006 – a role playing game – had 3,000 members and 10,000 website views. Encouraged by his success, Mohammed then set up his own website design business and charges (AU) $1,000 per site. Citing Bill Gates as his inspiration, Mohammed is currently re-investing his (AU) $50,000 earnings into a new, top-secret finance app he’s building. Although he hasn’t cracked the six digits yet, we’d put our money on this kid to reach such heights before you know it.
To read more about business in the bedroom, pick up issue 40, on shelves now.