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The Small Office Home Office (SoHo) Consumer Market Assessment
Key Note Publications Ltd, January 2001
This is the first time that Key Note Market Assessment has examined the SoHo (Small Office/Home Office) market in the UK. This report, one of two, looks particularly at the nature of small businesses and at the attitudes of the SoHo consumer. The key products and services purchased by SoHo consumers are reviewed in a separate product-focused Market Assessment report.
The SoHo market in the UK is defined as covering teleworkers working for an employer as well as people working on a freelance basis from home. It also includes small businesses, defined as those with a turnover of £1m or less per annum and with fewer than 50 employees or partners involved in the business. Small businesses account for around 90% of all businesses in the UK, and, as such, constitute a very important market for SoHo equipment and services, such as computer hardware and software, telecommunications equipment and services, and office supplies, i.e. furniture and consumables.
A key feature of this report is the exclusive quantitative research commissioned by Key Note from NOP Financial. This research, carried out in 2000, looks at purchasing intentions for various SoHo equipment sectors, penetration levels, current usage patterns and attitudes towards newer technologies such as the Internet. The data is analysed by demographic and business subgroup in order to provide a profile of typical small business users.
The report also provides an overview of the issues surrounding small businesses, using financial and demographic data, which is analysed in detail. The political and social issues within the SoHo market are analysed with regard to any positive or negative influences on the rate of growth in the number of small business set-ups, and background information is provided on economic indicators, demographic trends and changes in employment structure in the UK.
In summary, this report aims to provide an overview of the small business and SoHo market in the UK. It examines attitudes towards the future, and assesses the implications for suppliers of services and equipment.