Home Grown Careers

Lifestyle choices are big motivators for people launching a microbusiness. Results from the annual Flying Solo survey show that the opportunity to work from home is amongst the highest drawcards for solopreneurs.

A short trip to the spare room was one of the reasons Natalie Dowling launched her local business, Words on a Page. After a redundancy from the public sector she knew that she didn’t want a long commute to work anymore, and was ready for a different way of working.

She’s part of a growing demographic, aged largely between 40-54 years, who provide a range of professional services from home.

The freedom to carve out your own career path seems to appeal to residents across the Macedon Ranges, who are utilising the internet to connect with clients and enjoying the country lifestyle with proximity to the city.

The autonomy and flexibility of running your own home business can be incredibly rewarding. But Natalie found that sometimes you have to tackle isolation and avoid going stir crazy.

Picturesque river walks and fresh air are an essential part of her working day.

“I also realised that sometimes I missed a collaborative office space where you can bounce ideas around. So I attended local business events as a way to connect with peers.”  

It was at the Macedon Ranges Business Networking Group that Natalie met Kyneton-based photographer Lee Sandwith who recently tree changed from the inner city with her partner and young girls.

Lee takes portrait and corporate shots for local and Melbourne clients. Having a base in the Macedon Ranges gives her convenient access to both markets.

“I’m close enough to be on location in the city but my creativity thrives because I get to escape its hustle and bustle. Working from home in the Macedon Ranges is great for my headspace, and that’s good for business,” says Lee.

 

Natalie and Lee discovered that they live on the same street. Occasionally they co-locate their laptops to work together, and collaborate on words + pics projects.

For Macedon Ranges Tax and Accounting owner Christine Greene it’s all about numbers. But after many years working for a large organisation she didn’t want to be counting six minute increments anymore.

She now gets great satisfaction providing holistic business services her own way. She’s also found that family life has improved because she’s in charge of her work schedule.  

“It can be hard not having a shopfront or retail signage. But this motivates me to get out and meet clients in their workplace," says Christine.

Kyneton’s Rohit Thomas gets out via the internet. His digital media marketing business, Insightable, helps other businesses to do the same.

Some Melbourne clients wondered at first why they should work with a regional Victoria business. But Ro’s results led to more work and he now has international clients who don’t focus on where he is but what he does for them.  

The upshot is that Rohit and his family experience the benefits of where he is, building a business at home in the Macedon Ranges.