A Home Business Goes Commando

Most of us use any excess space that we have in our house for storing all those things we don't actually use but can't bear to throw away. Not Mike Hamilton though - this spare room start up entrepreneur used his extra bedroom to establish and grow his highly successful educational fitness programme Commando Joes'.

Commando Joes' trains ex-military personnel to take fun, soft-style military fitness type classes into schools, helping students to improve their self –discipline, boosting attendance and attainment. The company has recently won backing from the Department for Education, allowing Commando Joes' to take their activities into schools at a subsidised rate.  

I dug out my leg warmers from the back of the wardrobe and jogged on down to find out more about how this sweaty start-up got moving!

No Spare Room Start-Up Funding

At the very beginning of his start up journey Mike had both the idea and the passion for his new enterprise, but no funding. Not one to be thwarted, the quick-thinker started thinking about how he could set up his home business from his spare room in 2009!

Initially Commando Joes' was ideally suited to being started as a home-based business, as the service is taken out toCommando Joes' the schools, rather than the schools having to come to them. Admin and phone calls could all easily be done from the home office, whilst the seriously physical side was, and still is, done on location.

Mike tried a number of routes to get help when he was first starting up his home business – even appearing on BBC's Dragon's Den! Although he made the televised version he didn't get funding from the Dragons, and looked to two Manchester businessmen for investment in his start-up business.

Within three years they'd grown from one instructor to 44 instructors – plus a number of support staff. Mike needed an office big enough for his central support team, plus a base for training his swiftly growing troop of Commando Joes'. They moved to an industrial in Leigh, Manchester.

The company HQ now includes a warehouse-style training room where the Commando Joes' hopefuls are put through a rigorous interview process.

They couldn't have fitted that into Mike's spare room!

Commando Joes' is an inspiring story - not only to the children it works with, but also to anybody wanting to know how to start up their own home business. If you've got a spare room, you've got home office space perfect for starting a home business - see what you can achieve!

Click the link to see a whole host of other home business start-up stories.