One of the key trends driving the growth of home-based businesses is the increased willingness on the part of customers to buy from them. This shift in attitudes has made it much easier for home businesses to be successful.
The BusinessWeek article, The Rise of the Homepreneur, includes coverage of this trend. Key quote:
"But just as important, there has been a change of consciousness in the business world to recognize home-based enterprises as legitimate."
Most trends - and especially attitude shifts - take a long time to enter the mainstream. The growing acceptance of home businesses started many years ago. The underlying, inter-related drivers of this trend include:
1. The rise of telecommuting and mobile computing: Telecommuting exposed many people to working from home. This led to a broader understanding that real work can be done from a home office.
2. The blending of work life with home life: Similar to telecommuting, the blending of work and home life is now common for many and again shows that you don't have to be in a traditional office to get work done.
3. The interest in work/life balance: Work/life balance has become an important issue for many. Many see home businesses as a way to help achieve better balance. Because of this, there is more acceptance of people who choose to work from home.
4. The realization that home businesses can be cost efficient: Many homepreneurs stress the cost efficiencies they gain by being home-based. This allows them to be very price competitive, which is attractive to their customers.
While tipping points are hard to discern or predict, we believe customer acceptance of home businesses has reached a tipping point. With millions of home businesses in the U.S., we've reached the point where many Americans have worked with or know a homepreneur.
For more on home businesses and homepreneurs, see our research report Homepreneurs - A Vital Economic Force.