Saturday, May 31, 2008

Home Based Business And Changing Perceptions

I got a call the other day from the Bravo network. They said they were doing a series of features on baby-related small businesses and would like to feature mine. They asked me a few questions, one of which was whether I had a store of some kind where I sold my products. I told them that my products were in some boutiques but I did not have a bricks-and-mortar store, it was a home-based business, but that I occasionally had a booth at farmer's markets. At that they regretfully informed me that they were not interested in featuring me and the conversation was over.

That's too bad, because home-based work is the future of business.

Plenty of people have noticed that homes are getting bigger. American homes in particular (and especially in the West) are orders of magnitude larger than European homes, even when considered on a square-feet-per-capita basis. While some blame this on the consumer lifestyle, I would suggest that at least part of it is due to changing patterns of home use. People used to sleep and occasionally eat in their homes, and do the rest of their living in public spaces. Now people do all that and play, work, exercise, socialize, and generally live most of their lives inside their homes and yards. When you do that, the home needs to be a far bigger space than it used to be.

Why do we have such changes? I would suggest that far more than rising gas prices (which certainly are a factor), the trend is due to the rise of the internet. You may note that the trend of working and living at home predates the last few years, although the precipitous increase in the cost of fuel has definitely accelerated it.

So this makes me wonder why the Bravo network is still stuck in the old way of thinking, especially since they are headquartered in Burbank and should know better. Perhaps it is not true after all that the media are a mirror that reflect reality.