Home-Based Businesses are Taking Over the Marketplace.

In an increasingly withdrawn and tumultuous world, it is so important to make personal connections and support good ethics! This is especially true in the context of the consumer market and the growing need for an alternative to mass-produced items of ambiguous origin. The way we spend our money speaks volumes. More and more home-based businesses like Cowan Creative are building trust and establishing success using a community-type approach that makes the world feel smaller.

Clearly the retail landscape has forever been changed by the convenience of ordering online. Many traditional retailers are losing sales and closing their doors due to severe overhead costs. The large volumes of cheap products accessible to drop-shippers have made it hard for brick-and-mortar stores to adapt. Currently, it's an international market with consumers readily buying products from Amazon, AliExpress (Alibaba) and a growing army of websites that clip the ticket on sales of these same products. However, many buyers are depressed by the quality and service pitfalls of dealing with fly-by-nighters eager to make a dollar from the enormous customer base available online and easy targeting of interest groups on social media.

As reported in a retail forecast by Vend HQ, 87% of consumers consider “Corporate Social Responsibility” (CSR) when purchasing from a company. Although this type of rhetoric has commoditized CSR in the mass-market, it proves that buyers are quite concerned about social responsibility. In this atmosphere, and given the trend towards specialty and hand-crafted art decor gifts, we’ve seen the rise of sites like Etsy, whose gross merchandise sales reached $2.39B for 2015. However, the ubiquity of Etsy has undermined its integrity. The corporation is no longer able to effectively police whether products are handmade or manufactured. Given this shift, and coupled with new monthly fees, many Etsy sellers have split in favour of personal .coms. This ensures individual accountability and establishes a base of customers with shared ideas and ethics.

This rising economy of energetic self-starting entrepreneurs are using the power of the internet to create a new economy. Just like Josh, making their own products and services and distributing them to an eager audience keen to connect with and support grass-roots businesses. For the same reason that farmers’ markets are so popular, the home-based online consumer market offers the same trust and authenticity of dealing with a person like yourself, rather than a big corporate entity. With lower overhead and less risk, having a business operable from home allows people like Josh and Sarah to share administrative tasks while full-time parenting two toddlers. The money directly contributes to their life and the local community.

Consumers are powerful and how we spend our money can make or break a business. It is now more important than ever to establish trust and connection. We have the power to choose where our money goes, support creative arts, reward good service and cut out a multitude of corrupt intermediaries.

Written by Amelia Kinney & Joshua Cowan.



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