Home-Based Businesses – Broken Down by Industry

Some weeks ago I was researching data on home-based businesses and came by a publication from the SBA that had some interesting information. It showed the percentage of home-based businesses in a number of industries. This was pretty interesting because most people imagine home business owners to be self-employed individuals who work in a handful of service industries – like consultants, wedding planners, designers, daycare providers, repair people, and so on.

What was surprising – at least to me – is that a large portion of major industries that are not commonly associated with home-based businesses did, in fact, have a significant percentage of home-based companies. Many of them are also self-employed.

I created the following chart to show some of the data. One data point that initially caught my attention was that 58% of all manufacturing companies were home-based companies. That was eye-opening for me because I have always thought that manufacturing businesses were operated out of industrial parks with employees – definitely not home-operated.

home based businesses - by industry

As you can see, manufacturing is not alone. The transportation industry has a large home-based component. So does the architectural/engineering industry. This goes to show that home-based businesses do represent a large portion of businesses across a number of industries. This market is huge – and is probably untapped because most companies prefer to sell to larger accounts.

Here is some additional data reflected in the chart:
  • Construction -24%
  • Motor freight – 44%
  • Insurance agents – 52%
  • Manufacturing – 58%
  • Engineering/Architecture – 63%
  • Real estate agents – 76%
  • Business services – 85%
  • Child daycare – 98%

(Source: Table 4-2 Home based Business – The Hidden Economy)