Why We’re Bullish on Independent Businesses

On the edge of a recession, independent businesses remain firm in their resolve to persevere. Their drive, passion, and resilient spirit keep them afloat amid turbulent times. That’s why we’re bullish on their success. 

November 29, 2022

On the edge of a recession, as ongoing layoffs and rising inflation have many worried, independent service-based businesses remain firm in their resolve to persevere. In fact, according to a recent survey we ran, 57% say their confidence in their business success has improved in the last six months. And we shouldn’t be surprised. Independent service providers–people selling their skills as a service, such as photographers and consultants–are the most resilient businesses in the country. 

We know this because we’ve been here before. Just two and half years ago, as the global pandemic left economic turmoil in its wake, those quickest to pivot and adapt were independents. We witnessed our members rapidly reinvent themselves, bringing their offerings online and finding new ways to serve their clients. They didn’t turn away from their passion, they doubled down. 

What followed was the record-breaking rise of the independent workforce. Even now, new business applications remain well above pre-pandemic levels. People today continue to opt out of the nine-to-five in favor of autonomy over their careers, finances, and future. It all points to the resilience of independent business owners. Untethered by supply chains and unsurmountable overhead, they can scale down their services, cut back their expenses, and ride out economic downturns. Pair that with their passion and creative instinct, and it’s no wonder independents have proven time and again that they have the agility and innovation to overcome the most daunting challenges.  

That’s not to say their path is easy. It takes grit to build a business on your own terms, and obstacles remain. The problem is not demand or quality of services, but that operational friction leads to inefficiencies, poor client experiences, and ultimately business failure.

The solution is technology designed specifically for independents; a platform that truly understands and provides for their business needs. We have taken on that task, and today more than 100,000 independent businesses trust HoneyBook to book clients, manage projects, and get paid. In fact, we recently surpassed $100 million in annual recurring revenue. This milestone represents the strength and success of our members. I’m immensely grateful to each one of them for partnering with us. It’s our mission to support their rise with a platform that empowers them to feel in control of their business, even during volatile times. 

For that, I have the HoneyBook team to thank. We may be small but our dedication is mighty. To reach this achievement with only 180 employees is proof of our commitment to independents and their pursuit of a life filled with passion and purpose. 

We got here by putting our members first and prioritizing product advancements that will have the biggest impact on their success. In the last year, we launched the most significant update to our core product since our founding and HoneyBook Capital.  

Our core product now empowers members with more control over their clientflow. Enhanced customization, automation, and file-building capabilities allow them to create the processes that best support their brand, business, and client needs. The capital product removes the barrier to accessing funding that independents have traditionally faced. 

We also welcomed two new executive hires this year. Matti Yahav is leading marketing, product education, and business development as our chief commercial officer, and Yuval Kesten is at the helm of product development as chief product officer. Both have extensive experience at international companies, SodaStream and Meta respectively, and will enable us to bring a category-leading brand and product to the market. Their joining is yet another testament to the strength and potential of the independent workforce. 

As we look to the future, we will continue investing in our product. Always listening to and learning from our members, we’re bettering our platform to support more independent business types and their financial needs. 

Independents are the true backbone of the American economy. Their drive, passion, and resilient spirit keep them afloat and moving forward even in turbulent times. That’s why we’re bullish on their success. 

And you should be, too. If you’re an aspiring entrepreneur waiting to pursue your passion, a professional on the job hunt seeking meaningful employment, or an investor looking to fund the future, the independent business economy is your answer. Our momentum is proof and we invite you to join us in support of independent work.

- Oz Alon, HoneyBook cofounder and CEO

a woman adds a sticky note to a whiteboard
Product workshop held at the San Francisco offices with HoneyBook employees and members