For decades, franchises have been a staple of the American economy, but the barrier to entry has typically been several hundred thousand dollars (if not millions). Franchises offer the stability and success rate of a well known (and well proven) brand and business strategy, while still requiring and employing many of the entrepreneurial skills required to run a startup. A growing trend in the last few years, however, has been the advent of inexpensive, and highly lucrative, home based business franchises. The businesses range from lawn care and home maintenance franchises like CleanPro USA (an entirely innovative spin on carpet cleaning), to entirely web-based franchises like L&L Opportunity (a home based business that delivers groceries directly to the customer’s home) and this home based segment of the franchise market has taken off over the past few year, quite unexpectedly. While a home based business is attractive to many people simply because of the fact that you get to work from home, the recent recession and the rise in technological advances over the last several years has made the prospect of starting your own home based franchise more attractive than ever.A struggling economy is bad for just about everyone, and just about every industry, but one thing that seems to thrive when the economy doesn’t is home based businesses. This is not to say that home based businesses only succeed in poor economic times, but rather; starting a home based business entails investing in yourself, and that is one of the best investments you can make in an unstable economy.The economy, however, is not the only reason that home based businesses have seen a bump in popularity lately; technology in general (and the internet specifically) is allowing sophisticated businesses, that typically would have taken an entire staff to operate, to be run out of a home office, sometimes by a single person. Having the ability to advertise, take orders, ship product and schedule services all from a website makes the entire process for many home based businesses much easier (and much cheaper) than ever before.Franchisors have capitalized on this new market as well, enabling budding entrepreneurs to start and run their own home business without any formal training, and without even having a “million dollar idea” of their own. While many people unfamiliar with the category might associate the word franchise with fast food restaurants and chain-stores in the mall, there’s a vast number of franchises available today that can be operated with as little as one employee and can be started sometimes from anywhere from a few hundred dollars up to tens of thousands, depending on the particular type of franchise.An important thing to note when digging further into the world of home business is to know the difference between legitimate home businesses and work from home scams. Drive through any metropolitan area (or browse the web for 20 min for the matter) and you’ll no doubt come across someone claiming that you can make upwards of ten thousand dollars per months working from home without any real effort or skills needed. Make no mistake, there’s still no such thing as a free lunch, but modern technologies have enabled legitimate home business opportunities, just know what to look for. You can find legitimate franchises through a reputable franchise broker; unless the franchise you’re looking at has been recommended by someone you personally know and trust, or by a reputable franchise broker that has vetted the franchise and made sure that it’s legitimate, don’t take the risk. A sure fire way to spot a scam is when you’re promised a lot for very little. A real home business will require a lot of hard work to get started, and will require hard work to maintain it.