I've been running this business from a workshop at my home now for about 5 years. It has it's positives and negatives. But by far the most perplexing thing associated with it, is other people's perception of a home based business. One of the more common questions is "are you a home? or a business?" Which makes me laugh a little. And every now and then I will notice a car pull up out the front, stop for a little, then drive away. And of course, that change in tone of a phone conversation when I mention working from home.
I can understand people feel it easier to trust a shopfront with their repairs, and it's probably more convenient at times, but often, it's just dodgy all dressed up. This industry isn't regulated, so anyone can open a store and offer this service. And I deal with problems these stores cause on a weekly basis. I think the problem is largely due to the overheads which they need to cover, which forces them to use cheaper quality parts, and rush jobs while cutting corners and not paying attention to the details.
I find working from home allows me the ability to more easily maintain a level of quality, which would be very hard to achieve in a store. It also allows me to focus on repairs, instead of having to have my attention focused on retail.
I was always taught, as most people are, to never judge a book by it's cover. But it's human nature to go with first impressions as a self preserving tool. It's an instinct which goes back through all of time.