Home-based businesses are being encouraged to make contact with online community Support a Work At Home Person, as it launches the inaugural International Work at Home Person Week.
Directed by Brisbane-based author and entrepreneur Cas McCullough, Support a WAHP is an online community of more than 10,000 home-based businesses located throughout the world.
“Support a WAHP launched in February 2010 with the intention to provide a space for work-at-home parents,” McCullough says.
“Support a WAHP offers you a place to promote and gain more recognition for your home based-business [and] connect with other work-at-home parents or people.”
McCullough says iWAHP Week, to be held from February 5-11, is designed to draw attention to the contribution that home-based businesses make to the economy and their local communities.
“Approximately 68% of Australian and 66% of US small businesses are home-based, and yet there is very little recognition and support for people who work from home,” McCullough says.
“Isolation is a big factor for people who work from home, as is the need to set clear boundaries between work time and family time.”
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McCullough says the increasing number of home-based businesses can be attributed to the global financial crisis – which saw more people working from home to save money – and the rise of social media.
“There’s a real movement at work here… Tough economic times, combined with the social media phenomenon, have birthed a community that values supporting the small operator,” she says.
“People in the work-at-home community enjoy buying products and using services provided by other home-based operators.”
“For many, greater environmental awareness is a factor also. A growing number of people go out of their way to buy local and handmade.”
“While many of these businesses make only a few thousand [dollars] a year, some of the businesses in our community make in excess of $100,000 a year or considerably more.”
“Many businesses outsource work to virtual assistants and marketing professionals too, so the contribution of home-based operators to the economy should not be underestimated.”
McCullough isn’t the only one singing the praises of home-based businesses. Later this year, the Federal Government will stage National Telework Week in a bid to highlight the benefits of working from home.
National Telework Week, initiated by the government in partnership with a range of organisations, is designed to encourage employers and employees to trial teleworking.
“An increase in telework can lead to benefits across the economy… From big business through to individual workers,” Communications Minister Stephen Conroy said in a statement.
“The rollout of the National Broadband Network is the game-changer that will make this an everyday reality… The NBN will allow Australians to interact more easily from home.”