Playing it Large: Take a Macro Approach to Your Micro Business
You might have noticed that I’ve been talking up micro businesses in my recent blog posts.
That’s because I wholeheartedly believe in the immense power and potential of the micro business. You’ve got as much opportunity to change the world as a one-person entity working from your bedroom, as a global company working from plush offices.
(When put like that, you can see why ‘micro’ is often such a misleading description for a business!)
As we’ve already covered in previous posts, a micro business employs up to nine people, although a hefty proportion are led by just one or two. In stark contrast, a SME (small to medium sized business) employs up to 250
It’s easy to imagine the differences in approach needed to be successful, yet when it comes to business advice, the small and the micro are frequently – and very unfairly – lumped in together.
Bear in mind that playing it large in business doesn’t have to mean expanding into more offices or employing extra staff. As an experienced Business Mentor, I know how perfectly possible it is to be successful on your own and by yourself.
In fact, that’s exactly the way a lot of people (including me!) like it.
But here’s something for you to consider.
Just because you’re in charge of a micro business, doesn’t mean you can get away with not having a plan in place!
The Entrepreneurial Myth
How many times have you heard successful entrepreneurs being referred to as “risk takers”?
While this is a common assumption, I like to think they’re exactly the opposite.
Successful entrepreneurs don’t tend to come into being by accident. Instead, they do their homework meticulously behind the scenes. They research their market and their industry, they know their competition, and they understand exactly what they’re selling.
This means that when an opportunity comes up, they’re in the perfect position to reach out and grab it!
While an outsider could see this type of behaviour as risky, to the entrepreneur themselves, it’s just a calculated business move that they were well prepared for.
Planning for Success
One of my favourite sayings is: “It pays to plan ahead. It wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark.”
Regular readers of my blog (or simply anyone who knows me well!) will already be aware that I’ve got a lot of love for planning. For me, planning is that missing link between passion and profit, and it’s an absolutely vital part of business success.
All too often, however, micro business owners let planning fall to the wayside, preferring to concentrate on the day-to-day instead.
There are good reasons behind this kind of thinking. After all, starting a business that has your heart and soul is not only time-consuming, it can also be a very emotional process.
Isn’t it hard enough getting a new business off the ground on your own, without then having to think about writing complicated plans you may never need?
But the good thing about planning is that it allows you to be objective about your business, which is particularly important if you’re the only one in charge.
You’ll have a greater, wider perspective that means you can emulate those successful risk-taking entrepreneurs…or even become one yourself!
The Simple Art of Business Planning
Don’t worry. Your planning process doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, it shouldn’t be.
Just think about exactly what you want to achieve with your business. Then, consider how you’re going to get there.
To help you get started, consider the following questions:
- What am I selling? Briefly describe the outcome for your customers when they buy your product or service
- Who am I selling to? Who is your target customer, and why are they going to choose you?
- Who is my direct competition? This can be a tough one, but finding out more about your competition will help you differentiate your business from theirs.
- What’s the current state of the market? What external factors do you need to consider in your industry?
- What should I charge? Research the general market rate and customer purchasing patterns. You need to ensure you’re able to make a profit.
- How well do I know my numbers? While you don’t have to be too in-depth, you should have a turnover target to work towards. You should also have an understanding of your business costs, and how much profit your business needs to make.
Once you understand some of these business essentials, you can start planning in a bit more detail.
The more you understand about your customer base, for example, the more effective your marketing plan will be. You’ll be able to do more with less, because you’ll know exactly where to find new business!
So, are you ready to conquer the entrepreneurial world?
Then contact me and I can tell you just how I can help
Meanwhile, if you’ve got any stories to share, I’d love to hear them. Simply pop them in the comment box below.