So You’re Working in Your PJs…Does That Mean You’ve Got a “Micro” Business?
One thing I hear over and over again from micro business owners is that they hope never to go back to regular, nine-to-five employment.
There’s something oh-so-addictive about working for yourself, and the wonderful news is that there’s never been a better time to go for it.
The colossal rise of technology means you can set up and run a successful business from the comfort of your own home (in the aforementioned PJs, if you like!)
I covered the rise of micro businesses in a previous post, but just to recap, if you work for yourself, or you employ fewer than nine people, then you are officially a micro business owner.
Why Micro Doesn’t Always Mean ‘Micro’
The official definition of the word “micro” may be “extremely small in size and scope”, but that certainly doesn’t describe the vast majority of the businesses I work with.
In fact, when it comes to business it can be very easy to be put off by the word “micro” – as it suggests that you won’t make very much money, or make much of a difference in the world.
Yet according to the latest official State of Small Business Britain report, micro businesses accounted for a whopping £552 billion in sales throughout 2017 alone, and they make up 75% of all UK businesses.
That’s not bad, for a collection of companies that are overwhelmingly led by just one or two people.
(Confession: if I had my way, I’d abandon the “micro” definition completely when it comes to business. Instead, I much prefer author Nadia Finer’s fired-up term – a ‘lone ranger’ business!)
It’s All About Freedom
Often unfairly lumped in with the general description of a “small business” – or worse, a presumably non-profitable “lifestyle business” – micro businesses stand alone in their very own, successful, right.
Small businesses employ up to 50 people. That information alone highlights the many differences in priorities and challenges faced by a multi-department, 50-person business, from those of a one-person business whose company address is the same as their home address!
The State of Small Business Report highlighted – and I totally agree – that when it comes to micro business priorities, there is a “marked emphasis on freedom and flexibility”.
This is partly why working for yourself can become so addictive. OK, so you’ll almost certainly end up working outside of the ‘traditional’ nine-to-five, particularly at the beginning.
But that delicious feeling of being in control of your days, not to mention actually seeing the results of your hard work up close, is an incredible pay-off.
And it’s not just about freedom and flexibility – home-based businesses are often extremely efficient, particularly when it comes to the adoption of tech.
The Micro Business World is Digital
Unsurprisingly, micro-businesses have been embracing digital technology in spades, particularly accounting software and cloud computing (web based accounting software has actually been shown to increase micro-business profits).
If you’re still unconvinced about bedroom-based businesses, just think of all the tools you can use to generate income – often for free. Skype, Google Apps for business, Dropbox and Yammer are among the many pieces of digital kit you can use to build your business.
Meanwhile, if you’re embarrassed about those PJs, you don’t even need to let on that you work from home. A growing number of companies have sprung up that can provide you with a postal address, a telephone answering service, and meeting rooms.
Owning a micro business doesn’t mean you can’t grow, either.
Small businesses may release bold, world-changing mission statements as they set their sights on yet more office space, and higher numbers of staff. But with little or no office overheads, and no issues around employment law, around 86% of micro businesses reported a profit or surplus in 2017, and an average of 3% turnover growth.
In short, the micro future looks very bright indeed.
It’s Not All Plain Sailing
With so much potential out there for the taking, who cares if you’re working in your PJs?
But if you’re currently employed and thinking about starting your own business – or already running a side hustle – and you’re planning on marching into your boss’s office, resignation in hand, then you’ll have to make sure you’ve got a realistic, and achievable, business plan in place.
While HMRC predict that around 660,000 new start-ups will be registered in 2019, in five years’ time only half that number will have survived.
Not sure where to start to make sure your business is flourishing in five-years time? Contact me today
So take care of your business, and your future, by coming up with a plan that covers the basics – how you’ll find your customers, how you’ll market your services, what you need to invest at the start, and – ever so importantly – how you’ll earn money.
Don’t forget to take care of yourself, too. Working from home can be isolating, so surround yourself with support (even if that just means a family member checking up on you with a welcome cuppa every now and again!). Get out and meet people at networking events, and look for meaningful collaboration wherever you can.
As a highly experienced Business Mentor I can help you navigate the choppy waters of transitioning from employee to entrepreneur. If you’re already running your own micro business and it’s not as successful as you want it to be (or dream of it being) you should contact me today