During all the years I've worked with micro businesses, there has almost never been a discussion about 'growth' in the way we see it in the media - rapid, linear & exponential. Rather, there's often been discussion about ways to make a micro business thrive so that the people involved in the business thrive too. This might mean growth in terms of size, additional employees or turnover, but nearly always it means the ability to grow impact, meaning, community & wellbeing.
So what are some of the elements that can help a micro business, and of course the micro business owner, truly thrive?
Here are some ideas, reminders and thinkings to help or remind you of some of the key things we can do make us thrive.
Start with a clear vision. Understanding what you're trying to achieve for yourself, your community, a place or for your customers should be simple and your guiding light for all decisions, all activity and all your developments.
Develop a purpose focussed brand. Purpose is the element of micro business that can keep us going but most importantly that connects us with our potential customers in a meaningful way.
Stay flexible. The beauty of micro business is that we can be agile, flexible and even maverick in our approach to business. This could be the way you deliver, make, create or arrange your working week.
Spread your eggs into several baskets. Create income from different streams to stay secure. Even if you're focussing on one key 'thing' you do well, think of different ways to deliver, market or sell.
Become a great storyteller. Micros are special, they have special stories that your customers want to hear. Your experience, approach, passion or purpose is the lifeblood of what you do.
You can't do it all. Understanding what particular magic you bring to your business allows you to focus on that while you delegate or automate other tasks.
Collaboration over competition. Micros need each other more than to beat each other. Find your community or tribe of local or sector similar micro friends to work & innovate with.
Remember your number 1 asset. This is you. As the owner or manager of a micro, you need you to be your biggest investment. Think wellbeing, sleep, support, exercise, good food - it's all vital.
Never stop learning. We can't be experts at everything (we need to surround ourselves with experts) but we must keep our heads up and stay curious about all that is developing around us.
There is always a new way. You have a set of unique and special skills and experiences. If you fail, need to think again or even have to stop your current journey, there is always a new path to take with all your learnings with you.