This is a blog post I’ve been meaning to write for a good while and what better time than the beginning of the year when we’re all re-assessing our lives and the 12 months ahead of us.
Micro business in the UK is defined as a business with 0-9 employees and actually makes up 96% of all private business in Britain – there are over 5.2 million of them out there! You would be forgiven for imagining that these businesses are cute, unproductive or just make nice things for us to buy at a market. They are often called ‘lifestyle’ businesses – the faint praise of something that somehow looses its significance.
However, there is something far more powerful afoot. Micro businesses are made up of an unlimited type from artisans and makers to experts, freelancers, trades & family retail (& a millions more)! You will know from our other blogs that micro businesses are the backbone of vibrant communities and are at the forefront of sustainable business.
But there’s something else. Micro business provides their owners a way to earn a living while still creating a life they love. Running a micro business may not be the easy route to riches (if that’s your shtick) but being your own boss offers you the chance to fit in all the other things that are what happy lives are about. Time to stare, time to care, time give back, time to contribute and much more.
If you have ever thought that building a micro business life might be a viable alternative to your current working life, the here are 5 ways to make that begin to happen…..well.
Oh and by the way, micro business IS as legitimate as all those businesses who are growing quickly, on the telly with Dragons and getting big name endorsements. Micro business is the beating heart of every village, town and city. You will be the difference Britain wants to see.
1. Start with a passion.
That may sounds very easy but actually without love and passion, all the market research and careful planning in the world will come to nothing. Micro business is all consuming in many ways (in fantastic ways) and you need to really really believe in what you’re doing. It might be that you can’t find what you need in the market or you want to campaign for something that you think is missing from our world. You might decide that your long held hobby now needs to be shared with the world. List all the things in life that lift you up, give you energy, make you chat more or want to shout from the rooftops. Your business ideas may well be in there somewhere.
2. Tiny steps matter.
Don’t fear starting just because you’re not ready to leave your employed job yet. There\s much you can do. Start to imagine and plan what and how your business will be. Do some market research and think about start up costs. Buy the domain name – Simply GB was bought 6 years before it was ever used for anything!). All these little shuffles towards your dream matter and will make a difference. You may even decide to trade as a side hustle alongside regular work as a way to get going.
3. Get help quickly.
We all make mistakes and you will too, but that’s not a reason not to seek ideas, expertise and mentoring. There are so many opportunities out there for advice – start with the Simply Club right here pr listen to our podcast – A Micro Business Life, talk to existing micro business owners, watch TED talks, read inspiring stories, find out what your local Uni is offering or other business support offers.
4. Find a community.
Micro business is great because you fell autonomous but it can be isolating and lonely too. If you’ve only got the dog to bounce ideas off it can feel deflating. Hanging out with a community of people from your sector or who share your passions is a great place to test ideas, listen to insights and find someone to enjoy a chat with. Again, #teamsimply is a great place to start or find Facebook groups or hashtags that match your passions.
Don’t just harbour your micro business life dreams in a notebook (although this is a great way to keep the passion!) thinking that you have to be more experienced, more qualified or that you’ve left it too late. Micro business owners are making a difference all over the UK – in fact micro business is transforming lives and it could transform yours too. Make this year the year you at least take some steps to make your micro business life a reality.