Who isn’t feeling the impact and pressures of the current financial, political and personal wellbeing climate right now?
With war, anger, fear & overwhelm a pervading fog around us, it’s hard to focus on what we need to most, arguably a brighter future – for people, places and the planet.
I wanted to focus on how all this impacts on micro business owners in Britain in particular – those people seeking to build a life they love and that loves those people, places and the planet.
On the back of 2 years of a pandemic when micro businesses have been, often disproportionately, badly effected, the micro business community is now peddling hard to recoup, recover, rebuild and restart. A large proportion of our UK hospitality sector is made up of micro sized businesses and around 60% of those 5.2 million micro businesses are sole trader or single director owned. This means that there are a lot of small businesses out there and their owners, managing the day to day gloom that we see and hear from all sources.
What does this look like on a day to day basis? In my line of work, interacting with businesses of all sizes, but often those with 0-9 employees, I find that there is a poignant mix of deep exhaustion and hope. The way in which I might have delivered or shared information, business support or encouragement in the pre pandemic world, has had to evolve to account for an overwhelming lack of capacity for many of these businesses – emotional, physical and financial.
In terms of the day to day ideas and support, there is now a careful balance required between ‘being there’ and available for, if and when, a business owner might need some coaching, mentoring or training and being perky, positive and forward looking in such a way that doesn’t add to the feelings of drowning that many micro businesses are working to resolve.
But there is another story here & we must look to (or hang on to) the positive. The old saying that starting a business in a recession is the best way to form solid foundations, seems to ring true. Whether or not we’re in a recession or not, the flip side of fear and uncertainty is opportunity.
It feels to me, and many people I speak with, that opportunity is where we need to focus our minds. Figures on the number of start ups happening around the country are growing rapidly and many have found new confidence in their power to pivot, flex and stay agile in difficult times. We are very much still at the life changing crossroads to save our planet. The levels of innovation, creativity and energy that this requires, is surely being contributed to by millions micro businesses across the UK.
When we feel we are scraping across the bottom of a barrel or needing to totally rethink income strategies or operational structure, we have an opportunity to look skywards, throw all the cards in the air, stand on our heads or whatever works, and find new solutions, better ways of doing business and hope.
Micro businesses (0-9 employees) in Britain make up 96% of all private enterprise – I run one of them. Their contribution to the economy, the wellbeing of people and the future of our planet seems limitless. We can never underestimate the cumulative power of all these people finding hope, opportunity and new ways of being during these dark times.
So what can we do? How can we best shine a light on, or enhance opportunity for micro businesses in Britain in the Summer of 2022?
We can seek out those micro businesses in our own communities – buy from them, share their stories, learn more from them.
We can ensure that all micro businesses are paid in 30 days
We can value the power of micro business by spotlighting more stories, providing more funding & recognising their impact more fully.
We can support innovation, whacky ideas, new thinking, hope and opportunity in what ever way we can
We can collectively hold the hope for others when they don’t feel it.