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Why words matter - micro vs small

You may have noticed that Simply is all about 'micro business' - very intentionally and very specifically. Why do we blather on about micro and not use the easier, and frankly more popular term, small business?

There's a story.

When I set up my first business 20 years ago, I didn't know there was such a thing as a micro business. I was running a small business in my eyes and that was that. However, I found that I was struggling to find people who were like me. All the business networking and networks I found were for much larger businesses or single professionals e.g. lawyers or accountants. These folks were very friendly, but were essentially nothing like me - working alone, doing all the tasks, in jeans and making a bucket of mistakes.

I felt like a fish out of water.

Move forward a few years and I was helping other businesses as a business coach and consultant, often through European funded programmes. What I noticed that often very small businesses with 5 of fewer employees were excluded from this type of funded help. Not big enough to be significant.

By now, I identified as a micro business owner. I knew that around 98% of ALL UK, private enterprise was micro in size (0-9 employees) and yet so many weren't getting the help they needed.

Added to this approach, I continued to notice that much of the tinterweb and media portrayals of British business is actually about small business (10-49 employees) or SMEs (10-249 employees) providing great advice and ideas, but not necessarily realistic or specific enough for micros to action.

The life and experiences of micros is often very particular. Micros are required to be able to tackle all the main business functions. They may often work alone and will certainly be the only decision maker in a business. They may not have exponential growth in their plans and aren't well served by generalised, jargon filled business support.

This isn't a negative story.

Being specific in our use of business language and clearly understanding the impact of using 'micro' to correctly describe business size unlocks a new conversation and targeted, accurate and more useful business help and resource allocation.

A brighter future

Simply Club has a mission to help transform more lives through micro business. By developing and delivering appropriate and useful business support that really helps owners as well as helping the wider UK public to truly understand the value of having thriving micros in their communities.

Find out more about our mission and what we do to celebrate, support & connect micros in Britain.


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