Micro businesses are missing out on the business help they need because most people endeavouring to help small businesses are starting one rung higher up the the business ladder.
We want to speak into something that we believe is missing from the small business landscape and that is support, help and relevant advice for our micro businesses, meaning those with 1-5 employees. Too many articles, podcasts, white papers and videos, while quite often using the terminology “small business”, as if it’s all encompassing, is not really aimed at the smaller businesses classified as micro who have very different needs.
So what is a micro business? A micro business is defined as having from 1 to 5 employees (though some countries will say up to 10). Just under one third of all businesses fit the micro business category which equates to 167 million businesses globally. And the alarming thing is that at the micro level business failure is most prevalent with over 50% failing in the first 4 years.
These business have very different needs and challenges. Business coaching companies offer consultancy programs for bigger businesses who have both time and money on their side, or for startups who have time on their side and are willing to invest right now. This is because they passionately want to get their idea off the ground.
But where is the real help for these micro businesses?
Let’s have a look at the origin of these micro businesses and why they started in the first place.
Generally it was someone who is really good at a trade or profession. For example, they might be an electrician who had done their apprenticeship and had learnt the skill well. At some point, someone (usually family and friends) had encouraged them to go out into business for themselves. They often do a really good job, get more business and end up with a couple of staff. Two or three years into it, they wake up and realise “I don’t know how to run a business!”
And this is where the drama starts. This is because they are confronted with 2 choices – search through the myriad of videos, articles and content online (of which they don’t have the time for) or pay for costly professional advice. This leads to confusion and inaction and often they just go back to working hard. The right kind of help wasn’t available when they needed it the most which often led them to burnout.
Micro businesses need simple help that is affordable, and easy to understand and implement.
This way they can learn how to run their business and learn how to build their business step by step. We need to stop the downpour of information and quickly get to what is relevant and helpful. We need to stop treating all businesses as if they are the same. The support, advice and help should be relevant for the stage the business is at.
Imagine if every business owner was actually taught how to run their micro business properly and effectively. And that these businesses could grow into a small business and not become another statistic. We owe it to business owners, their families and our communities to change what we are doing here. This is because it is at the micro level that business failure is most prevalent and this impacts our economy as a whole.