• Nichola Kelsey

Are you a micro business?

Micro businesses are officially a small business employing 9 or less people. They are an important segment of any growing economy – providing local products and services, creating community spaces, promoting tourism and are role models and support for future entrepreneurs. However, they often get swept up into the same tide of information that applies to small businesses in general, which is not always relevant.

So, what makes a micro business?


A person is self-employed if they run their business for themselves and take responsibility for its success or failure. Someone can be both employed and self-employed at the same time, for example if they work for an employer during the day and run their own business in the evenings. There are many attractive benefits of being self-employed including a creative freedom in running your business and making decisions. You’ll also be able to set your own hours and fit your work around other commitments, and work on a range of projects with a number of clients. also gain experience in the different areas of setting up a business, including overseeing the finances and administrative work.


These refer to skilled individuals who provide a service to a number of clients. With a flexible schedule, a work-life balance, freedom to work wherever you want and the opportunity to have some time to concentrate on self-development, freelancing is a great choice for those wanting to dip their toes in the entrepreneurial sector. They’ll need a certain amount of business acumen to find clients, manage an unpredictable income flow, make allowances for taxes and insurance, and getting clients to pay!


The definition of a “start-up” is fairly broad, but typically would be a young company in the early stages of development founded by one or more entrepreneurs in order to develop and unique product or service and bring it to market. They are problem solvers in search of enough financial backing to get their solutions off the ground. Small businesses may be more than happy to stay the size they are, whereas start-ups are small companies with big ambitions (think Apple, Uber, Facebook) – and are focussed to grow and scale as fast as they can.

Home based businesses

Two out of three companies begin in a spare bedroom, dining table, garage or even in the garden! Technology makes operating a virtual company from home more feasible and popular than ever. Running your company out of your home allows for flexibility regarding working space, working hours, overhead costs and brings freedom to grow your business at your own pace.

Family businesses

Possibly one of the oldest forms of business organisation, which is defined by any business in which two or more family members are involved and the majority of ownership or control lies within a family. If you own a family business, you probably worry even more than the average entrepreneur about ensuring that your company not only survives, but also thrives to nurture the next generation.

Challenges for the micro business

Starting from scratch– it will take time to establish your business and brand, and this part is often unpaid! Growing a client base requires perseverance, resilience and a growth mindset.

Long hours–building your own business may lead to longer working days, and business commitments may need to take a priority over time with friends and family. It can also be difficult to switch off from work life.

Responsibility– the overall success or failure of your business is down to you. You’re in charge of all things financial – organising your pension, paying taxes and national insurance. It can sometimes feel like you have the weight of the world on your shoulders, especially if you need your business to support others eg a family, employees.

Unpredictable finances - Irregular income makes it harder to budget and meet fixed running costs, such as rent, insurance and internet access. You need to plan for periods of time where you're not making a profit.

Isolation– it can get lonely working on your own, and harder to stay motivated without the buzz of an office around you.

Lack of employee benefits - You won't get sick pay, holiday pay or any other employee benefit. You are effectively your business - if you can't work, neither can your business.

As you can see, setting up your own business takes perseverance, resilience and a growth mindset. However, it can also afford you the creative freedom to make your own decisions, working independently to your own rules. There is much satisfaction to be had in reaping the rewards of your hard work, and and allows you concentrate on the things you love most.

The Micro Business Show is on Tuesday 25 February 2020 at The Draycote Hotel in Rugby. Through a relevant exhibition of local micro businesses, a knowledge-based seminar programme and opportunities to grow their network, the #MicroBizShow addresses challenges faced by entrepreneurs. It is aimed at small businesses, solo self-employed, freelancers, start-ups, home businesses and anyone thinking of going into business. Visit for FREE for relevant information on local micro businesses, knowledge sharing and networking.

#selfemployed #freelancer #startup #homebasedbusiness #familybusiness #microbusiness #smallbusiness

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