A desire to do things differently, to work flexibly, to break free from the shackles of the corporate world or the desire to reap the rewards of your own labours are some of the reasons that people take the risk of setting up their own business. It is a brave step to move away from the security of being an employee, but for an increasing number of individuals, this is a risk worth taking.
In 2015 there were 5.2million UK companies that were made up of 9 or less employees. These micro businesses are made all the more possible due to advances in technology and a growing support network for start ups. They may be small, but these companies are contributing more to the economy than simply keeping the unemployment figures down. In some industries, they are leading the way.
Advantages of Microbusinesses
It may seem impossible for a small business to be able to complete against the established corporate giants, but there are advantages to being small. Their size means that they can more easily respond to local needs, can adapt to changes in the market and can offer bespoke or niche products and services that aren’t viable to big organisations.
The rise of online business means that individuals can start small and invest profits back into the business as it grows. Working from a room in their house, or a hot desk in a local business hub, they can set up a company and begin trading with low capital costs.
With a commitment to developing an engaging social media presence, attendance at networking groups, business and community events the micro businesses can put themselves face to face with potential customers. They can listen and respond to what people really want. They can become approachable and engage with customers in a way that would be more challenging for large scale operations.
Obviously there are many challenges for small businesses, including establishing kudos, working every possible hour to get things off the ground, the limitations of existing skills, knowledge and experience in every aspect of the business and financial management. Without a regular income, every investment has got to count and any delay in payments due or unexpected bills can have serious implications on the stability of the business.
Seek Business Support and Resources
To aid success it is important to seek the support of others. Networking events can be a great place for the exchange of knowledge and tips, as well as a place for building contacts. There are also plenty of free resources including this online social media course which can help build an understanding how social media and other forms of internet marketing can lead to online success.
A little research should also lead to local forums, directories, support groups and government sponsored initiates that could transform how a business is run. Partnering with other companies or outsourcing can also be a way of reducing costs and filling skills gaps within a small team. Find out about local scheme that encourage shared resources from office administration and accounts to storage space and transportation.
Sourcing skilled employees can also be a challenge, but considering what could be offered in an employee package beyond a salary could make for a more attractive proposition. Discounts, shares, quality training and health insurance are all perks that could help to attract the right candidates. It can also help to focus on the skills rather than a restrictive job role. With flexible working schemes it may also be possible to draw on the talents of parents who have given up their career, but are looking for work that fits in with family life.
The freedom of setting up your own business means that you can break the mould and find innovative ways of working that lead to favourable outcomes. Are you ready to break