On September 7th, 2021 I will have run a work from home business for 14 years successfully. Over that time, I’ve discovered that although my little one-woman show gets categorized as a small business, that moniker doesn’t always fit or benefit my home office operation. Instead, my business is better categorized as a micro-business as are a large number of home-based businesses.
Working from home, something that was once an oddity, is fast becoming the new normal. When you add in the pandemic, it’s increased the number of individuals who work from home or want to start a work from home business.
So why is it when you go looking for information to help you start, operate and grow a home-based business, everything that pops up is marked for ‘small businesses’ not ‘micro- business’.
Let’s talk small vs micro-business.
small business: an organization that is small (few employees) and may or may not have the intention to be bigger. In the US a business with 1,500 or less employees is considered a small business.
Although a home-based business may, by definition be a small business, a large number of home businesses are actually micro-businesses. Micro-businesses have no more than two employees. Why is this important? There is a huge difference between 2 and 500. A lot of information and resources out there for small businesses just don’t fit a micro-business.
A micro business differs greatly from even a business with only 5 employees.
Information and resources for small businesses often won’t apply to a micro-business. The challenges you face are different. This includes a smaller customer reach. It also includes the inability to take out business loans or develop lines of credit with potential vendors due to their small size. They are also much more likely to outsource than hire employees.
All of these things can make it a challenge to find advice or resources. Small business resources will often refer to financing and employee management. Services recommended for small businesses may be overkill for a micro business.
You’ll also see advice about finding office space and hiring employees, both are often not applicable to a work from home business. Other items like obtaining legal counsel or an accountant may or may not be something you want to do when starting a home-based business.
Searching for specific advice will be hit or miss as to what you find and how helpful it is.
You can of course Google micro business, but you’ll find that after the first few results everything reverts back to ‘small business’ advice. The truth of the matter is, unless you’ve run a micro business, you probably aren’t aware of just how it differs from a ‘normal’ small business. Where a small business might rely heavily on things like project management applications and CRM’s, both can be overkill for a micro business. Yet you will often find both of these recommended in articles returned by the search engine.
Most of the information shared here on the Tips from T.Marie blog is micro-business friendly. That’s because I write from my own experience running my one person business for over a decade. And it’s that kind of information that is most helpful for someone looking to launch their own micro-business.
With the 14th anniversary of my little business approaching, I’m relaunching my coaching services with a new group coaching program called “Employee to Entrepreneur: Create, Launch, and Sell Your Services in 30 Days” It includes 4 weeks of group coaching sessions with me, accompanied by a workbook and checklists. I’ll walk you through the steps, you’ll work through the exercises, and the checklists will keep you organized.
If you want a little taste of the helpful information my coaching programs can provide, I’m offering a free livestream on September 10th at 7:00 pm ET where I’ll share 5 Mindset Shifts You Must Make to Move from Employee to Entrepreneur. You’ll walk away with actionable tips that you can implement immediately. It’s free to attend, all you have to do is join my Home Business Jumpstart Private Facebook Group. I’ll see you there!