What are micro-businesses?
The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) classifies a micro-businesses as a sub-set of the micro-businesses category with 0–4 employees. Small businesses have 5-19 employees.
There are well over 3 million businesses of all sizes trading in Australia. Of these, 97% are small businesses, and within this category, 85% are micro-businesses. There are over 300,000 new businesses start up in Australia each year. Some are businesses within an existing enterprise.
The majority of the micro business population, are one-person businesses which do not employ any additional staff. Over 60% are home-based, or lifestyle businesses. Micro-businesses are on the increase as more and more people are looking for a flexible working environment and being more in control of their lives.
Many people choose to start micro-businesses to:
- Avoid the daily commute to the office
- Do something new and exciting
- Being valued for their efforts
- Create a better work/life balance
- Work with more flexibility
- Create a lifestyle business
- Work from home
- Their knowledge can be better utilised
- They see an opportunity to fulfil a need in the marketplace
- Be available for their children
- Make more money
All of these things are possible with sound management practices.
Most of the best businesses started small and learned as they grew.
You judge where the value is
There is much ignorance surrounding the value and importance of microenterprises. Many argue micro-businesses are symptomatic of a weak economy. Just look at developing countries where micro-enterprises dominate.
A large number of micro- businesses in these countries, is often driven by survival. The lack of employment opportunities and a failing or absent welfare state forces unemployed people to do whatever they can to generate money. Old thinking could be holding you back, and not taking you to the future.
Some have described micro businesses as necessity-based, with people who are often forced into a business by the lack of any other alternative. Isn’t driving employment and improving lifestyles just what most regional, rural and remote communities want and need.
Micro-business crucial to community development
Successful communities focus on understanding micro-businesses and the people who run them. They understand their contribution to the local economy regarding jobs, profits to share around and their ability to bring outside dollars into a local town or village.
Micro- and small businesses are the economic engine in most communities. Especially in regional, rural and remote areas, the success of the micro-businesses is essential to the community’s development and even survival. A community must recognise the support needs of the micro-businesses, particularly during the start-up phase.
The local economic development strategy must include the development of the micro-businesses, including entrepreneurial support and training facilities. Be aware that many micro-businesses look to virtual training and support systems as they are cheaper and can be accessed 24/7.
How micro-businesses benefit their town or village:
- Local jobs
- Diverse, locally made products and services
- Fresh local produce
- Attentive services to the community
- More creativity and innovation
- Community involvement
- More creativity and innovation
- Less infrastructure required
- Community business and health services
- Stronger retail sales through competitive activity
- The increased local tax base
- More entrepreneurs in the community
“The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand”. Vince Lombardi
“While your purpose, vision and strategies are important. It is becoming action orientated and working on your objectives which will make your micro-businesses successful”. Peter Sergeant