In this article, we introduce our Micro Business Management Methodology. This covers what an owner is likely to need to know to move from being a “one person band”, or Solopreneur, to owning a sustainable micro business.
There are various definitions of what constitutes a Micro Business in different countries; often related to tax office definitions. We are choosing to use the term for businesses with 1-4 staff.
For our convenience we suggest that Micro Businesses are those where the owner/operator directly manages all the staff employed by the business.
The reason for them being typically less than 5 staff is that experience has shown that a single supervisor can manage 8-12 staff in normal circumstances – and our micro business owner is busier than a normal supervisor.
Micro Business Owner
In a Micro Business, the owner has their finger on the pulse of the business and manages everything. Our owner is even more stressed than a normal supervising manager. This is because, not only do they need to manage the staff, but they need to manage every aspect of the business. Including Sales, Marketing, Administration and HR.
Typically, Micro Business owners find themselves starting to hire, lead and motivate staff for what maybe the first time in their life. Consequently, they have a very steep learning curve around matters relating to people. To help with this, our resources focus on assisting them with managing people.
Along with having more staff comes increased responsibility to have the funds to pay the wages when they fall due. It is one thing for an owner to forgo an Income themselves; it is entirely different to try and convince employees that they should forgo their Income. Consequently, this stage also introduces the need for the owner to have a much better grasp of:
- Cash flow.
- Their current financial position.
- How to increase sales efficiently to pay for the increased payroll.
Working On and In a Micro Business
Well known small business guru Michael Gerber famously said that a small business owner has to learn to “work on a business” as well as “work in a business”.
This means taking oneself outside the day to day efforts to earn an income and taking the time to check that the business is evolving in the right direction and all its systems are appropriately balanced for the business to operate successfully.
Our resources for improving the things that have be done on a day to day basis can be reached via the Diagnostics System and the search tool on any page. The Diagnostics are structured to let you drill down to find what interests you but also to draw your attention to other related issues that you may not have considered.
The things particularly related to working on a Micro Business are grouped in our Micro Business Resource Catalogue.
Micro Business Management of Growth
Growth generally is something of a balancing act! You will need to expend money on staff and other resources in advance of getting anything back. For a micro business, this often means you have to accept that you may have no Profit, and may also have to lower your own wage, for some time.
That also puts more importance on the generation of Revenue through sales. The owner has to generate enough Revenue, and in a reliable manner, to pay the salaries of staff as they fall due.
Having decided that more staff are necessary, the owner has to juggle what positions are to be filled. In addition, what skill sets are needed in the people selected to fill those positions. There are numerous decisions and financial calculations to be done. These are covered in the Resource catalogue link below.
Some of our resources, for this Micro Business stage of the business journey, are listed here:
- TrendBoard to help with financial management and cash flow.
- Profit Autopilot to assist with having funds available as needed.
- The Diagnostic System to identify the cause of unknown problems and then to suggest potential solutions.
- Resources of people management tools collected in the Diagnostic System.
- Tools to prioritise what to work on next when the owner is swamped by things needing to be done.
- Time management tools.
Learn more about these resources in the Micro Business Resource Catalogue