What is Micro-Entrepreneurship?

What is Micro-Entrepreneurship?

According to Wikipedia.com, micro-enterprise is defined as a small business employing nine or less individuals and having a balance sheet of a certain dollar amount. Investopedia’s definition of micro-enterprise agrees that less than ten employees, but adds that the business is started with a small amount of capital. Investopia.com also adds that micro-entrepreneurship usually operates in the goods and services sector focusing on local business. And Micro-Entrepreneurship for Dummies offers that many of these super-small enterprises are home-based and possibly use outsourcing.

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My  personal definition is a super-small business with less than 10 people working day-to-day. I usually refer to them as micro-businesses. They are created with low start-up funds. A micro-business is usually home-based, but can and often expands to store front operations.

The most important aspect of micro-business, is that the owners cannot always apply traditional, fundamental business practices to their organizations. Micro-business requires different skills, planning, and resources than a typical small business. I believe that this is a major factor in many of the failed businesses of the recent past. They used traditional business principles in their non-traditional business.

Many aspects of a micro-business can be very successful with the application of some traditional ideas, however, micro-businesses are different in many facets. Large advertising campaigns and expensive marketing strategies are simply difficult for a micro-business to pull off, let alone continue to grow and succeed.

According to an article published in Forbes Magazine January 16, 2015, 90% of Businesses Fail. The article was titled 90% of Businesses Fail: Here’s What You Need to Know About the 10%. It was written by Neil Patel and is very insightful. In addition, Erin Griffith wrote an article on business failure in Fortune, September 25, 2014 from the founder’s standpoint. The article includes a graph of the Top 20 Reasons Startups Fail. You can access that graph at: http://fortune.com/2014/09/25/why-startups-fail-according-to-their-founders/.

I personally believe that more of these businesses can be saved, changed, or given new direction. It is important that micro-businesses use micro-business principles and recognize that many traditional business practices are deadly to super-small businesses.

 

References

www.investopedia.com/terms/m/microenterprise.asp

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Micro-enterprise

http://fortune.com/2014/09/25/why-startups-fail-according-to-their-founders/

http://www.forbes.com/sites/neilpatel/2015/01/16/90-of-startups-will-fail-heres-what-you-need-to-know-about-the-10/#6845e29255e1

 

Brainstorming Your Business Name

Once again, we are revisiting brainstorming to crBrainstorm Pictureeate the winning business name for you and your organization. After doing this exercise, you will probably be able to look around your community and determine which entities took the time to really think out their business name.

Today, branding is the hot topic. The concept is to create a marketing strategy and name for your business that encompasses you, your products, and/or services. For example, when you see Bubba’s Garage you don’t envision an engineering firm. Another example is Tammy’s Cleaning. This is not a typical name for a business that is vying for million dollar government contracts. It’s not that you won’t be successful if you don’t take the time to choose the perfect name, but as you will see, working with a business name that stands out and portrays the image you want it to makes marketing, advertising, and sales go a lot smoother.

Here, we have provided an example brainstorming worksheet for a residential cleaning company. At the bottom of the article, we have provided a template you can print off and use. Again, this is an important process and may take more than a minute.

Brainstorming Worksheet Business Name Example

After you think you have the name you want, you may want to take a moment and envision how that name will look on signs, business cards, and other marketing material.

Brainstorming Worksheet

Components of a Business Plan

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If you’ve been cruising the web-sphere for business ideas and think you are ready to tackle your business plan, here are many of the common components, or page headings for your document called the Business Plan. If you’re a little nervous about creating your own business plan, check out the World Wide Web for FREE templates to get you started. Some websites even have one-page business plans.

I’m not yet sure how I feel about a one-page business plan. While I feel that it is possible for a select group of businesses, I’m just not sure that you can have a well thought out plan for business, let alone an all-inclusive document in just one single page.

Please note that your business plan is not required to have all of the following sections, but it wouldn’t hurt to dedicate some time to contemplating whether a particular section is important to your plan. However, if you are planning on presenting your business plan to a bank or potential investors, you may want to over-include rather than not have a section one of your potential investors feels is important.

There is nothing wrong with being over-prepared. Over-prepared means you though too much about something. It’s under-prepared that looks bad!

  • Cover Page- Include Business Name, pictures if you have them, and the names of the individuals forming the entity
  • Executive summary- A succinct paragraph of what your business is. If you are not sure, search executive summaries on the Internet. Find 3-4 that you like and use them to brainstorm your customized summary.
  • Vision and Mission Statement- Some companies have both a vision and mission statement or one or the other. The vision statement is how you see or want others to see your business as. The mission statement is what your business does. Again, find 3-4 vision and mission statements to get an idea of the format you like and create a custom vision and mission for the organization.
  • Company Description- this section can be more than one paragraph and more detailed than the summary.
  • Products and/or services- For micro- or super-small businesses, focus on one or two main products or services. Larger organizations will have divisions or possibly product lines.
  • Market Analysis- What did you find out about the market for your product or service. Include competitor information. Is the market ready for- or can the market handle your product or service. Why?
  • Marketing and Sales- Some business plans include a completely separate marketing plan. How do you plan to get the public to know about your product or service? Additionally, who and how will you sell it?
  • Operations Plan- Business Structure, org chart, and responsibilities.
  • Staff- Key employees and managers
  • Financial Plan- Start-up budget, 12-month, 2 year, and 5 year projections
  • Potential Funding/Investors
  • Appendices- supporting documents and information, and competitor examples

 

Brainstorming Your Business Idea

Brainstorming Worksheet example

If you’ve looked around at business websites or books at your local bookstore, you probably have heard about the
importance of a business plan. Except for a very few business experts, most individuals that have spent any time in the industry of business start-ups and entrepreneurship scream the importance of a business plan for new start-ups. I am among the many that feel a business plan is essential to future success. If not for its way of predicting the exact path you will take, a business plan is essential for the brainstorming process. Taking the time to work through the ideas in your head and get them into concrete elements on paper allows you to evaluate each part of your meetingupcoming business.

Here, we are using brainstorming to determine the business we want to start. Our Brainstorming Worksheet shows larger circles in which to put your potential businesses. Use the smaller attached circles to write down reasons why you think that business is the one for you. Additionally, you could attach bright boxes to distinguish negatives of embarking on that type of business.

In our example worksheet, we have a landscaping business with elements a potential owner feels are essential to enjoying their business. Individuals can use various elements such as home-based, no employees needed, or no contact with customers as important elements. Additionally, an individual that is more flexible about the type of business they wish to embark but knows they must have a business that meets another one of their needs can use the worksheet starting with that element. For example, no customer contact may be essential. Start with this element and look at potential businesses that fit your needs.

This process can be as in depth or as quick as you need it to be. If you have already decided on a type of business, the brainstorming exercise can be used to map out other things about your upcoming endeavor.

Brainstorming Worksheet

10 Super-Small Businesses for Working With Kids

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Are you looking for a business and love working with kids? An even better question is do you have kids and want to be able to incorporate or include your kids in your every day operations. Here are 10 super simple business ideas with kids you can start today!

  1. Dance/Cheer Instructor

  2. Children’s Party Planner

  3. Storyteller

  4. Childcare Provider

  5. Magician

  6. Private Tutor

  7. Fitness Coach

  8. Party Clown

  9. Recreation Activities Coach

  10. Children’s Room Decorator/Painter

Components of a Business Plan

business plan pic

If you’ve been cruising the web-sphere for business ideas and think you are ready to tackle your business plan, here are many of the common components, or page headings for your document called the Business Plan. If you’re a little nervous about creating your own business plan, check out the World Wide Web for FREE templates to get you started. Some websites even have one-page business plans.

I’m not yet sure how I feel about a one-page business plan. While I feel that it is possible for a select group of businesses, I’m just not sure that you can have a well thought out plan for business, let alone an all-inclusive document in just one single page.

Please note that your business plan is not required to have all of the following sections, but it wouldn’t hurt to dedicate some time to contemplating whether a particular section is important to your plan. However, if you are planning on presenting your business plan to a bank or potential investors, you may want to over-include rather than not have a section one of your potential investors feels is important.

There is nothing wrong with being over-prepared. Over-prepared means you though too much about something. It’s under-prepared that looks bad!

  • Cover Page- Include Business Name, pictures if you have them, and the names of the individuals forming the entity
  • Executive summary- A succinct paragraph of what your business is. If you are not sure, search executive summaries on the Internet. Find 3-4 that you like and use them to brainstorm your customized summary.
  • Vision and Mission Statement- Some companies have both a vision and mission statement or one or the other. The vision statement is how you see or want others to see your business as. The mission statement is what your business does. Again, find 3-4 vision and mission statements to get an idea of the format you like and create a custom vision and mission for the organization.
  • Company Description- this section can be more than one paragraph and more detailed than the summary.
  • Products and/or services- For micro- or super-small businesses, focus on one or two main products or services. Larger organizations will have divisions or possibly product lines.
  • Market Analysis- What did you find out about the market for your product or service. Include competitor information. Is the market ready for- or can the market handle your product or service. Why?
  • Marketing and Sales- Some business plans include a completely separate marketing plan. How do you plan to get the public to know about your product or service? Additionally, who and how will you sell it?
  • Operations Plan- Business Structure, org chart, and responsibilities.
  • Staff- Key employees and managers
  • Financial Plan- Start-up budget, 12-month, 2 year, and 5 year projections
  • Potential Funding/Investors
  • Appendices- supporting documents and information, and competitor examples

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Social Media in Business: Benefit or Burden?

According to an article published on Social Media Today by Evan Asano,people continue to increase their time spent on social media. The article, How Much Time Do People Spend On Social Media, published January 4, 2017, offers great insight into social media today. According to Asano, Teens today spend up to nine hours on various social media platforms. Of the various online activites one can do on a daily basis, 30% of our time is spent on social media. Furthermore, Asano adds that 60% of that social media interaction is being done from a mobile device.

As a business owner, this can be both a benefit and a burden. If you gain business revenue from the internet and you are capturing income streams from the advent of social media, you are probably pretty happy with the results suggested in this article. If not, it’s probably about time that you brainstorm some ideas to tap into this melting pot of individuals spending time on social media. After all, if they are busy scrolling the internet for what their friends are doing, they probably don’t have time to frequent your establishment.

On the other hand, as a business owner, social media may be a huge burden to your business. If you find yourself spending 30% of your time on social media (which is what the article tells us), you may be taking advantage of the flexibility of being a business owner to a point of hurting your business productivity!

Let’s break it down- let’s say you leave home and work a 10 hour day (pretty average I’d say). 1 hour for lunch, 1 hour for meetings and reviewing yesterdays activities and 30% or 3 hours on social media. We haven’t even gotten started on making money today until your 5th or 6th hour of work. That’s only 3.5 to 4 hours of productive work today. And how many can say that the 4 hours spent on actual work is 100% productive.

Don’t get me wrong. I think social media is a great benefit if used wisely, but it can be a sharp sword if you let it take control of your time. Remember, in business social media is not the end result, but a means to connecting with others in need of your product or service.

 

 

 

 

 

10 Super-Small Businesses With Moms-to-be

If you are looking for a business to share your child-rearing experiences or want to help expectant mothers, check out this list of 10 super-simple businesses where you spend your time with mothers-to-be.

  1. Child Care Referral Service

  2. Meal Preparation Service

  3. Lactation Consultant

  4. Childbirth Instructors

  5. Nutrition Consultant

  6. Midwife

  7. Parenting Specialist                                          IMG_02781

  8. Food Delivery Service

  9. Messenger Service

  10. Day Care Provider/Nanny

10 Super-Small Home Service Businesses

Are you looking for a business that allows you to help people on a daily basis and see your impact on the lives of others. Check out this list of 10 super-simple home service businesses.

  1. Window Washer

  2. Chimney Sweep

  3. Landscaper/Lawn Care

  4. Personal Chef

     giant burger dinner

  5. Carpet Cleaner

  6. Handyman

  7. Painter

  8. Home OrganizerPlaceholder Image

  9. Tree Service

  10. House or Pet Sitter