There’s been a lot of talk as of late about small businesses, what they need and what they contribute to our nation’s overall economic well-being, but what about the smallest of the small businesses in society, the so-called “micro-businesses?” What, if anything, do we know about them?
Well, first of all, we know the term “micro-business” describes many business opportunity, distributorship, licensee opportunity and small franchise owners. These smaller shops are oftentimes home-based and employ ten or fewer employees, including those that are run by just one person—namely, the owner.
We also know that this subset of so-called “small businesses” is largely misunderstood. Why? It’s largely because micro-businesses are more often than not lumped into the all-encompassing Small Business category, which is actually huge and very diverse, including businesses with as many as 1,500 employees and profits well into the millions, depending on the industry.
Moreover, there’s a very real misconception that businesses with only one or a few employees are part-time ventures and that their owners only run them halfheartedly out of the garage. These businesses are really nothing more than a hobby in the minds of many.
According to a new scientific opinion poll of 470 micro-business owners, nothing could be further from the truth. Conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research for the Association for Enterprise Opportunity, the National Association for the Self-Employed and Small Business Majority, the survey clearly shows the tremendous impact that these smallest of the small businesses in our country have on the overall economy, and all for the better.
For starters, more than half of the micro-business owners who provided feedback reported increased sales or revenues over the last two years, and another 50% said they plan to hire in the next two. Nearly three-quarters said their micro-business is their sole source of income, and a full 57% have been in business for ten years or longer.
Despite the fact that the overall economic recovery has been slow, half of those surveyed said their business is doing well, with only 10% saying otherwise. And more than half of them reported employing a contractor or 1099 employee in the past year, while nearly a third hired a full-time employee. Furthermore, more than six in ten spent $50,000 on payroll this year alone, and 54% spend more than $10,000 a year on non-payroll expenses.
And while they acknowledge that gaining access to credit remains a serious challenge, most micro-business owners say they are optimistic about the future. In fact, nearly 70% of those surveyed believe their business will fare well over the next couple of years. Zooming in on respondents under the age of 40 in particular, that number rises to more than 80%.
Part-time garage-bound hobbyists who only tinker? Not so much… Small in stature, but with a whole lot to contribute now and well into the future is more like it. And we could use a whole lot more just like them to be sure.
If you're an aspiring micro-business owner, BusinessOpportunity.com is a great place to find the business opportunity, distributorship, licensee opportunity or franchise that's right for you. And, if you'd like to learn more about the survey's findings, simply click here on Current Micro-Business Poll Results now!