By Susan Guillory
Years ago I found out what I was: a micropreneur. The fact was: I’d been reading articles targeted toward small businesses, and yet didn’t feel a connection with them. They talked about hiring employees, managing payroll, and training staff. I didn’t have any of these issues. I was a one-woman show, albeit with a few freelancers to help her along.
Then I found the term “micropreneur” and glommed onto it.
For those of us who run businesses on our own, or with just a handful of employees, the business environment is very different from those with even 20 employees. We have different concerns, different challenges.
1. If We Aren’t Running the Show, No One Is
Heaven forbid a micropreneur gets sick. As a matter of fact, I’m writing this article from bed, where I’ve stationed myself for the last few days as I battled a cold. You can’t just call your second in command and ask her to take over if you’re sick or go on vacation.
Unless you run a business where making money is automated (like a subscription service or selling info products online), the absence of you is absence of money. And so we micropreneurs brave the flu, broken limbs, and devastating circumstances to keep plodding along with our work.
2. There’s No One to Give Us Advice
I imagine the nice thing about having staff is that you have people to bounce ideas off of, to get feedback from. Of course, you could always seek an outside mentor, but it’s not the same as having someone else within your business who understands it and can advise accordingly. I think this makes us stronger. We have to stand behind each of our business decisions and be prepared to learn from them if we stumble as a result.
3. Sometimes the Amount of Work is Overwhelming
Trying to do everything in a business is something we’ve all been guilty of, sometimes out of necessity. If your budget or type of business doesn’t lend itself to hiring employees, you’re the one calling customers, fulfilling orders, and making sure there’s toilet paper.
But just because you’re a micropreneur doesn’t mean you have to do it all alone. I started out with an intern, and now employ four freelance writers and an editor that take a ton of pressure off of me to get everything done. Start small and grow your delegation efforts over time.
4. Growth is a Challenge
There comes a time when running your business solo gets a little easier. You find your stride, and you feel good. But then you think: what about growth? Do I dare upset my little apple cart in order to get bigger and more successful? The easy solution is to ignore the thought and keep on doing what you’re doing. But what’s the fun in that? It takes perseverance to push past your comfort zone, in going beyond the practices you know work, to take your business to the next level when you’re a micropreneur.
None of these challenges mean a dead end for the micropreneur-run business. In fact, they each have the potential to make us stronger, if we tackle them head-on.