Are you a one-man-band or do you work in a very small company? Well if so, here’s an interesting fact: You’re in the majority!

Micro-businesses, defined as firms with 1-9 employees, are the most common kind of employer firm in the private sector.

Read on to learn more about these small but mighty companies…

Infographic Microbusiness 

There are some incredible benefits to managing your own micro-business. Many people choose to start their own business with the desire to be their own boss; others are attracted by the flexibility it offers and the ability to pursue their own interests and hobbies. Getting paid to do the thing that you love the most – that’s awesome, right?

Well, as with any business, it’s not all just sunshine and roses – micro-businesses have their own unique set of challenges too.

Cash flow is the biggest challenge…

The nature of business and changes in the economy can present a number of uncertainties for these pint-sized enterprises.

The owner-operator is commonly required to work long hours, take work home, as well as being responsible for many, if not all, aspects of the business. This can make the work-life balance hard to manage, leading to a lot of personal pressure and stress.

One of the biggest hurdles for micro-businesses is cash flow. All small businesses are hugely dependent on staying cash flow positive but this dependency becomes even more acute the smaller the company is.

A study by the CFED revealed that difficulty managing cash flow was the challenge most frequently reported by micro-businesses of every age and size.

Not being paid on time a few months in a row is the sort of thing that can run a business into the ground. It’s therefore super important to make this aspect of managing business easy, using financial tools that are flexible to the way you do business and that don’t cause any unnecessary hurdles.

… But entrepreneurs are pretty happy people

Let’s not get bogged down with the pessimism! According to the American Express OPEN® Small Business Monitor, a large majority of business owners (92%) are happy with their lives, with more than three quarters (76%) saying their happiness is somewhat or entirely due to being an entrepreneur.

Now that seems like a good enough reason to stick at it!

Have you got any tips to share on running a micro-business? Tell us in the comments below…

Also see: How to Survive A Cash Flow Crisis

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Photo credit: © Mikolette