For years I’ve used the term “lifestyle business” to describe a small business that was not likely to have enterprise value or ever able to be sold. There is a whole group of businesses that fit into that description.
Recently I’ve heard a new term that describes these types of businesses, “micro-business”.
A micro-business is one that employs less than five employees and is not designed for transfer. It is designed to benefit the owner and often is a second or third career. People who start micro-businesses are providing a product or service that requires few people and is simpler to run than larger businesses.
People who are attracted to micro-businesses are often pursuing a passion. In my own particular situation I have a passion around helping to make private businesses more valuable and to make the life better of the owners of the businesses better.
The research that I do and the advice I give is aimed at middle market businesses (those that do $5,000,000 to $50,000,000 in sales). I’ve spent years learning what drives these businesses and what general issues business owners in this demographic need to concentrate on.
My business does not require a large group of people. I could put together a large consulting group that concentrates on this business demographic, but at this stage in my life I’m not interested in building a large business from scratch. Instead I’m looking for a small group of customers who are interested I making their lives and businesses better.
A micro-business is a great way to wind down a business career. It can be done as a full time occupation or as a part-time when circumstances move you in that direction. It often is run by someone who has a high skill level but has decided to take a step back and pursue other activities as well.
In my particular case I’ve decided that there is no good reason for me to build a large business. I work with larger businesses and have owned ones with a fair number of employees. Now I’ve decided that a micro-business serves me better than a larger organization. Having a micro-business affords me the opportunity to spend time writing and researching about what makes my business customers companies work better.
Having a micro-business allows me time to think about what’s important for other’s business instead of how to solve people problems in my own business. For me, it’s a more comfortable way to live. The few companies that decide to work with me receive more attention and thought from me. This feels like a good deal all around.
So, instead of having a lifestyle business, I really have a micro-business: A business that serves both my customers and me in an efficient and effective manner.
I’ve written a report on the financial life of a private business owner. Pursuing some of these strategies might help you move into the realm of being a micro-business owner. Click on the button below to get your report.