“I have a Dream…….
………that I will have an identity beyond being a parent and a homemaker”
…….that I will be financially independent”
…….that I will create a legacy that will keep me alive much after”
…….that I will make good use of all the hard-earned qualifications that took a backseat with my responsibilities”
…….that I will get back to the hobby I am passionate about”
…….that my life would be more meaningful and I would be chasing new, exciting challenges every day”
“To achieve this dream, I will start a Microbusiness…well maybe…..but I am not sure
How to begin/where to start ?
Am I equipped enough?
What will I need to deal with If I run a Microbusiness?
Is it enough to have a product/service to sell or are there more aspects to a business?
Looking for answers to these questions?! Read till the end…you might find answers to most of your questions!
What is a Microbusiness?
A Microbusiness or a Microenterprise is any business that operates on a small scale, has less than 10 employees (including the owner) & has a turnover or balance sheet less than certain amount (this amount varies from country to country). At the time of writing this blogpost the threshold for turnover is less than 1.7million pounds in UK & INR 50 million in India.
Who is a Homepreneur?
Anyone running a microbusiness or a small business from the premises of their home is a homepreneur.
Can I become a Microbusiness Entrepreneur / Homepreneur at my age? Fact check:
Most microbusiness owners/homepreneurs are women
Most successful microbusiness owners/homepreneurs are middle-aged as by that time your experience about the world has matured and you have more time in hand considering your children would be in secondary school or college by then.
Jab man mein passion hai to umar ki baat karna…..ab yeh Doglapan hai!
If you are passionate about your work then thinking about age is kind of …..your double standard
Don’t forget….life starts at 40….maybe a little earlier …Or a little later as well!
Does running a Microbusiness add the additional burden of complicated taxation and compliances?
No, microbusinesses are exempted from most compliances and taxation documents in most countries. However, this might change if you are registered as a pvt. ltd. Otherwise, a micro business registered as a sole proprietorship might rather receive additional support and exemptions from different government schemes as applicable in different countries from time to time. Thorough internet research followed by a Q & A with a tax consultant can help here.
However, product safety regulations will be applicable as and when required, for ex. Food safety certificate if you are a home caterer.
Will I be able to Sustain a Microbusiness?
Let’s Do a Gut Check!
Ho Payega? Will you be able to do it?
Ask yourself these questions:
Are you planning to work on this idea full-time or part-time?
How many hours exactly are you going to work on it every day?
Will you be able to take out time religiously every day from your responsibilities?
Will this daily time block be sufficient for running this business?
Does the idea actually match your skill set?
If you answered affirmative to most of these questions, you are on the right track so let’s move to the next segment.
In fact, you can give yourself a score of 1 for every affirmative answer and note down your total score for this section somewhere!
Time for Reality Check Now!
1. Test, validate your Business Idea
Chal Payega? Will you be able to sell it?
Talk to people, run a market test in some flea market or high street / shopping centre kiosk! Find answers to these questions in your market testing phase:
Is there a need in the market?
Can the need be created?
Will people pay for it?
Are there too many or no such businesses?
Can this be made profitable?
Do I have the right ecosystem for this idea….has it’s time come? It would be worthy here to note that ‘Facebook was not the first of it’s kind social platform! Similar platforms like Bolt & Six Degrees were launched as early as 1996. However, these were days of slow and expensive dial-up internet connections and mobile phones were equally rare and definitely without a camera. The lack of ecosystem meant these platforms had to wind up despite a brilliant idea, technology and hard work. The ideas were futuristic, but the lack of right ecosystem meant that most people could not find it as valuable and connect with it.
So, do you have the right ecosystem for your idea?
In short, you will have to find a balance between passion and business realities!
Also, have you counted how many 'yes' answered in this section?
2. Research about the Business Idea
Bhai tu kar kya raha hai? What exactly are you trying to do Bro?
Read books, collect data from valid internet resources and ask the right people. Be informed about the business you’re entering, the opportunities available, and the competition. Ask your self these questions:
Are there too many businesses already in this space?
If Yes, how will you find your niche? Do you have a USP (Unique Selling Proposition)?
If No, Why? Is it a difficult sector/industry to operate? Are there issues on the supply side, demand side or competition? Do you have a solution?
Maybe it is a virgin space, just that nobody thought about it before. But this means that people are not used to buying this product from the market (for simplification, compare it to trying selling mops when it was customary to use old worn-out fabrics for mopping and dusting. How would you then convince people for spending money on a mop when there is enough scrap fabric at home……. well somebody did that at some point!).
Will you be able to create a demand in that case?
How many positive responses in this section? Hope you are counting!
3. Collect Legal Information
Kagaz wagherah kya chahiye, sab dekh liya? Have you researched about the paperwork?
Make a list of all legislations that apply to your line of business. Ex., GDPR, Food license etc. No business, big or small is exempted from quality and safety regulations. A microbusiness might feel they have a safe, obscure space operating behind domestic doors. However, researching and ensuring regulations & certifications helps at multiple fronts. It helps you:
To operate fearlessly
Grow & expand extensively
Certifications are a good way of communicating brand reliability
Find business collaborations more readily. No established business would like to collaborate with an unregistered unqualified business.
How much would you give yourself out of 5 in this space?
4. Write a Business Plan
Plan kya hai? What’s the plan?
A written plan can be used to apply for loan, pitch to investors etc. But most important, writing a business plan helps you systematically validate all assumptions you have been counting on! We know this right from the days when it helped taking down notes in the classroom. Writing your plan helps you weave vague ideas into a seamless story and then helps you validate, research and make amendments in each section of the story.
There are a variety of business plan formats available for specific business ideas on internet as free downloads. These could be ranging from a one-page to a detailed 20-page business plan. Just search for the right format, ex. ‘Business plan for creative services business’ or ‘Business plan for a home delivery food businesses. You might find 10s of business plan templates that can be then downloaded and filled for making your personalized plan. Pay special attention to timelines and use this plan as a working document where you keep editing and keep making changes as your idea matures or anything changes in the business environment.
If your written business plan is ready, give yourself a 5 or else whatever you find suitable between 0-4!
5. Calculate monetary requirements
Rokda Kitna lagega? Kahan se aayega? How much money will be needed? Where will the money come from?
How much money do you need to start?
How much money do you need to sustain over the period of time? Traditional wisdom says that it takes at least 1000 days for a new business to stabilise. Although, microbusinesses can achieve this profitability much earlier as their transactions cycles are smaller and quicker. However, sometimes it could actually take that long for a business to make real profits as before that the revenues you generate might be reinvested to optimize the business with more money needed over and above every few months. Do you have a steady money inflow plan for these initial 3 years?
Where will all this money come from?
Do you have a 3-year personal contingency cushion? Now that it is clear that a new business might not generate enough profits (despite generating good revenues) for the first 3 years, do you have a personal sustenance plan that will take care of your personal expenses till your business is good enough to pay you a salary?
How many times did you think 'yes' here. Keep a count!
6. Build Online Presence
Internet par phodna padega? You will have to kill it online.
Book a domain ASAP
Get a website
Secure Online presence for Brand Building
You might be running the business online or totally offline mode, it is important to have online presence. Getting yourself a presence on the internet through website and brand pages is akin to copyright in certain ways. Once you have finalized the business name, book a domain almost instantaneously, even if you are a few months away from launching your website. In modern trade, one who owns the domain name owns the brand name! It is advisable to book multiple extensions of the same domain just for the purpose of blocking it from copycats. Ex. You might only be interested in myabc.com. However, it makes sense to also book myabc.in and myabc.co to make sure no one else has access to them (you need not use all of them, maybe just keep them cold but out-of-reach).
Rate yourself between 0-5, 5 being absolutely ready for this!
7. Learn Digital Advertising
You can not think of establishing & running a new business without learning ONLINE ADVERTISING / DIGITAL ADVERTISING! To be fair, it would not be feasible to hire an agency for managing your digital advertising and social media presence because of their high charges. A business needs to create brand handles on all social media platforms and advertise digitally on regular basis. The following blogs & videos can provide more information about social media and digital advertising: