Last week I was telling a chap I’d met about this blog, explaining that I write about business opportunities and ideas that interest me. He though it sounded great and promptly asked me for a list of small business ideas. Naturally I suggested he read the blog.
Since then however, I’ve been reading about organisation structure in The New Era of Management, the section on the Virtual Network approach to organisation structure along with the example of Strida* got me thinking. Here’s are the questions I’ve been pondering.
What is a small business?
The DTI (UK) defines a small business as having less that 250 employees and the SBA (USA) generally considers a business small if it has less than 500 employees (although they have quite a range of criteria available here) and European legislation defines a small business as having less than 50 employees. Ask someone on the street however and I suspect they’d talk about a corner shop, or a one man band business.
So how do I, as a small business consultant define a small business? To me a small business is a business (or subsidiary of a business) that has a small management team of between one and twenty people (I don’t count any other employees as I’ll be working with the management).
So is small business something to aim for, a goal if you like, or is it just a label for the current size of a business?
Why do you want to start a small business?
Do you want to start a small business, or just a business? What are you aiming to achieve by starting a business? What sort of business will satisfy that ambition? Why limit your thinking to a small business – after all Tesco started out as a market stall and didn’t open it’s first store until 10 years later and it’s first supermarket until 37 years later. Now it’s being accused of putting small businesses out of business .
Perhaps most people looking to start a small business are really looking for a lifestyle business that they can run from home. If you’re thinking about starting a small business I suggest you careful examine your motivation to decide what your real goal is and to see if you’re limiting yourself and your future business by thinking of it as a small business.
What is a small business idea?
As the term small business is itself hard to define it’s even harder to determine what a small business idea is. Is it an idea for a business that has little or no scope for growth, for example selling your services as a public speaker (there’s only one of you so the size of the business is limited). Or is it a business idea that is crippled by the entrepreneur thinking small, perhaps believing that selling a few cakes a day from the end of the drive is the bests you can do?
I suggest that you consider starting a business and don’t try to label it. Read my posts 10 Tactics For Finding New Business Ideas and 10 Tips For Finding Internet Business Ideas for some hints and tips on how to find business ideas, you’re free then to make the business as big or small as you like.
For more small business ideas please check out the small business ideas page.
*The author explains that Strida is a successful company selling thousands of bicycles worldwide with only two employees.Email This Post