Micropreneurs: All About The Smaller Business Opportunity
When you start a business, you may consider yourself an entrepreneur. After all, an entrepreneur is an individual who runs their own business.
However, you may be more of a micropreneur than an entrepreneur. This is particularly true if you’re content with the idea of your business staying small for quite some time. If you're curious about what a micropreneur is and how can you succeed as one, keep reading to find out.
What Is A Micropreneur?
Do you work with less than five employees, or perhaps you don’t have any employees? Are you responsible for almost everything, including marketing, payroll, and budgeting? If so, you can consider yourself a micropreneur.
Essentially, a micropreneur is someone who starts and manages a very small business. This allows them to lead a balanced lifestyle while pursuing work they’re passionate about. If you’re a micropreneur, the success of your business depends entirely on you. Hiring help or delegating tasks to employees isn’t on your radar because you’d rather do it on your own.
Running a small business appeals to you, so you don’t plan to expand in the near future. Most likely, you have a home office, rather than pay for a formal office space. In addition, you don’t invest a lot of money into your business venture. Once you start earning some money, however, you may invest it back into your business.
For example, if you rent your home through Airbnb, this kind of work may be considered a micropreneur. You may also be considered a micropreneur if you work as a blogger, life coach, tutor, or photographer.
How Are Micropreneurs Different From Entrepreneurs?
Both micropreneurs and entrepreneurs work on their own terms and enjoy perks like flexible schedules and unlimited income potential.
Micropreneurs, however, focus on staying small rather than growing. They don’t invest a ton of money into their operations, hire employees, or purchase formal office space. The typical micropreneur works from home and handles just about every aspect of their business. Unlike entrepreneurs who hire people to help them grow, they rarely delegate or outsource.
In addition, micropreneurs are very productive because they often have a long to-do list each day. They can’t afford to waste time, as their entire business relies on their personal productivity.
The Benefits Of Being a Micropreneur
When most people consider starting a business, their goal is to grow as much as possible. In their eyes, the bigger their business venture becomes, the more money they’ll ultimately make.
Micropreneurs look at business ownership a bit differently. They stay and remain small as they believe doing so offers them a variety of noteworthy benefits.
1. Micropreneurs See Potential Opportunity Everywhere
Often times, micropreneurs spot business opportunities everywhere they go. For example, a freelance writer may visit a website and think “this content is outdated. I should email the site owner to find out whether he’d like some writing services.”
Later that day, they may be at their son’s soccer game and meet a parent who owns a law firm. The parent mentions how they are struggling to find new clients. Then, the micropreneur explains how their freelance writing services may help.
Next week, the same micropreneur may attend a fundraiser and learn that a local non-profit needs a website makeover. After learning this, they approach the director and inform them of their website content services.
A micropreneur thinks about their business venture 24/7. They know that they are the ones that are responsible for its success or failure. Therefore, they are always looking for ways to promote their offerings.
Unlike an entrepreneur, a micropreneur handles their own sales and marketing. They don’t have a dedicated sales team or outsourced marketing firm. Due to this, they must accept the risk of finding clients on their own.
2. These Businesses Solve Small, Targeted Problems
When micropreneurs start businesses, they usually solve small, targeted problems.
For example, a freelance writer doesn’t offer web design, graphic design, or social media management as well. Writing is their specialty, so they use it to their advantage by focusing on blog articles and website writing.
By focusing solely on writing, a freelance writer can perfect their craft and market themselves as an expert in their field. In addition, they’ll have an easier time running their business. If they offer a long list of services, staying small and managing their projects can become challenging.
Entrepreneurs differ, as many of them create and operate businesses that are geared towards multiple problems. Since their goal is often to become as big as possible, expanding their offerings is almost always in their business plan. It’s not uncommon for them to start with one or two products or services and add more over time.
3. The Business Process Is Unique
The way micropreneurs run their business is unique. While every micropreneur is different, many of them wake up every morning ready to tackle anything that comes their way. They’re fully committed and know they must stay productive at all times.
The typical micropreneur may create a list of tasks they wish to complete in a given day. A freelance writer, for example may respond to emails, create proposals, work on a project, and send invoices. They don’t have a team to handle these tasks, they're are responsible for everything.
Also, a micropreneur is on the hook for all attracting and retaining their clients. Due to this, they spend a lot of their time getting their name out there.
Even when they believe they’ve met maximum capacity, they continue to put themselves out there. They know that a project can fall through at any time, so they focus on building a customer base.
Entrepreneurs approach their business process differently because they look at the big picture. They don’t spend time on small tasks because they have others that can take care of these on their behalf.
4. These Business Owners Work Well In Small Teams Or Alone
One of the qualities that sets micropreneurs apart is their ability to thrive alone or in small teams. They’re highly motivated and have no issues staying on top of their everyday responsibilities. Many of them find great satisfaction in checking items off their to-do list.
Some business owners need others to guide them toward the right direction or push them to stay focused. The risk of starting a business on their own isn't appealing, and they instead prefer to work with a larger team.
Micropreneurs, on the other hand, enjoy being on their own or with a smaller team and often prefer it. In fact, they find that they are more productive when they don’t have to manage others. They work well in quiet environments with minimal distractions.
Therefore, it’s atypical for a micropreneur to rent or buy a large office space. Most micropreneurs get more work done while in the comfort of their own home. They have enough self control to complete their everyday tasks without getting distracted.
5. Micropreneurs Understand the Importance of Creativity
There are many traits that are important for budding micropreneurs. However, curiosity is one of the most important ones. When a micropreneur is curious, they are constantly observing the world that surrounds them and opens the door to new opportunities.
By being curious, micropreneurs can solve problems they may not have known existed otherwise. For example, a freelance writer may meet a florist who complains that nobody understands their business enough to write about it.
So, the writer will take the time to familiarize themselves with the ins and outs of owning a flower shop. Then they may reach out to local florists and offer their writing services. If the writer didn’t ask the florist any questions, they may have never known this opportunity was available.
Ride The New Wave Of Business Ownership
More and more entrepreneurs are willing to accept becoming a business owner on a smaller scale, at least to start. If you’re ready to leave the corporate life behind you, becoming a micropreneur may be right career move.
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The micropreneur definition is fairly simple. A micropreneur is an individual who starts a very small type of business operation. They aren’t interested in growth and are attracted to the idea of staying small.
While an entrepreneur hires employees, a micropreneur works solo or with a few people. They handle all of the accounting, payroll, content marketing, and other tasks on their own.
Micropreneurs offer a very niche product or service. The following are examples of micropreneurs:
- A freelance content writer that focuses on a particular topic or medium.
- An Airbnb host that rents out their basement
- A life coach for single parents
Editor’s Note: This post was updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness in November 2020.