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Small and Micro Businesses: How big is still considered small?

A small business is defined as a privately owned entity that has fewer employees and less annual revenue compared to  a large corporation or regular-sized business. The definition of “small”—in terms of being able to apply for government support—varies by Industry. 

While small businesses often can implement the same quality management systems found in larger corporations, they may face different challenges along the way. For instance, small businesses tend to have fewer human resources and less up-front capital to dedicate to quality initiatives.

However, being a business owner can be extremely rewarding.  One must have the courage to take a risk and start a venture. Success brings with it many advantages, such as: 

  • Independence. As a business owner, you’re your own boss. You can’t get fired. More importantly, you have the freedom to make the decisions that are crucial to your own business success.
  • Lifestyle. Owning a small business gives you certain lifestyle advantages. Because you’re in charge, you decide when and where you want to work. If you want to spend more time on non-work activities or with your family, you don’t have to ask for time off.
  • Learning opportunities. As a business owner, you’ll be involved in all aspects of your business. This situation creates numerous opportunities to gain a thorough understanding of the various business functions.

As the little boy said when he got off his first roller-coaster ride, “I like the ups but not the downs!” 

Here are some of the risks you run if you want to start a small business:

  • Financial risk. The financial resources needed to start and grow a business can be extensive. You may need to commit most of your savings or even go into debt to get started. 
  • Stress. As a business owner, you are the business. There’s a bewildering array of things to worry about—competition, employees, bills, equipment breakdowns, customer problems. As the owner, you’re also responsible for the well-being of your employees.
  • Time commitment. People often start businesses so that they’ll have more time to spend with their families. Unfortunately, running a business is extremely time-consuming.
About the author: Sheenal Naiker
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