What is a small business?


If the fact that you’ve visited our Small Business Training site reflects your involvement with small business – maybe you run your own small business or are a key player in one, or perhaps you’re a consultant or advisor to small businesses – I trust that what you find here over the coming months really helps you.

This question this piece kicks off with isn’t as daft as it may first seem, as different people have widely varying opinions on what constitutes a small company. The Department of Trade and Industry defines the size of a company by the number of people it employs:

0 = Sole trader/entrepreneur
1 – 9 = Micro
10 – 49 = Small
50 – 249 = Medium
250+ = Large

Entrepreneurs and micro companies combined account for 95% of businesses in the UK. Small businesses represent 4% of the total picture and medium and large combined just 1%.

If I hadn’t been aware of this and anyone had asked me what constituted a small business, the term “micro” wouldn’t have entered my head. So I’d probably have said anything from a one-man-band through cottage industries up to any size company where the staff report direct to the owner. And I wouldn’t be surprised if many other people thought similarly.

One thing that these small businesses tend to have in common is that we run a very tight ship. Everyone involved plays a vital role or roles geared to delivering the products, services or solutions that have been developed and are possibly continuing to be developed or refined on an individual customer basis.

At the end of the day, regardless of the size of our business, we all have the same issues for starters:

  • Come up with products, services or solutions that there’s a need for
  • Identify a market for them
  • Position ourselves in that market and price our products, etc. competitively
  • Reach that market cost effectively
  • Run our business profitably

Doing that cost effectively and successfully is what we’ll be looking at over the next months.

Thanks for visiting and “see” you soon

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