Everyone knows about the plight of small business owners and how important it is to be a small business patron. In fact, it wasn’t long ago that we were all encouraged by Shop Local Week to help the high street bounce back. Now, while small businesses are an integral part of the local and national economy, in Worcestershire, it’s all about micro businesses.
A micro business is one that employs up to nine people. It just so happens that the country’s “small” business sector is 95.6 per cent micro business. Only 3.6 per cent are small businesses. With even more limited resources than a small business, micro businesses are up against it, but there is also the bonus of being more nimble and in control of the whole operation. Here, we’re exploring the ways that micro businesses can get a bit of a boost.
Business programs to help generate growth
There are many organisations and government opportunities that can offer a helping hand to micro businesses in Worcestershire. One of the main ways is through the UK’s Levelling Up scheme, which has allocated £2.92 million to Worcester City Council alone. If the micro business has been in operation for at least a year, up to £1,500 for home-based businesses or £3,000 for those with commercial premises can be applied for to help growth.
More locally, there’s Worcestershire County Council’s expanded £1 million funding of the Skills Bootcamps program, which enjoyed a very successful 2022 and had more on offer in 2023. The program has seen some 100 people sign up to enhance their skills and potentially bolster their own micro business as a result. Business owners could also look to make their way to the networking events.
Earlier this year in Droitwich, Potter Space hosted a breakfast networking and panel event in an attempt to boost businesses dotted around Worcestershire. At the event, business leaders and representatives from several industries met to discuss opportunities in Worcestershire with each other and the Droitwich-operated event-runner. This kind of event can greatly help to boost micro businesses by making more beneficial connections.
Worcestershire being bolstered as a business environment
Over the last few years, several upgrades and new businesses have entered the Worcestershire area to offer a boost to new and existing businesses. One of the biggest boosts has come via the superfast broadband. This is especially helpful for micro businesses working from home, as strong and efficient internet connections are essentially their only connection to the country’s and world’s customer base.
In another move that might offer an additional boost to local businesses, Visit Worcestershire and FAME Pro have launched a project to try to attract film productions to the county, starting with a new Film Office launching here. Film and television productions are huge, with their sourcing of local expertise and the expanded use of the local area – for staff on the job and the subsequent depiction of the area on-screen – offering significant upticks for micro businesses and the area as a whole.
Making the most of the growing options
In May 2023, Worcestershire County Council saw it necessary to launch Business Digital Worcestershire, a new online resource designed to help businesses understand and build a digital presence, create digital solutions, and implement these key areas to a growth strategy. So, it’d be safe to assume that a large portion of the micro business sector currently isn’t maximising its digital options to promote and expand the business.
With the extended reach and options offered by having an active social media account or website, a business can make campaigns like new product launches, events, and special offers all the more impactful. This is an area that’s been refined to such an extent by new online casino sites in the UK that digital promotions now underpin most of these businesses. Just about every site will offer matched deposit bonuses and free spins, and as they’re offered online and through affiliate sites, they’re much more far-reaching than if a land-based business offered the same.
A key element of making the most of digital opportunities is having a tailored and wholly on-brand website coupled with active accounts on popular social media sites. This arm of a digital presence could include demo videos on YouTube, news and promotion alerts on Facebook, images of new products with special follow bonuses on Instagram, or even conversations with followers and customers on Twitter. All are worthy platforms to present even a micro business on as they can reach so many people.
Micro businesses in Worcestershire can all benefit from the government boosts on offer, the bustling and ever-improving environment of the county, and by going digital.
This is a submitted article