A micro-business, by its very nature, is a demonstration of thinking outside the box.
What happens when a micro-business becomes so successful that it has to add management-level staff in order to handle tasks that were once handled successfully by the owner of the business?
Using conventional thinking, the growing company would have to add office space, extra phone lines, computers, and all of the other expenses that are required to support additional staff. This really blows the idea of an incremental increase in expenses right out of the water.
As a result, many micro-business owners delay adding critically needed staff until they are so overworked that their families are worried about their health and sanity.
There is a vast reservoir of experienced telecommuters being trained at large companies and many of these people are just longing to cut their connection to the corporate cubical farm and find life and excitement in a small local business.
These telecommuters have all kinds of skills, are used to working unsupervised, and generally have home office computer networks that are superior to those found in most small businesses. They have high-speed internet access, multiple phone lines, faxes and every possible resource needed to make them an instant remote office for the average small or micro-business.
All that is needed is a match between the needs of the micro-business owner and the capabilities of the telecommuter. A big plus is the fact that many of these corporate telecommuters have years of management and project experience which is applicable to the problems of expanding a micro-business.
These telecommuters will have to adjust to the economic realities of a micro-business in order to succeed, but there are compensating factors when the right relationship is established. The economic realities include micro-business compensation levels and no insurance benefits, but the opportunity for participatory management in a micro-business is a powerful attraction for the right people.
My wife Gretchen recently set up a remote front office for a very successful micro-business that is rapidly growing out of the micro-business category.
By handling phone traffic, service calls, and customer relations, she has freed up the owner of the business to manage multiple crews of workmen in the field.
Since the business runs six days a week, her telecommuting makes her available to customers when needed, but operating from home insures that she still has time for a life of her own.
What is equally important for us, is that the micro-business owner, a good friend, is now having time for a life of his own.
I am sure that there must be many more telecommuters who are or will be successfully employing their skills as remote resources for smaller businesses. As more telecommuters approach retirement age, they may have an entirely new field of endeavor to look forward to.