SMEs happy being small

Most owners of small firms are happy to keep their businesses the size they are and have no desire to be the next Bill Gates, according to a survey of micro businesses.

The research, the Health, Wealth & Happiness Report from MORE TH>N Business, reveals that over half the owners of ventures employing fewer than five employees started their businesses to be happier and to have more control over their lives rather than to make their fortunes, which was the aim of just 3% of respondents.

Starting up in business was a lifestyle choice rather than a career move, as an overwhelming 85% prioritise quality of life over money, while 56% never want to employ more than 10 staff.

The conductors of the survey believe that this type of small business should be regarded as distinct from traditional entrepreneurs, even going to the trouble of dubbing them ‘alterpreneurs’ and setting up a website dedicated to them.

“Working for yourself can be a great lifestyle choice,” commented Stephen Alambritis of the Federation of Small Businesses. “Despite the hard work and long hours involved, very few people who have made the leap would consider returning to the 9-to-5 world again.

“The Government is missing the target by aiming support at start-ups with big growth plans,” he continued.

“There needs to be greater focus on established firms, and moves to tackle the administrative headache of taking on employees to make growing a business more appealing.”

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