August 21st, 2017

Business Beat: The best businesses start with one employee


By Medicine Hat News on July 26, 2017.

Imagine a world where you couldn’t get a handmade crocheted washcloth. I just can’t. That simple crocheted washcloth, often sold online or at local markets, plays a significant role in the local, regional and provincial economy, by generating a revenue ripple that extends far beyond its $4 price tag.

Some love the thrill of dreaming up ideas for billion dollar businesses, but microbusiness startups are a real opportunity in an economy aching to diversify, like Alberta’s. Microbusinesses like this, make the world go round, literally. The 2014 Government of Alberta Small, Business Big Impact report sites that 95 per cent of all businesses in Alberta are microbusinesses, and have between one and four employees.

I know, a surprising statistic to those that advocate for increased big business development, over small business startup. Small micro-businesses contribute to the Canadian economy in a big way, generating a GDP (gross domestic product) that far exceeds the national average and are massive job creators in their communities and local economies, accounting for 35 per cent of all private sector employment in Alberta.

The power of microbusiness is real, and provides significant opportunity for those looking to become entrepreneurs but are worried about how they might achieve a big business scope. Rustic Pickle, a local Medicine Hat children’s clothing company is a great example of taking a simple idea, and a cute new harem pant design for kids, putting it out to market, and taking advantage of the ripe startup climate in southeast Alberta.

The truth behind a healthy economy, is a diverse mix of micro-business, small business and larger scale industry. One without the other, leaves the economy unbalanced.

Facebook, Instagram and other social medias are strategically built to serve the small business client into the future, so now more than ever, it’s easier to reach local and global markets and startup a microbusiness.

We often get really wrapped up in the idea that a business has to make seven digits in profit to be considered worthwhile. This thinking is short sighted. While large-scale business does have a huge impact on the workforce and the community, a healthy balance of all sizes of business operations makes for a great quality of life for citizens, and opportunities for individuals to improve their income through entrepreneurship.

When looking at entrepreneurship as an option, you don’t have to think so big that you get scared away from implementing. The best businesses start with one employee, and that one employee could be you.

If you do have dreams of running a billion-dollar business, starting a microbusiness is a worthwhile pursuit to get started, and a great way to sample the market to pivot your ideas, and launch a larger scale operation.

The MHC Entrepreneur Development Centre helps student and alumni bring their entrepreneurship dreams to life. We offer one-to-one coaching, training, mentorship and access to a diverse network of startup funding. To connect into our network email edc@mhc.ab.ca or call 403-502-8433.

Christie Dick is EDC project officer at Medicine Hat College.


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