So we’re still here. I’m feeling terribly lucky. Whilst a furlough ‘holiday’ is quite appealing right now, most of us define ourselves, at least partially, via our professional lives. Founders probably do this more.
As we evolve (I can’t bring myself to use the word pivot until I understand what it means), I’m coming to recognise that in this crisis, certain things are advantageous about being a micro enterprise. Of course there are disadvantages too, but here are the five things it probably makes easier.
1. Communication. Whether it’s weekly briefings, zoom meetings or 1-2-1s, it’s easier to convey the messages. It remains hard to balance what people need to know, support them and avoid overload. Broadly I’m I believe in honesty and transparency for team trust and this guides most communication decisions. People are grown ups!
2. Pivoting. Yay – there it is! Seriously, new idea generation and execution is easier with fewer moving parts. In the space of six weeks we’ve gone from an idea to the launch date of a new service, with the principle of a an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) being followed.
3. Supporting your team. No one gets lost when you’re a small team. Just as I always say, no one size fits all. Some may feel connected via the WhatsApp group and others need a call or 1-2-1. It’s important to recognise it’s different for different folk. This is easier to implement when you’re mini.
4. The cash! Whilst we’re a team of six and five years ago the thought that I needed the best part of £15k a month just to pay staff would have terrified me, I’m grateful today that we’re still tiny. I feel for the medium size enterprises who need 100s of 1000s of pounds a month to pay salaries, don’t have assets and rely heavily on fundraising. Modest pots of funding will make a massive difference to us and our sustainability.
5. Working virtually. At Your Own Place we’ve always operated via the cloud. From Trello to the Google Drive, Zapier, payroll and finance software – we are 100% on the cloud. This made the transition to home working seamless, as it has always been. Many of our systems remain free and we’re costing the new ones (premium Zoom for example).
As we move into the next phase out of lockdown, I still don’t know what the future holds and whether our size will remain an advantage. For now it feels like it is.