Wellbeing / Work styles

Anatomy of Australia’s micro business owner

Thanks to your generous participation, we recently published the results of Australia’s largest micro business survey Understanding Micro Business, 2010-2011. So what does it reveal about us micro business owners?


We stuck our noses into everything from growth plans to business challenges, marketing to money, workstyle to lifestyle, to learn what makes our important business sector tick.

The full 60-odd page survey results report (PDF) is available to download now at www.flyingsolo.com.au/understanding-micro-business. It makes for fascinating reading.

While the world of micro business is tremendously diverse, with no such thing as a ‘typical’ business, let’s have a crack at outlining the anatomy of Australia’s micro business owner.

Want more articles like this? Check out the work styles section.

Here are seven key findings from the survey:

"From where we’re sitting, the future looks bright!"

  1. We’re experienced. Of the 1,330 survey participants, 46% fell into the 40-54 age bracket, with a further 36% in the 25-39 range.
  2. We’re established. 57% have been in business for over three years (the majority of this group over five) with a further 23% in the 1 to 3 year range.
  3. We’re doing okay financially. Those in the $104-$129k bracket are double the national average and top bracket personal incomes are four times the national average. That said, the constant battle of finding new clients/customers was still identified as the biggest challenge.
  4. We work from home, solo. Around 70% operate from a home base and do so as a lifestyle choice. Two thirds of us are the only person working in the business. 51% of us do not have children living at home with us.
  5. Most of us sell services. Over 50% sell services only, versus 10% selling products only. The remainder sell both.
  6. We talk to each other. While online social networking is on the rise as a way to generate new business, traditional word-of-mouth marketing is still  the best source of new business for a staggering 85% of us.
  7. We’re happy and optimistic. Eight out of ten respondents are happy in their work, optimistic about the future and enjoying running their own show.

Once again, a big ‘thank you’ to our wonderful community. Your help is invaluable to us both in terms of shaping Flying Solo’s future and spreading the word about Australia’s largest business sector.

From where we’re sitting, the future looks bright!

How do these results compare to your situation?

Peter Crocker

looks after content at Flying Solo. As part of Business Copywriter he partners with digital agencies and corporate clients on websites and digital content. He's the co-author of Flying Solo Revisited: How to go it alone in business.


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