Why I’m not using the term ‘small businesses’ anymore.

Marketing, Mindset

According to HMRC your company is classed as ‘small’ if it has two of the following characteristics; a turnover of £10.2m or less, £5.1 m or less on the balance sheet and 50 employees or less.

Technically, most businesses I work with are micro-businesses, with an annual turnover of less than £632k, £316k or less on the balance sheet, and 10 or fewer employees.

But calling your business micro, or small, really diminishes the impact it has on your life, family and your community.

At the start of 2022, total employment in SMEs was 16.4m (61% of total) whilst turnover was estimated at £2.1 trillion (51%). Employment in small businesses was 12.9 million (48%) and turnover £1.4 trillion (34%) (gov.uk).

I’m sure you’ll agree, there’s nothing ‘small’ about those stats.

So what’s the alternative? Solo business owner, business owner, how about entrepreneur? How do you feel about that word? Perhaps it feels a bit fancy? But I heard on a podcast recently that the definition of an Entrepreneur is Has idea, does it’.

This made me recall a conversation that Charlie and I had with Jenna, the brilliant co-founder of Patch, a plant led café in Colchester (and home to our monthly networking Breakfast Club). Jenna articulated that the amazing thing about being a business owner is that if you hadn’t done it, it wouldn’t exist.

And that’s where the magic really is.

If you hadn’t had the idea and done it, your business wouldn’t exist. Yes, there may be similar businesses doing similar things, making similar products, and providing a similar service, but unless you are at the helm, it’s different.

There are so many people out there with IDEAS. But unless you do something about it, that’s what it stays.

So who’s with me? Shall we leave the term SMALL business in 2023 and embrace 2024, The Year of The ENTREPRENEUR?

If you’re an entrepreneur, local to Colchester (or happy to travel), we would love to meet you at our monthly networking event, Breakfast Club.

Check out our calendar of events via the link below.



  1. Carys

    What a great way of looking at it, maybe I’ll be brave and call myself an entrepreneur and see how it feels 🙌

    • Lucie

      Yes Carys you definitely should! It’s no mean feat getting an idea off the ground and turning it into a business. As Barbara says, let’s not diminish it’s value by calling it small. Happy Christmas lovely and hope business has been good for you this year. Lucie xx

  2. Marisa Brennan

    Hello! I have also heard the word Solopreneur for us doing it all by ourselves. I always attached the image of an entrepreneur as being someone who has a lot of ‘fingers in pies’ and does a variety of things to generate their income. I do love the concept of ‘if you hadn’t done it, it wouldn’t be there’.


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