Why are micro-businesses booming in lockdown?

Manchester city centre has had the look of a zombie movie in the past year: shops closed, workplaces furloughed and the usual commuting traffic of trains and cars greatly reduced. It’s been a devastating time for so many businesses. Some that were already struggling, like Debenhams, have gone to the wall. The service industry across the country has suffered too. Pret A Manger have introduced a £20 per month unlimited coffee card and even stalwarts like Greggs are announcing store closures.

Despite all this economic gloom, one story has just caught our eye at Seymour Sign and Print – the rise of the micro business.

People can be wonderfully resourceful and those who adapt to circumstances often create success and here’s some heartening stories in this link.

What’s remarkable is that many of these businesses are relatively young but have been successful. Clearly what these individuals have done is really clever. They’ve spotted a gap in the market, left by closures of Starbucks, Costa, Pret and Cafe Nero and jumped in with alfresco drink stations.

If you’re like us, you’ll like a brew (going Mancunian) throughout the day or a coffee to keep you energised. These companies – mobile cafés effectively – sate that demand.

Looking at them from a business perspective, we raise our hats, but we also salute their branding.

Any start up business does not have vast reservoirs of cash, particularly when you need to invest in a van and expensive drinks equipment but the two featured have invested in a minimal way in vehicle branding.

We think this is important.

They say a child can recognise the M of McDonalds from a young age, and who knows if Caleb’s Coffee and Whistle Coffee. We love the latter’s tenacity at making the most of adversity – touring hospitals with free drinks, setting up a crowdfunding campaign and now, after months of financial difficulties, they’re investing in a second van.

We’ve talked about this before in other blog posts, namely the freelance gig economy

Freelance Manchester wasn’t a term heard twenty years ago but it is recognisable now, with many creatives clustered around the Northern Quarter, New Islington and Ancoats, which has seen a remarkable renaissance.

Salford, Manchester, Bolton, Altrincham, Sale, Urmston etc are no different to the bases for the two companies who’ve made a success from coffee beans on the go.

Greater Manchester has always triumphed over adversity and if you have a business idea, let’s talk. We can brand your car, your van, your fleet and hopefully soon, we’ll see your business featured on the BBC News website as you build success from an idea.

Contact us today.