The rise of micro businesses & how digital networks can help them grow
Micro businesses are on the rise, and have been for a while! In fact, according to Business Statistics there were 5.6 million micro businesses in 2019, that’s 96% of all businesses in the UK.
Whilst the UK defines a micro business as employing 9 people or fewer, for Guernsey a micro business is more likely to be defined by our sole trading statistics. With over 3,000 people currently self employed, it would seem that Guernsey are following the micro-b trend. You only have to look around at your personal network to identify people who are putting their skills and talents to work or developing businesses out of their passions and interests.
This growth is good news but how do these micro businesses launch, find and retain their customers on a continual basis? ‘Social media’ I hear you cry, certainly common promotional tools, but these platforms can be tricky to navigate with sales messages competing with posts about missing cats, birthday celebrations and memes. There is a need for new ways of supporting micro businesses and enabling them to grow - dedicated digital platforms might just be the answer.
'Sam and I established WeShare after numerous conversations about how Guernsey was missing a ‘Tinder' like approach to match jobs with the right people to complete them.'
Kin Tang, Co-Founder of WeShare, a digital start-up launched in January 2020
We caught up with WeShare Co-Founders, Kin Tang and Sam Schofield, to find out more about their new platform and what Guernsey providers, residents and our own local micro business movement can expect.
WeShare is your helping hand to get things done anywhere on the island.
The local platform allows people (the 'Users') to post a job that they need doing to an audience of subscribed service providers (the ‘Doers’) in a few simple steps. The Doers could be a range of tradespeople, architects, care givers, dog walkers, fitness instructors or Doers offering their arts and crafts skills.
Any interested and available subscribed Doers will receive an email alert as soon as a job is posted that is relevant to their skill/s and have the opportunity to respond to the User with their availability, timeline and quote. Once the job is complete, both parties are encouraged to leave a review of their experience. This not only provides the Doers with the opportunity to build a healthy reputation on the platform but also helps other Users decide which Doer is the best fit for them.
As a Doer, the WeShare platform provides the luxury of choosing your work at your convenience, allowing you to pick the jobs that best suit you and your availability. It allows you to handle your workflow in a way that may be more convenient for you and the User, such as out of traditional working hours in the comfort of your own home and not, let’s say, on the phone whilst on another job. WeShare is an efficient and self-regulating, centralised ecosystem where anyone can build up a good reputation for themselves without the inconvenience of managing their own marketing strategy and website if they don’t want to.
The WeShare team dedicate a lot of time getting Users to the platform, marketing on your behalf and trying to make sure you see the benefit of being subscribed to receive job alerts.
As an example, the terms ‘Guernsey Electricians’ and 'Guernsey Plumbers' were searched on Google on average 2,500 times each last year. Just those two searches alone highlight that Guernsey residents didn’t know who to call approximately 5,000 times when they needed those skills. WeShare narrow down these searches to one platform, putting people in direct contact saving both parties time. This is an ideal platform for all service providers (not just for tradespeople), the new and the well established.
If you've been putting off getting a job done, you need something made or if you'd like to become a subscribed Doer, please visit WeShare.gg or contact us at email@example.com. We're always happy to answer any questions you may have.
Written by Kin Tang, Co-Founder of WeShare
The WeShare team worked closely with Guernsey’s new Startup Hub, whose services can be found here at the Digital Greenhouse. If you have been inspired by Kin and Sam’s story and are looking to join the growing micro business movement, we have a variety of information and resources to help you begin your start-up journey. Our knowledgeable team can help you with all aspects of setting up a business, enabling you to grow your new venture. We host a wide variety of events and programmes specifically designed to help micro businesses, arming you with knowhow, introducing you to industry experts and providing opportunities to network with peers.
Perhaps you are ready to take part in our Business Accelerator programme run where you can receive expert mentor advice, learn practical methods for developing your business idea. If so, sign-up for the next Starting Up Saturdays bootcamp to kick-start your new business.