The Magic of Tiny Business (also on audio CD) is by a woman who runs an eco-friendly bag company in Canada. A breath of fresh air for those who will not compromise their personal values in favour or profit, tiny doesn’t refer to size. It’s more like a tiny house (with limited space for ‘stuff’ but still light, airy and spacious). A tiny business means you work with what you value, then eliminate what you don’t. This author started her business on the kitchen table. Her simple rules were to not work on weekends or assigned days off, scheduled self-care (exercise, meditation), and never miss a school play. She shows how to have the life you want, without compromising values or sanity.
A tiny business does not mean that you don’t make any money. Far from it, your outgoings will be far less and your staffing costs, so you can often make more money, and have more fun doing it. Tiny businesses simply get rid of the added stress like long leases and high rents, having to hire and fire people, and taking on too much. A tiny business tends to have low-rents (working from home or something small like renting a street card to sell food or coffee), often works alone at hours to suit, and focuses down in one niche. You can then have time to do your own bookkeeping.
Simple living blogger and author Courtney Carver started her own microbusiness, to have more free time with her family (and herself) after a diagnosis of MS. Her advice includes keeping your day job until you have an emergency fund, and realised that you won’t be working from the beach every day! Then assess how much money you need to make, and allow free time after that. Then it’s a case of ‘test, fail, repeat’ until you get it right, but at least with a microbusiness ‘you won’t be filling your garage with items that won’t sell, leaving you broke. Instead, you can create on demand, and give your people what they want’.
Brainstorming Tiny Business Ideas
These are all ‘real jobs’ (not bullshit jobs!)
- Dog Walker get legal/first aid training, know toxic plants and houseplants to avoid. Read this book to keep dogs safe.
- Handyperson. Get qualifications and insurance in order.
- Furniture Maker/Restorer. Find wood at local recycling centres, or set up a repair shop.
- Tailor/Seamstress. Make clothes and wedding gowns, and darn socks, adjust hems and replace zips & buttons.
- Organic Gardener. Mow lawns and create wildlife gardens. See how to make gardens safe for pets.
- Home Hairdresser. Visit homes, hospital & nursing homes.
- Bed & Breakfast Owner. Rent out extra rooms.
- Artisan Foodie. Make jam, meals and cakes
- Street Cart Owner. Buy the truck, then all profits are your own!
- Tutor – share skills (maths, music, translation)
- Housekeeping – biodegradable cleaning (use unscented near pets, babies and pregnant women). Also offer laundry/ironing.
- Holistic therapist. Get insurance/qualifications
- Interior Designer. Affordable room makeovers
- Local Tour Guide. Offer walking tours to inform local and tourists
- Man With A Van! Affordable services for house moves
- Taxi Driver. Offer senior/disabled discounts, donate portion of fares to community transport.