The United Nations has designated 27th June as micro, small and medium-sized enterprises day. So now is the perfect time to start thinking about that tech start-up, writes Nick Swan, Founder of

Micro-, small- and medium-sized businesses play a vital role in the UK’s digital economy, directly impacting communities, livelihoods and the economy whilst also reducing unemployment, driving growth and innovation as well as fostering new markets and industries.

Understand your target customers

Do you have a way of regularly talking to your customers or target customers? Before starting a business, you want to develop an in-depth understanding of their pain points or worries and use your knowledge as a roadmap to build your offering, product or service. It sounds incredibly simple, but overly keen entrepreneurs might jump the gun and begin starting their business before establishing a regular line of contact. If you don’t, there’s a very legitimate chance that you’ll end up building something that, simply but brutally put, nobody actually wants.

Define the most important metrics for your business

If you’re looking to start a new business venture, coming across unfamiliar jargon or vocabulary in the form of business metrics can create a significant mental block. In an instant, a routine task can suddenly feel overwhelming. Business metrics can cover everything from finances to marketing, product performance, sales, workforce and much more, meaning it should be a priority for all founders to determine them for their business. There are also specific business metrics for different industries, such software as a service (SaaS) companies. Quickly define the most important metrics for your business, but also make room to revise and update as your start-up journey continues.

Additionally, don’t limit your business metrics to hard numbers – you can also use passively-collected data to analyse subjective matters. Employee engagement, for example, is a crucial metric as you build your workforce. Are employees emotionally invested in their role and the company as a whole? Are they satisfied? Are they collaborating with colleagues? Semi-regular surveys can help you find out and stay on top of talent retention.

Be as upfront as possible when recruiting

Recruitment has become a real issue for a lot of businesses coming out of the pandemic. I would advise being as upfront as possible about the scope of the role – including salary and benefits – as well as creating an appealing job advert to sit on channels which are relevant to your field of work. You should also establish your interviewing processes before speaking to candidates so you can inform them if they’re required to complete a task. As a micro-, small- or medium-sized business, you have to be realistic about recruitment – there are, inevitably, much bigger companies hiring in the same space. Hiring freelance help in the early stage of the business is another option and online tools like Indeed make it incredibly easy now to hire freelance or full-time help on a contract basis. In conclusion, optimising the process as much as possible is guaranteed to pay dividends.

Consider hybrid and remote working options

We, at, operate as a remote-first business out of Bude, Cornwall. We’re able to save a lot of money as a result, dodging ever-rising rent costs for an office, shop or warehouse. I would strongly advise fellow business leaders and start-up founders to explore all options, including the likes of a hybrid co-working space. Employees are also sure to financially appreciate the freedom of hybrid or remote working after fuel prices reached ludicrous heights in 2022.

Another perk of operating as a remote-first business is gaining access to a much more diverse talent pool of workers. As mentioned, I’m based in Bude but our technical co-founder is based in Keynsham and our content writer is based in the Azores, a Portuguese region in the North Atlantic Ocean. However, before doing so, business leaders must educate themselves on the legalities surrounding hiring international workers – particularly in the post-Brexit world. If you’re hiring for a non-remote role, you must also consider that freedom of movement between the UK and EU has ceased and you will need to have a sponsor license to hire internationally.

Understand the value of organic marketing

Starting a business is one thing, but getting your business seen by key stakeholders is another challenge. Start-up founders and senior leadership teams should prioritise establishing a well-thought-out organic marketing strategy, including learning about search engine optimisation (SEO). Amid the current economic challenges, it’s vital to recognise that SEO can transform a business’ prospects through brand awareness, reach and visibility – all of which will increase leads and sales if utilised correctly. In a bid to get fast results, business leaders might be tempted to allocate a large portion of their budget towards pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. However, to ensure long-term success, they must focus on organic marketing.

A short-tail keyword is a search term, usually between one and three words, which covers a generalised item, topic or thing. Landing on the first page of results for a short-tail keyword is extremely difficult for start-ups as there’s already so much content on search engines like Google. For instance, ‘moisturiser’ is a short-tail keyword which a new beauty brand would struggle to land on the first page of results for, while a long-tail keyword like ‘best moisturisers for dry skin’ is a better option. Long-tail keywords are also vital for start-ups since users are typically going to be closer to purchasing a product or service when searching for them compared to short-tail keywords.