Micro multinationals: a review

By Anthony Haynes

April 21, 2012

Category: Micro-enterprise

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One of the themes of Monographer’s Blog is the need to distinguish between micro-enterprises and other types of business. Even many so-called ‘small businesses’ are way larger than micro-enterprises. Consequently micro-enterprises often require specific guidance.

In the past, business publishers have tended not to distinguish between micro- and small enterprises, with the result that their how-to books have  often been rather broad-brush in their approach. Now, however, publishers are paying the micro-enterprise market more attention.

A notable example is the Harriman House business list, especially with the titles by Emma Jones such as Working 5 to 9: how to start a successful business in your spare time and Spare room start up.

Harriman House have also started a joint venture with Enterprise Nation called Brightword. The Brightword imprint focuses even more closely on the needs of micro-enterprises. It produces short, low-priced, informative primers on basic business issues.

One such title is Micro multinationals: a guide to international finance for small businesses by Emily Coltman. One might call the book a micro-book: the e-book edition I have just read totals 59 pages including the cover. Written by an accountant, the book provides information and guidance for micro-enterprises – primarily those in the UK (though the chapter on tax on profits considers cases of businesses resident elsewhere).

Topics covered include dealing with foreign currency, sales tax, tax on profits, and record-keeping. There are helpful worked examples in each chapter. There are also a few micro case studies at the end of the book, though these are not properly integrated into the book: it’s not clear what readers are supposed to learn from them.

Much of the information is freely available elsewhere online. The value of this book is that it integrates the information, saving the reader time, explains it without assuming prior knowledge , and provides an accountant’s perspective, giving the reader assurance.

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