You are getting ready to start your career or are super excited about the prospect of working for a new company. You’ve done your homework on the top-notch organisations and have read about the cool perks, benefits, bigger salaries, fancy offices and many more things that bigger companies are offering. But are you missing the big picture when you leave out small businesses?
When it comes to professional progression, it is quite possible that bigger doesn’t necessarily mean better. While small businesses don’t dole out flashy perks, they offer more in career opportunities. Also, when it comes to getting recognition, the smaller the business, the bigger your chances are of stealing the scene. Yes, at a small business you may make less money and enjoy fewer perks than in a bigger firm, but you are more likely to be extremely satisfied and happier in your job.
If you have always worked for large corporations, why not consider working for one of the little guys? Isn’t a successful career more than just making a lot of money? Are you struggling to decide if working for a small company could be the right career move for you? Let us help convince you. Here are our top 7 reasons to work for a small business.
1. You can be autonomous, empowered and independent.
A key factor of happiness at work is autonomy – not money! Lack of bureaucracy, no middle management, faster decision making, more flexible work policies – all make a small business a great environment to be in. The degree of autonomy can vary from having a say in your own targets or the tasks you work on, to deciding when and where to do your work. You learn from your colleagues, have the freedom to express your opinion and be more creative and come up with new ideas. In a large company, you are kept in a silo and without the right manager, you are simply invisible. More autonomy and independence translates to higher job satisfaction.
2. Your training will be priceless.
Want to be an all-rounder? In a small business, you will see it all – what day-to-day life is like as a small-business owner. With the big guys, you will probably just see a tiny piece of what keeps the business running. In a small business however, with more exposure to different aspects of the business as well as working in cross-functional teams, you will become self-reliant, bring out skills that you never knew existed and work with a determination that you never knew you had. In a small company, that natural wish to be self-sustainable is magnified and multiplied, triggering the do-or-die attitude. No matter where you go later, esp. if you go to create your own company, you would have gathered all the skills to be a success.
3. You will stretch creativity due to smaller budgets
Working at a small business may mean that money is tight. No overindulgence, no luxuries! And because smaller businesses typically have smaller budgets, you will get to be super creative and find new ways to accomplish your goals. You will be frugal in your spending and the monetary responsibility that you acquire will help you in your personal life too. You will learn to live with less and rather than burning through money, you will control your consumption and find joy in creating and doing fun things. You will discover your imaginative capabilities, be more energised and your entire being will take on a new meaning of creation.
4. Your work will have a sales focus
One of the trickiest aspects of a small business is increasing sales when your budget is tight. And a small business knows without sales there is no future for the business. This is why most employees of a small business work with a sales focus, where each team member is enabled to think big, explore new ideas and find better selling techniques. While you spend time understanding the core aspects of the business, you will be encouraged to create new experiences and have plenty of chances to test your ideas in order to increase revenue. Any employee who can affect the bottom line is always appreciated well. Who knows how your creative strategies will play out for your career path.
5. You can move up the ladder quickly
With the big guys, you can’t always make an impact, your work may be overshadowed and you may just get lost in the crowd. Working your way up can take longer than you can imagine. But with a small business, as the company grows, you grow. Think big fish in a small pond. Smaller teams mean your opportunities for advancement are endless and you may have fewer peers vying for top-level positions. You will have high visibility from the beginning and your creative strategies and ideas will be seen by the people at the top. Prove yourself to be capable and determined, and you may be able to climb up the ladder quickly and earn more responsibilities. A small company will give you the opportunity to distinguish yourself and make your successes visible.
6. You can wear many hats
A small business usually stays afloat by putting together hardworking team members with fluid or overlapping roles. If the job description doesn’t matter much and you aren’t afraid to roll up your sleeves and manage multiple functions, then working at a small business may turn out to be a very gratifying experience for you. One of the biggest complaints at a bigger firm is more structure which does not allow one to branch out or try their hands at other roles. Working with a small business usually means wearing more hats, which helps you become more well-rounded. Wear many hats and you can use a wide variety of skills, identify your strengths, make a difference to most aspects of a business and in turn, figure out how you may want to advance your career.
7. You will have access to leadership and mentoring
The typically flat structure in a small business translates into many benefits. You may get more visibility due to greater access to the management and even the owner. Greater visibility allows you to learn directly from their experience and showcase your abilities to the people who matter. Operating in close quarters also means that you will be working with just about everyone in the organisation and be mentored by more experienced staff members. The access to leadership and the mentoring will help you develop your skill sets, build superior relationships and aid in better decision making throughout your career. Small business owners are some of the best people to learn from. They approach problems differently, are constantly innovating, finding solutions, and have the drive to build the business.
Big or small, with a go-getter attitude and the will to succeed, your future will be fabulous. The most important factor to consider at your next job is what makes you truly happy. When you spend more time at work than home, why not enjoy the people, challenges and environment too? You may want to consider what the business offers and how you could contribute via your role and how in turn that will impact your future before deciding what size company is the best fit for you. You will gather invaluable work experience. With ample opportunities, flat structure, small teams and an inspiring faith on new ways to stay viable, small businesses are a great place for you to make a big impact.
Don’t you want more …… the excitement, the potential to make real big bucks and the amazing feeling of contributing to something really huge? Work for a small business – that’s where the action is. I have found a small business environment to be a better fit for me than I had ever imagined.
Brendan works as a Product Manager at Quiddity, an amazing workflow and customer relationship management tool for small businesses. He has a passion for design and problem solving and loves to share knowledge and collaborate with others.