The bold entrepreneur that takes the first step into the ambiguous waters of business ownership is the embodiment of the American dream. They have set aside their hesitations, answered the questions that need answering, and filled out form after form so that they can embark on an adventure that is fraught with challenges and triumphs. That dauntless hero that sits down for the first time as CEO of XYZ, Inc. is what many strive to be and few muster the courage to metamorph into. He or she has, with or without knowing it, picked up a basket of burdens that will weigh them down for the life of the business. The stress can be overwhelming and staying ahead of the curve is a constant struggle. To the chin-up, roll-with-the-punches, solution-driven entrepreneurs out there: we salute you!
Now that we have sung the praises of the small business owner, let’s talk about the people that work for them. Georgia small businesses employ over 1.5 million workers. Small businesses offer a plethora of benefits to these employees:
1. Big Fish, Small Pond
Most of us have worked for the big companies. You may have worked there for years and never met the CEO. He or she sits in the corner office behind a gold-laden desk – or so it may be imagined – while you toil endlessly to work your way out of a pile of paperwork. In a small business, that is not usually the case. The CEO may be sitting behind a desk across from the secretary and accountant. Hard work is noticed and appreciated. Promotions are less cut-throat since the competition may only be a handful of people, rather than hundreds or even thousands.
2. Oh The Hats You Will Wear
Small businesses are small. That means less of everything, including skilled workers. Why is this a benefit of working for a small business? It means that you get to diversify your skill set! If you start working on a project, the odds are pretty good that you’ll see that project to the finish line. When you begin your adventure into a small business your toolkit may only include a nice demeanor and the ability to take organized notes. By the time you’re in your third week you may have taken on marketing and sales functions. Then next month you’ll be cleaning refurbished parts or writing blog articles. The thrill of purposefulness is never lost on the small business employee.
3. Small Company = BIG Impact
Great work can be lost in the winds of a big company. Accomplishments of the lower ranks are passed up the hierarchy and that fantastic report that you spent hours on is getting your boss a pat on the back. With a small business, your hard work is seen and praised. Projects move quickly and you are responsible for making decisions. Rarely is there a form to file or a process to follow in order to change direction or start a new project. It is a face-to-face conversation and your ideas take center stage.
4. Climb The Ladder
The ladder may have fewer rungs, but it is certainly easier to climb up in a small business.
5. Mission Possible
The mission of mega-corporations may be clearly printed on the company website, but that doesn’t mean you understand your role within it. With a small company you get a real sense of what is being accomplished, how it is done, and the results of accomplishing specific goals.
6. Learn From The Master
When the CEO is accessible you can learn so much more than when he or she is far away (physically and/or figuratively). You can really pick their brain, learn their secrets, and develop a better relationship.
7. Learn To Sell
When a company lacks a large sales department, it means that you’ll have the opportunity to get hands-on experience with selling to customers.
8. What To Wear
Some large corporations have strict dress codes that make “casual” anything seem like a gift from the heavens. Small businesses tend to have very relaxed dress codes – if there is one at all. This freedom leaves employees focused on what really matters rather than the color of their slacks.
Small companies are far more understanding and offer greater scheduling flexibility. It can be a game-changer when it’s okay to leave at 3pm on a Wednesday to get little Timmy to soccer practice on time or come in an hour late on parent-teacher conference day. Family matters aside, sometimes you just have to leave at 2pm on a Friday to maintain your sanity.
10. Prepare To Take The Wheel
Many employees dream of owning their own business. Working for a small business can give you incredible insights into what it really means to be an entrepreneur. You’ll see the glamor and the hard reality of business ownership. You’ll enjoy the feasts of success and the famine of tough times.