I have worked at small, medium and large companies, but there’s something about working at a small business that I just love. Many people work at large companies or really want to, but I’ve found people don’t exactly know what to do when they go from a big company to a small business. Here are my tips on working effectively and enjoying your time at a small business!
Tips for Working At A Small Business
Make an Effort to Get to Know Your Co-Workers Personally
You should definitely do this as at a large company, but at a small business it’s important to remember details about them. Get to know their families, their hobbies as well as even their lunch order. Connecting with people is so important in any job but in a small business your relationships are even more crucial as you do your job. They can help you, mentor you, and connect you in the community.
Learn How Everyone Works Best
Some people are introverts and need quiet to work, where as others like to have music. Other co-workers are not morning people and might not want you to talk to them right way. As you start to figure out how others work, you will see that you can work more effectively and efficiently with them! One of the perks, in my opinion, of working at a small business is being able to do things more quickly because you know who you’re working with.
Be Ready to Pitch In on Everything & Anything
Small businesses need help where ever they can get it, and so sometimes you might be asked to do things that are outside your expertise. It can be a little overwhelming, but you learn so much jumping in to help your co-workers. Be ready to help out during vacations, or on really busy days.
What They Can Offer Is Different
Large companies are often able to offer huge benefit packages and other cool things, like booze boats and discounts at certain stores. Small businesses maybe able to offer other benefits, like more work from home days, or even dogs at the office. This is definitely something to remember when you’re negotiating. Try to ask for more non-financial benefits instead of an increased salary.
Take Advantage of Learning From Those Around You
One of the best things about working at a small business is you get to see what each person or “department” does. You can learn about the accounting side, the management side, the supply side and the marketing side. At a large company you might not actually know what the other departments do, other than HR. This knowledge can make you a great leader in the future, and allow you to go further. People who don’t take the time to understand how an entire business works can’t do much.
Watch to See If They’re Passion Shines Through
One of my favorite things about working at small businesses is to see the passion and commitment owners have to their businesses. It’s not just a job to them, rather their life and love. You can learn a lot about your own passion by watching someone live out theirs.
Working at a small business isn’t for everyone, but if you want to learn from somebody who puts everything on the line for their business, and what passion can do, I highly recommend working for a small business at some point. It might just ignite your own passion!
Do you work at a small business or for yourself? What have you learned?
PS Shout out to the three women-owned small businesses I worked for, as well as the owners who have inspired me with their passion for their clients and their work.