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Career + 6 Tips for Working At A Small Business

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 Their 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. 

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  • Daynna Hartjes

    Love this! I can definitely testify that all of these are true, having worked mostly at small businesses. It’s such a wonderful atmosphere! Thanks for sharing!

  • Sydney Power

    Awesome advise! I work for a big event but it is a small staff so these totally apply to me

  • Before I worked on my own, I worked at a HUGE company so this perspective is cool

  • I’ve never worked at a huge company but I really like the small business atmosphere. Working for myself, I consider it to be a micro-business which is different, even still. There are always pros and cons and things to learn! Great post 🙂

  • Miss ALK

    I work at a small business and really enjoy it! My coworkers are so nice and it really is like a family environment. The only thing that I don’t like as much is that everyone is much older than me, so we don’t hang out much outside work, but other then that we all get along well in the workplace!

    xoxo A

  • Working at a small business definitely differs from a larger company. I’ve worked at really big companies (like Amazon) and really small companies (like a bridal shop with only 5 employees). Personally I like something in between (like my current job with about 40 people). I can pitch in and feel heard but there are still people to learn from. Thanks for sharing your tips and experience!!

  • My ideal small business is just me and my husband lol

  • These are all so important! We were like a family at my old job.

  • Alex Lo

    Great tips! I actually work for a HUGE law firm and sometimes it can be overwhelming. It would be nice to know everyone in the company!

  • Getting to know your co-workers is a really big deal, it can make or break your experience!

  • These are such great tips! I’ve never really worked at a small business but even in a big businessI think you should pitch in on everything!

  • Rachel Ritlop

    this is great! I love that you brought up the different perks in small vs. large business! I would much rather work from home than get a store discount haha

  • mckenna bleu

    Small businesses are a great work environment!

  • Bella Bucchiotti

    So many great tips!!! small businesses are such a great place to work!

  • Anna Hubbard

    I’ve just worked at corporate-owned places, but I could definitely see myself at a small business! I’m sure these are all wonderful tips for someone who does!