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Career Corner
Pros & Cons of Working At a Small Business
Tuesday, March 06, 2012

If you've never worked for a small business before then you might be hesitant to when you don't know what to expect. Questions might be running through your head like, "Will I still have the same benefits?" and "Am I going to be paid less?" The thing to remember about a small business is that is it still business.


While you may not get all the same perks of working for a major corporation, small businesses have pros of their that you can't get from big companies. Those who have limited their job searches because of reservations toward a small businesses, considering the following things can help you better determine whether a position at a small business is right for you.


CONS:

Compensation
Because your position at a small business might be more solid, you can't be expected to be paid handsomely. Small companies are usually small for a reason as they lack the endless funding that larger corporations have and need to pay the hundreds for thousands of workers it employs. In a small business setting, the rewards come in different packages. Perhaps not you benefits package, but the cordial environment is often enough to make working there worth it.

Staffing
Small businesses will have few staff members which means that each person has more weight to carry. Some departments might be a one-man show so taking time off for whatever reason might be more of an issue. If you're the only person who knows how to do your job you might want to plan on pushing back any travel arrangements you might have as the chances of keeping them could be slim.


Informality
While the comradery within a small business is a good thing to have, the familiarity can be problematic in some cases. Where strong leadership is lacking, people may feel compelled to take the reins themselves while others might not be on board with that idea. Attitude
clashing between colleages can keep a small business down and if you've noticed that the position you would be taking hasn't held on to its takers for long then this might not be the place for you.


PROS:

Accessibility
The divide between management and employees in small businesses is much less. If you have something you want to mention to the boss like an idea or a problem, the direct connection is open and available. At a small business you can expect to know your boss one-on-one and feel more of that team spirit with your colleagues.

The atmosphere is much more close-knit since you're more like one of the fish in a pond rather than a vast ocean. You get to know who you're working with on a more personal level instead of trying to memorize each and every name in department at a big company. Collaboration in this setting is much easier to accomplish because of the team feel and it's less likely that someone will be looking out for number one.


Loyalty
The vibe at small businesses are much more casual. Where everyone knows one another, formalities are unnecessary. Because of this, more consideration is taken when it comes to vacation days, raises, and even disciplinary actions. The business line, however, is meant to
keep things on a professional keel. Small businesses doesn't mean letting personal issues interfere and creating things like favoritism.


Small businesses tend to build a greater sense of loyalty company because you have our coworkers to look out for. When working closely with a certain group of people, the level of respect is also greater between colleauges who interact on a friendly basis as well.


Security
Small businesses typically serve a particular purpose. Whatever it is that it specializes in, there are the those who stay heavily involved that play the role of the specialists (usually founder or high-ranking officer). These people have visions that they want realized and in doing so they'll want to bring on people they know are in it for the long-haul, people to help get the company up and going.


At a small business, people aren't seen as expendable which alleviates some of the stress and worries that some at larger companies may have about having their jobs handed over to the next qualified candidate. A person overseeing how the company expands is much different than some unknown entity at the top pulling strings. In order to build a strong company, a small business needs a strong foundation therefore your position will unlikely be eliminated.
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