We usually read and hear about the negatives of small businesses and start-ups. They can’t compete with the big guns, they don’t have enough financial resources, time & growth is limited, and so many other hurdles.
But if you’re an owner or founder of such an enterprise, you’ll know that there are moments and periods of pure gold – those that make you smile and justify the risk you took when you started all this.
Team & company culture
There’s no doubt that as a business becomes larger and more ‘corporate’, it sort of loses that welcoming and friendly spirit. Sometimes the atmosphere of productivity and creativity decreases too.
Ideas become stale, staff feel less valued and more like robots, and the office or workroom seems to constrict around you, a little tighter each day. With a small biz or start-up, you know you’re important, and have the potential to significantly contribute to the company’s success.
Communication is usually better too, as the ‘boss’ is more accessible and involved with the team. It’s funny because some large companies spend a lot of money on improving communication lines and employee engagement!
Of course, some people like fixed roles and schedules, but if you want to learn new skills, take on different challenges, and perhaps have more responsibility, then this is perfect. Small businesses and start-ups allow for these; they are responsive to change, suggestions, and criticism; and people are willing to teach each other too.
Work hours tend to be flexible, and positions are not necessarily defined or limited by certain tasks. This makes the business more adaptable to change than a bigger organization.
People like purchasing products and services from small businesses. They really do. Why? Because these companies are more personal (and therefore attentive to the customers’ needs), quality is closely monitored , the passion actually shines through, and there’s direct involvement. This is because, quite frankly, small businesses have more to lose. And so consumers trust them!
Yet there’s something else too. Because of their close relationships with customers, these kinds of businesses find it easier to identify and fill gaps in the market; in other words, narrow their market focus. Conversely, they’re also able to broaden their scope and expand their services faster and more easily.
- Start-up & small biz entrepreneurs have more independence, less people to answer to, and less bureaucracy.
- Rebranding, redesigning, and product upgrades are less problematic and less disruptive to the workflow.
- When you start out with a small biz/start-up, you can do it part-time while working at a full-time job. This = financial security.
- Small businesses tend to have less of a harmful impact on the environment, due to a number of factors, such as: awareness of costs, less energy and water wastage, and less office space. This also makes them appealing to eco-oriented customers.
- Every milestone – reaching a business goal, that first sale, a customer referral, a product launch – is more rewarding because you know the exact pains it took to achieve them. And now you’re extra prepared for that next step.
– – –
Still not happy with your small biz or start-up? Will you only be satisfied when you reach the status of corporations like Google, Disney, Taco Bell, or Nintendo? (All of which started off as small & medium enterprises, some in a garage!)
Well, as you expand, remember the above values and advantages. If/when you transition from small to medium to large, it is essential to retain the qualities that sparked your success in the first place.