According to the Small Business Administration, there are more than 33 million small businesses in the United States. Of course there are solopreneurs who work for themselves as well as your typical mom-and-pop shops. But there are also many franchises of massive name brands that operate locally as small businesses. There are many benefits to working for a small business, but these five reasons are at the top.
1. Learn a Wide Variety of Skills
Most small businesses have a limited workforce. Whether that means a staff of 5 people or 50, there are often times where each employee must step outside their assigned work and wear other hats. This opportunity to learn new skills is beneficial to building your resume. Every chance you have to expand your skillset is a potential “in” with a future employer. For example, if you are usually coding but are asked to help with social media, embrace the opportunity to learn more about an adjacent field.
2. Recognize Your Potential
During these “all hands on deck” moments where you step outside your typical duties, you might discover that you have an interest in a different line of work. You will learn a lot about your strengths and challenges, as well as what aspects of your position you enjoy most. Another example would be if you were an accountant who is asked to help with a consulting project for a client. You might find that you prefer working with people instead of numbers!
3. Gain Access to Leadership
When you work for a major corporation, there are usually many layers of leadership, from middle management up to the C-suite. In a small business, you have better access to those in senior leadership roles. This gives you visibility into how the business works in a way that you won’t find at a large company. It also allows you to learn valuable job skills directly from experienced practitioners. As you form relationships with these leaders, you build your network with key players in your industry, which can lead to opportunities down the line.
4. Take On New Responsibilities
While it’s helpful to interact with leaders more to understand what they do, the visibility goes both ways! Those at the top are more likely to witness all the great work you’re doing in a small business. They’ll see that you’re learning new skills and helping out where you can. This can lead to career advancement at a much quicker pace than in a larger organization with more red tape around promotions. Just remember that most small businesses have a very flat organizational structure. While you might not receive a new job title, you will be capable of taking on new responsibilities that you can outline in your resume. These new responsibilities will clearly show that you are ready for leadership opportunities when the time is right.
5. Enjoy Increased Flexibility
A small business owner gets to make his or her own rules as they see fit. This means that small businesses might be quicker to offer flexible schedules and work environments. They can more easily adapt each position as the employee needs because they are only juggling a few staff members. In addition, projects can also be more flexible. New ideas might be more likely to pick up steam and implemented more quickly.