17 reasons you might want to work for a small business

Bigger doesn’t necessarily mean better.

17 reasons you might want to work for a small business

Small businesses can boost your professional development.

Big businesses offer some big perks, for sure—comprehensive benefits, competitive salaries, shiny offices—but when it comes to career growth opportunities, bigger doesn’t necessarily mean better. Some small businesses (those with fewer than 50 workers) can match the big companies in terms of benefits, including paid time off work, with vacation and holidays available to 67% and 68% of workers, respectively, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Plus, 51% of workers have access to a medical plan through their company, and 47% can participate defined contribution plans, such as 401(k)-style plans. But the real value of working for a small business is in professional development. 

If you're looking for a company where your contributions will get noticed sooner rather than later, well, the smaller the stage, the greater your chances are of stealing the scene. As you're well aware, a rewarded employee is a happy employee, which is probably why 87% of small business employees somewhat or strongly agree that working for a small business is more fun than working at a large business, according to Aflac's 2018 Small Business Happiness Survey.

“One of the key advantages [of working for a small business] is not being a small fish in a big sea, and therefore you’ll be easily recognized for your efforts and hard work,” says Wendi M. Weiner, career coach with The Writing Guru in Miami. “You will be able to connect with executive management more easily, and gain exposure to skills and projects that may have been assigned to a senior associate or manager at a bigger company.”

Still not sure if a small company could be the right career move for you? We’ve got 17 reasons to help convince you.

  1. You can move up quickly. A small team means you’ll have fewer peers vying for the same management positions. Prove yourself, and you’ll quickly earn more responsibilities.
  2. You can wear many hats. A small business stays afloat by putting together hard-working teams of people who aren’t afraid to roll up their sleeves. Job titles can easily overlap. Instead of delegating tasks, you’ll figure out how to get them done—and learn a lot in the process.
  3. You’ll get closer to the mission. It’s usually easier to get a real sense of what a small business does and how each employee impacts the work. There’s less corporate jargon blurring what people actually do.
  4. You’ll work more closely with senior leaders. Instead of seeing your boss’s boss once a year, you’ll likely work in the same office.
  5. Speaking of bosses, you’ll have far fewer of them. The org-chart tends to be much flatter at smaller businesses.
  6. You’ll experience a lot of camaraderie. Teamwork is a big part of small businesses. If you like getting to know the people you work with, you’re in luck—you’ll spend a lot of time working directly with them.
  7. You’ll forge a close relationship with your manager. A smaller staff size affords managers and employees the chance to bond more easily. As a result, even if you move on from the company, your manager will be able to write a referral that really speaks to who you are, not just what you do.
  8. You’ll learn about sales. Without a huge sales department, you’ll get the chance to understand the company’s core value proposition, and maybe even make a pitch to potential customers.
  9. You can move quickly on your ideas. If you have a proposal, you can try it out quickly without a lot of red tape.
  10. You can experiment. You’ll have plenty of chances to test new ideas—and you’ll be encouraged to do so.
  11. Your owners will make decisions with you in mind, (and not always the bottom line). Small, privately owned businesses have much more freedom to take creative risks, let strategies play out and listen closely to its lower-level staffers.
  12. There’s a relaxed dress code. Small businesses often are more flexible about allowing casual wear in the office.
  13. You’ll enjoy greater flexibility. Small companies are less tied to policy and precedent than big conglomerates, so they can be more flexible with remote work and in general.
  14. You can pick your tech. There’s no enterprise IT department telling you what kind of phone to use or what software you’re allowed to install. You’ll be freer to test out new tools.
  15. You’ll feel a sense of ownership. According to the Aflac survey, almost nine in 10 small business employees feel like they have the opportunity to voice their ideas and opinions and have them heard and listened to.
  16. You’ll stretch your creativity. Because smaller businesses have smaller budgets, you’ll find creative new ways to accomplish your goals. For example, instead of hiring an event company to plan and implement the business’s presence at an industry trade show, you’ll have to get creative to make a splash.
  17. It’s good training if you ever want to launch a business yourself. You’ll see the good, the bad and the ugly—all of the realities of what day-to-day life is like as a small-business owner.

Work for a small business

As you can see, small businesses can compete with mega corporations on a handful of fronts, which is why you should definitely be open to joining a smaller team. Want to work for a small business but not sure how to get started? Join Monster for free today. As a member, you can upload up to five versions of your resume and cover letter—each tailored to the types of jobs and small businesses that interest you. Recruiters search Monster every day looking to fill top jobs with qualified candidates just like you. Additionally, you can get job alerts sent to your inbox, so when a small business is hiring, you're notified right away. Give your career a big boost by checking out the small biz scene.