In honor of Small Business Week, I’d like to take a moment to explain why I believe we need small businesses. As one of the owners of jWeb Media, I have both run my own small company and worked with many others. My experiences have shown me that small businesses give more people opportunities, offer more office culture choices, and add a level of uniqueness that larger corporations can’t come close to matching.
Giving People Opportunities
Many, many large business don’t consider hiring someone without a four year degree or higher. Some even expect ivy league credentials. These companies don’t know what they’re missing. Not every individual is cut out for the college tract, but that doesn’t mean they won’t be a great employee.
I don’t think I could tell you where any of my employees went to college. As a small business owner, I seek out potential beyond their standard educational merits. You can always teach skills if someone has the aptitude. What you can’t teach is character traits: drive, dedication, honesty, a willingness to learn, and most importantly no fear of hard work. These traits are invaluable to any business owner and these are the type of people I want to represent me and my business.
Offering an Office Culture Choice
Just as no two individuals are alike, not all businesses are alike. A lot of people believe that everyone should want the same thing, but that’s not true. Employees need to find an office environment that is comfortable for them. While some individuals are better suited (yes, pun intended!) to the corporate cubical or a corner office with a skyline view, others are more comfortable in a small office culture.
These preferences, however, doe not make one person more successful than the other. Success for me is not measured by wealth, but by fulfillment. It won’t matter how much you pay an employee if they do not like the office culture, whatever that may be. People need to feel fulfilled and enjoy whatever culture their business has to offer.
Adding Something Unique
When you go on vacation, do you only stick to familiar restaurant and stores you find at home? I would suggest that you don’t—that would be one boring vacation. You should explore and find new offerings and tastes from places that are unique. The good ones are the memorable ones.
The same thing applies to small businesses. Why? Because, just maybe, the business’s DNA is derived from that one unique individual who took the chance to risk it all. You may find something memorable there that you didn’t expect.
Speaking of expectations, these are my closing statements about small businesses: Don’t expect to get the status quo. Whether it be a restaurant, retailer, or service provider, expect individuality. Expect pride in craftsmanship. Expect personal service. Expect the uniqueness only a small business can offer.