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Working for a Small Business: A Great Stepping Stone

Small businesses are the backbone of the American economy. It’s a common misconception that corporate entities are the major employers in this country. Not so. Small businesses as a whole are by far America’s largest employer group. They face similar challenges to a large organization but on a much different level. Scale is the great equalizer in the free market and less overhead allows these companies to compete. They’re characteristically more tight knit, often family run, and offer more varied training opportunities. If you’re a budding entrepreneur, the last is of particular importance. A small business can operate as a training vacuum, allowing aspiring businessmen and women to gain a wide array of knowledge at a fast clip. So what should they focus on learning while there? The short answer: a lot.

Structure

A key element of a small business is how it is going to be structured. This has a profound effect on litigation, tax filings and overall efficiency in day to day operations. If you are working for a family business, you’ll be able to see if this works well, or falls flat because of politics. There’s also the specific nomenclature such as LLC, S-Corporation or limited partnership to consider as well.

Working in a small business allows you to see multiple departments, and they’re most likely located in the same building. This allows you to see how they function, their deficiencies and whether or not you believe their day to day responsibilities are appropriate. Are there enough staff to get the work done by close of business? These are important questions that you can answer yourself with on the job experience.

How to Establish a Web Presence

This is one of the most critical areas to learn. Search engine optimization and online marketing are paramount in a digital age. Most small businesses have only a couple of employees who function as webmasters or SEO experts and manage the company’s online presence. They are excellent resources and enable a small business aspirant to gain critical knowledge about getting their own idea off the ground. There are many, many services available that help small businesses optimize social, online and email marketing campaigns, but not all are created equal. Developing a relationship with your webmaster can give critical insight on where it makes sense to spend money on a budget.

Finance

Any new business is going to be on a budget, likely a strict one. The number one reason small businesses fail is due to lack of funding. Engaging the company’s finance people or ownership circle can provide some ideas on how to secure money and keep it flowing. How do you go about targeting a venture capitalist? How do you spend the money that comes on the door? Divvying up the funds you have available is a painstaking process, especially at the start. Overhead always needs to be closely monitored, but new entrepreneurs need to have a realistic forecast on what their return on investment is going to be and just how long it will take to produce it. Much easier said than done. Having access to financial reports and a local mentor is a key component to understanding these things.

In the end, there will be plenty of stress that comes with starting a new business. That being said, it would be wise for any entrepreneur to take the necessary measures to mitigate whatever stressors they can. Having the head knowledge on what needs to be done is a completely controllable aspect of this. And working for a small business it undoubtedly one of the most efficient ways to acquire this knowledge. With systems and departments being infinitely more accessible in a small organization, it will behoove a potential businessman or woman to take advantage of these resources while they have the opportunity.  


About the author: My name is Jeff Besada and I am a freelance writer. I have been producing content for over four years now for websites and blogs, specifically in the financial services, marketing, real estate and healthcare industries. I am the proud father of two young children and live in the Greater Philadelphia area. I enjoy writing and sharing knowledge to help make businesses more successful.

"Great things in business are never done by one person. They're done by a team of people." -Steve Jobs