Small Business is NOT Like Big Business

There was something I discovered when I started working for myself about small business, and how it compares to larger businesses. Coming from a company with several hundred employees and many contract staff, I moved to a company that had exactly one employee – me.

The difference was so fundamental, I wondered if any of the rules of larger businesses even applied anymore. I wasn’t merely responsible for gathering requirements, writing code, testing, and supporting production applications – I had to work in advertising and promotions, sales, accounts receivable, accounts payable, janitorial – you name it, I was doing it.

In a larger business, a given employee can stick to their comfort zone, because that’s their area of responsibility. In a small business, the business is your responsibility. Not even the owner of a larger business has as much responsibility as the owner of a one-man shop. It’s not a question of the number of hours worked, but of the work that must be done within those hours.

If you want a true understanding of what owning a small business is like, the best way to learn is to find a small business owner and follow them around for a week. Even then, you will only encounter a small fraction of the roles they play – and if that sounds daunting, then maybe it’s not the position for you.

If it sounds like a welcome challenge, then hop on board, and get ready to be the Jack-of-all-trades.