– Which is better for you, big business or small?

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As we enter the workforce we inevitably have to make a difficult decision; do we go to work for big business or do we take a chance on a smaller company, perhaps even start our own? Whereas one seems to offer safety and security, the other appears to be more risky.

When you compare the two, the big business seems to be the better choice; e.g., better salary, benefits, the stability of more financial resources, etc. The smaller company appears to be a much more riskier proposition by comparison, and it is to a certain extent. Going into a small business, or even starting one, is definitely not for the feint of heart, and requires an entrepreneurial spirit. Although the risk is high, so are the rewards, assuming the company is successful. In contrast, the big business company cannot compete against the small company in this regards, unless of course you make it to the upper echelons of management.

Because of its size with lots of people kicking and scratching their way to the top, the big business tends to be more political than the smaller company. Although the latter is certainly not devoid of gamesmanship, there is more of an inclination to cooperate on a team basis due to the risks involved. There also tends to be more freedom for employees to express their creativity and take part in corporate decisions.

Although the sense of risk is more apparent in a small company, the big business company is certainly not devoid of risk, particularly in these times of outsourcing, downsizing, and tightening of belts. Whereas the risk in a small business is upfront in the early stages, the risk in big business tends to be more long term in nature, particularly as it applies to job security and retirement. Even if you make it to retirement, there is still the danger of benefits being curtailed. In contrast, the person in the smaller business tends to be more in control of retirement benefits.

Bottom-line, the decision to go big business or small is a matter of risk. Those who believe they are safe in the comfort of the arms of big business are kidding themselves. Yes, the risk in small business is more apparent, but there is equally as much risk in big business, it’s just a little more transparent. Because the small company is more cognizant of risk, there is more of an inclination to be more disciplined and cooperative in your work habits, but as any small business owner can tell you, plan on starving when you first get started as the benefits tend to be long term in nature.

So, which is the right path for you to follow, big or small? It ultimately depends on your personality; whereas you see more Type A and B personalities in small businesses (who exhibit entrepreneurial spirit), there are typically more Type C and D personalities found in Big Business (those that are less likely to take a risk). Because of this, I find it amusing when small businesses want to emulate big businesses, and big businesses yearn for the spirit and mobility of the small company. But you know what? You cannot have it both ways.

First published: September 29, 2008

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 40 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at [email protected]

For Tim’s columns, see:   timbryce.com

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Copyright © 2017 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Also read Tim’s columns in the THE HUFFINGTON POST


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