Three Cheers for Small Business!

In honor of National Small Business Week, I wanted to acknowledge and share what working at a small business means to me.  According to U.S. Small Business Administration:

“More than half of Americans either own or work for a small business, and they create about two out of every three new jobs in the U.S. each year.”

Chances are YOU are impacted by small businesses in your own life too.  Without further ado, here are three cheers for my small business employer:

Cheer #1 – My small business offers FLEXIBILITY!

This is so important for me, as I juggle raising my 2 and 4 year old children, while still being able to work part-time at a fulfilling and interesting marketing job.  It took some time to find this job, as I wrote about last year, but I am so pleased that it has been such a good fit.  I write more about my search and journey in this post.

Cheer #2 – My small business Lacks Red Tape!

I talked about having to adjust my full-time and larger, corporate mindset to fit my part-time role and small business in transition back to work. With a lot of careful prioritization and planning (and fewer approvals), I am amazed at how much that can be accomplished in a limited amount of time. It feels good to go into work and really tackle my “must-do-today” list.  I feel a sense of accomplishment checking things off that list each day.

In terms of “red tape,” one story best sums up the larger corporate experience vs. a small business (and when I say small, I mean five total employees – full and part-time – small):

I was planning our big annual customer event and required a check for down payment on our event space.  I asked my boss about the check request procedure. He replied,”Okay, how much to you need, and how should I write it out?”  In less than 5 minutes, the completed check was on my desk.  Done and Done! Love that!

Cheers #3 – My small business provides OPPORTUNITY!

In previous marketing roles I have always been a member of the marketing department.  Sometimes my title included the term manager, but I was never in charge of the big picture.  In my current role, I am a solo marketer. I am in charge of coming up with overall strategy and plans and implementing them down to the very last detail.  I do it all – wearing many hats – as all small business employees must do!

When I started this job over a year ago, I often shared my concern with my boss that I was accustomed to bouncing ideas off of other people much more (instead of just my boss and the two-person sales team).  He admitted that when he first started the business nine years ago, when it was just him, that he struggled with that aspect too. In time he learned to simply do his research, trust his gut, and forge ahead.  This attitude has given me more confidence to trust my instincts and efficiently move projects forward. It’s rewarding to see your work in action and measure results more easily (at times) when compared to larger organizations.

How do you root for small businesses?

Related Posts:

Shop Small. Buy Local. Do Good. – This post is from The Do Gooder Mama, who is recently back from a blogging-break. Do check out her blog for inspiration and awesomeness!

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Transition Back to Work

After being at my new job for a whopping three weeks, or six days, I feel like I can accurately share details about my transition back to work.  In a word:

GOOD!

I am very happy to have more structure, as I have to be more organized and productive in order to make my work days go more smoothly.  This means a few things –

  • Getting as much ready as I can the night before.  Kids stuff packed, my lunch packed in containers ready to go into my lunch box, items staged close to the door, dinner planned and prepped (if I can).
  • Wake up BEFORE everyone else!  This is key in getting ready quickly, so I can get out the door when I need to.  Plus, I love the quiet house in the morning.
  • Don’t get distracted.  I have a tendency to linger and putter around in the morning when eating breakfast.  On my word days I have to stop myself and stay focused on what I MUST DO instead of the “NICE to-do’s.”
  • Prep snacks for the kids because they are hungry immediately upon arriving home.  Instead of just throwing more crackers their way, I try to have cut up fruits and veggies ready for them.
  • Keep dinner simple.  We typically eat leftovers, crock-pot meals, or quick & easy to make meals.  Tonight it was pasta with red onions and black olives.  Yum!

Do I still have crazy moments in the two hours from daycare pick-up until my kid’s bedtime on my work days? Without a doubt! But together, my awesome teammate / husband and I figure it out and make it work.  It is only two days out of the week, so it has not been too difficult of a transition thus far.

Work wise, I’ve had to adjust from my larger, corporate marketing mindset to that of a small business.  I have to scale down some efforts to an appropriate level that matches our current resources with my time often being the limiting factor.  I work with extremely nice people; it’s too small of a business for office politics; and I feel like I’m already making a difference.  Of course there are some new ideas and changes that I’d like to propose, and I hope to do so in due time.  Until then, I’ll clock in for my two days a week and accomplish whatever I can to keep plans moving in the right direction!

How do you make your workdays easier?  If you transitioned from staying home to working, I’d love to hear how you make it work!