Like how managers and CEOs face workplace challenges on a day-to-day basis, small business employees also encounter a variety of challenges, some monotonous while others more impactful to their respective careers. Defining what these common challenges are, as a new employee of a small business, allows you not just to avoid it but to actually tackle it in the most proficient and opportunistic way possible.
Lack of Motivation
Small businesses, like delis and warehouses, tend to have an uninspiring workplace setup. As an ambitious employee starting out, you may find it increasingly difficult to continue working in the small business as it fails to inspire you in any way. Many ambitious employees prefer an environment where they can absorb industry knowledge, hone a specific set of skills, and collaborate on interesting projects.
Risk of Not Getting Paid on Time
Cash flow problems more commonly befall small businesses than they do large corporations. Obviously, the latter category of businesses have access to more investors and capital. While late payments to employees are very rare, the probability of it occurring is much higher for small businesses as opposed to large corporations due to the volatile nature of their cash flow.
Fewer Vacation Days
Small businesses employ fewer people, which means less manpower to rely on when people call in sick or go on vacations. As a result, small business owners are often reluctant and stingy when allowing you to take vacation days. To work your way around this common challenge, plan ahead. Make sure to choose an employer who values his/her employees’ vacation times as much as you do. Also, notify your employer well ahead of time, at least a month or so. This will give them time to shift employee schedules and find workers to pick up your slack.
There’s a lot of work that goes into operating a business. And while it’s the job of a small business owner to oversee most of these operations, the employees usually do the hands-on work. And since there’s fewer employees in a small business, the workload distributed to each employee is oftentimes greater in scale. As a result, employees get physically and mentally stretched to their limits. Even if you finish early, many small business environments foster this teamwork culture wherein you are expected to help those who have yet to finish their individual quotas. In addition, most tasks, such as marketing to clients, are done manually. For large corporations, email marketing agencies are usually dispensed to cultivate brand growth.
Less Job Stability
Small businesses are typically headed by the owner. There are no supervisors, board members, or chief executives to assume command when the CEO becomes seriously ill or gets into a fatal accident. If this happens to a small business, like a novelty store or a mom & pop ice cream store, the impact is strong enough to dismantle the entire entity, along with it the people it employed.
Lack of Mental Challenge
Similar to lacking motivational boost, working in a small business setting may also lack the mental challenge needed for continuous career growth. Menial tasks are usually directed to your cubicle or workstation while the more complex tasks where you can learn a lot from are given to managers. Of course, you can always try to accelerate your position in the workplace by showcasing your skills and expertise in the industry. Provide help and advice with top-level projects and ask your employer from time to time about possible openings for higher job titles.
Despite the many challenges encountered by small business employees, there’s also a lot to look forward to, such as a close-knit community type of work environment and more opportunities to get your name and work noticed due to fewer competitors.
By: Kevin Faber