November 30 is Small Business Saturday. As a small business owner myself, I’m thrilled that we have a whole entire day to celebrate our awesomeness. I am planning to feel better about myself this Saturday than I have all year.
However, the fact that we have an official day implies that the other 364 days of the year are “Large Business Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, every other Saturday except this one, and Sunday.” Large businesses get all the glory – they have the nicest offices, they control the stock market, and their executives go to the nicest prisons when they get convicted. It would be easy for small business owners to feel unimportant compared to all the media attention that large businesses typically get.
So, in support of all the other small businesses out there, here are five reasons that small businesses are the best kind of businesses there are.
We Can Work Whenever We Want – We definitely have to work, and a lot, but we can do it on our own schedule. Large businesses tend to enforce regular work hours. We, on the other hand, can schedule meetings whenever we want to, and those meetings can easily take place while watching a football game or cooking a pizza in your kitchen at home while wearing pajamas. Which reminds me…
Our Dress Code Is Waaaaay Better – Big businesses have entire policy manuals to deal with the pajama issue. UBS once published a 44-page manual telling its employees what kind of glasses and underwear they could wear. (Side note- this manual inspired me to make a much more manageable dress code book, check it out here.) We, on the other hand, can wear pajama pants and polyester leisure suits whenever it pleases us. In fact, if you own a vintage clothing store, that might actually be part of the way you sell things to your customers.
Our Jobs Are Endlessly Creative – This is mostly a function of the fact that we’re always a little bit concerned about starving to death, but as the phrase goes, “The threat of starvation is the mother of invention.” Jobs in large companies tend to become regimented and formalized as the organization grows, where our jobs tend to involve a frenzied collection of activities that would bewilder and exhaust most other people. It might not be the most glamorous job in the world with the biggest paycheck, but at least you’ll never get bored. Because…
Small Business Owners are Happier – According to a Yodle business sentiment survey, 91% of small business owners are either “extremely happy” or “somewhat happy” with their job. Compare that to a recent Gallup poll that found 70% of all workers are unhappy with their jobs. We may all be a couple bad months away from starving to death, but at least we’ll starve happily.
We Are Less Likely to Go Extinct! – Ignore the fact that most small businesses fail. The more important point is that large creatures tend to go extinct faster than small creatures. When the comets came and destroyed the dinosaurs, they didn’t destroy all the tiny little mammals scurrying around. So watch out, big businesses! You may be the dinosaurs now, but someday all of us – the scrappy, resourceful marmots and lemurs and sugar gliders of the corporate jungle – someday we’ll be ascendant.
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