Taking a Gamble: The Pros of Working at a Small Business

#WerkBranch, Company Culture

By Anna Naumann:

You walk into a smoke-filled casino, lay down hundreds of dollars on a green felt table and you risk it all on one hand. Changing jobs is a gamble. You never truly know what you are getting yourself into until you are in a new position for a few weeks. Leaving a world-renowned casino’s marketing department, and beginning a new job at a small marketing agency felt like the right hand to risk it all on.

The world of small business has come with a handful of benefits I would have never imagined. Sure, it was nice getting $10 concert tickets, mad hotel discounts worldwide and free food on the daily. However, at the end of the day, I was never going to be more than a number.

From corporate to #smallbiz. Check out @RBM_Anna's journey to the @RedBranch team and what she learned from taking a career risk: Click To Tweet

Without any further adieu, the best perks of working for a small business:

Open Communication

We’ve all heard it, and it rings true in just about every situation: communication is key. You would think a company bringing in $4.85 BILLION in revenue in 2017 would have it all figured out, but the sheer size of large businesses means communication is ignored. The Radicati Group notes the average person is receiving 88 business related emails per day, but only sending 34. That’s an average of 54 ignored emails!

Having all 20ish co-workers within earshot of me at Red Branch literally blows my mind. Emails and IMs are never avoided because if they are, the sender will walk fifteen feet and talk to the person. There is ample communication in small businesses for a number of reasons (you know, like keeping it running), but mostly, you can’t avoid it.

Work Hard, Play Hard Mentality

Now I thought I had this one all figured out. My previous job took their mission of inspiring grown-ups to play to heart. The employees there would never admit it, but the amount of fun we had was maybe just a little too much.

Small businesses thrive on hard work. Your plate should be pretty close to full from 8 am – 4 pm, or you’re probably doing it wrong. At the same time, they’re all about playing hard. At Red Branch Media, we keep our noses to the grind 38-ish hours a week. Of course, those rarely passed up 20-minute brain-breaks are spent playing a lively game of pool, enjoying the weather on a walk or expressing creativity through pen and paper. Not only is it great to feel like we have a chance to decompress, but it has even been scientifically proven to refocus your attention for the remainder of the day.

We also drink on the clock. No, we’re not coding emails while we’re drunk, but we do take a full hour to eat, drink and recognize our accomplishments at the end of each week. I know I won’t have an “emergency meeting” scheduled at the very last minute to play Catch Phrase, but I’m glad to have traded that in for an hour of free wine and cheese every week.

Empowered Employees

This one is fascinating to me. I’ve worked at two good-sized businesses since graduating college. I had felt a small sense of empowerment at each job, but it wasn’t until I started at Red Branch that I realized how far from that I truly was.

Small businesses really invest in their employees. They know their staff is their biggest asset and want to encourage them to be the absolute best they can be, personally and professionally. From day one, you are a key player. Needless to say, it’s easy to feel connected to a small company when you are one of the very assets that keep it afloat. And, connected employees improve productivity by 20-25%!

Taking a new job at a small business is a gamble. Should you risk it all? Check out a few of the best perks of working for a small business: Click To Tweet

Since I started my job at Red Branch Media four weeks ago, Maren has met with me several times asking what I needed to do my job better. Truth is, I have no clue what would make my work life easier, or what I could use to be better, but I appreciate the sentiment. Here, I’m not just a number, I’m an empowered employee.

Trying On New Hats

At a big corporation, your job is your job. You know what you’re doing, and you stick to it.

I work on the email team at Red Branch Media. It’s a three-person department and we write copy, build and code emails, walk through an approval process and when all is said and done, schedule a deploy. Considering how many clients we have, that seems like enough to keep two associates and a manager pretty busy, but our job doesn’t just stop there. Like most small businesses, every employee here wears several hats. When we’re not working on client emails, we’re sharing client content, writing video scripts or working on Red Branch blogs. We’re lucky to be trusted with tasks outside of our department and given the opportunity to grow as professionals.

Changing jobs is always a gamble. You never truly know what you’re getting yourself into. Did you leave your comfort zone to risk it all? I went all in, accepted a job at a small marketing agency and I’m already winning big because of it.

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