I’ve been working at an SMB for 2 months now. Prior to starting this job (my first!), there was the age-old dilemma of working in a large company compared to a smaller one. Large companies are able to provide more benefits whereas smaller companies allow you to do more, and in turn learn more things. My decision swung towards the latter, and here I am sharing some of the things I’ve learnt.
- Get to know everyone
Working at an SMB, you would get to know everyone in a pretty short amount of time. For me, I met almost everyone during my interview, as compared to my internships in large companies – I probably only knew 1% of the employees there.
Knowing everyone makes the company a friendlier place, and you know whom to approach for help on different issues.
- Speaking up
This is an area in which I would hold my hand up and say that I’m still in the process of finding my voice. Speaking up is something that an SMB actively encourages, as good ideas can come from anyone.
In an SMB, you’ll find that every voice matters; more so in an SMB compared to larger companies, in part due to the size of the company. There are chances aplenty for you to speak up and I relish the opportunities that come my way, as I can learn to better express myself. Never know what sort of good (or silly) ideas you can come up with that might even surprise (never embarrass) yourself!
- M & M (Micro & Macro)
No, I’m not talking about the famous chocolate candies. Working at an SMB provided me with lots of exposure on how a company is run, which is less likely to happen in larger companies.
Having a macro view refers to being aware of where you fit, and how what you do, contributes to the entire business process. Nonetheless, there is still the micro view of the day-to-day activities that you perform.
This makes working at an SMB unique in the sense that you gain both a micro and macro view. Oftentimes, people tend to get lost in the day-to-day work, not realising the importance of how keeping a high-level perspective, helps you in taking a step back to evaluate situations from the business point of view.
Therefore, this provides the opportunity to make better decisions that favour the clients, and at the same time, fair to the rest of the team.
- Learning (beyond the job scope)
Working in an SMB, there are many things to learn, beyond the job function that is officially tagged to your name.
One of the areas I’m interested in is marketing. I’ve had the chance to ask and find out more about it, and this links back to my first point – knowing everyone provides you with the opportunity to approach someone whose job scope you have always had an interest in, but might not have the chance to understand and experience what the actual processes are like in reality.
Writing an article is something that I’ve been doing in school out of interest, but I’ve been given the chance to write articles like the one I’m writing now.
- Ask, ask and ask
The one word that stands out the most to me in the brief time that I’ve started working at an SMB, would consist of 3 letters. The word is ‘ask’.
Since the company is relatively small and you would know everyone, if there was anything that I’m unsure of, I can always start by asking around to see if anyone could offer an answer.
There are so much more I’ve discovered and would very much like to share, but the points above are the key takeaways at the moment. It’s been a constant process of learning so far, and I’m looking forward to more as the days go by.