Big business verse small business mentality. Is this really an issue? In short the answer is yes. Your perspective is everything and when you come from a big business mentality, the characteristics that make you big business differ significantly from the characteristics of the perspective of small business. Think about some of the major differences: in big businesses you have entire, separate, departments to deal with accounting, production and other entities. In small business you have a small team dealing with all aspects of the business. In big business, someone develops a new innovation for one aspect of the company, while in small business that one innovation becomes the company. Rules and regulations are huge in corporate America, hence we have a corporate culture; whereas, in small business the rules can be written and redefined at a moments notice.
There have been arguments made that business is business, whether big or small, and at the end of the day business is simply about making money. No argument there;however, Michael Gerber in his article "What's the Difference between a Big Business and a Small Business," was quick to point out small businesses overlook the need to develop and define systems of support. That brings us back to the perspectives and the mentalities that surround big verse small business.
Dianne Glassnor, Business Owner vs Employee Mentality, has cited below some of the distinguishing traits in comparing the corporateemployee vs. the small business mentality.
Here are some traits of people with an employee mentality:
- I work for a paycheck - period.
- There's no need to give more than I have to, because the company will take advantage of me.
- The business is lucky to have me.
- Somebody is mandated to take care of me.
- I am entitled simply because I work here.
- I only do what I am told to do
Here are some traits of the business owner mentality:
- I have a big picture view of the greater good I do with my work and realize that wages is the outcome of the good I do. Simply put, my work brings me great personal satisfaction.
- When I go the extra mile, I am doing it because it helps the business and the people we serve.
- I am blessed to be a part of this company.
- It is my responsibility to see that my job is done to my greatest capability with every patient every day.
- Nobody can do this for me.
- Entitlement is not a word in my vocabulary. I understand that I receive wages for my efforts, and while fringe benefits are nice, they can disappear if the business is not profitable.
- I understand that there are times when my own personal agenda may be interrupted for the good of the people we serve.
When you consider these traits, it becomes obvious why it is difficult to integrate these two perspectives, and why they may collide. Whether intentionally or unintentionally, it seems the characteristic of individual entitlement often becomes the pervasive characteristic that causes disruption when trying to integrate these two different beasts. In small business there is little room for entitlement when trying to establish systems of support.
Just some food for thought when trying to mesh the corporate world with small business world.
Work hard, be productive, and above all else stay positive.
Peggy White, Executive Director, Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce