Many people think that being a small business owner is care free non-stop good times. Being a small business owner is like riding a crazy rollercoaster; there are highs and lows. I think that many people think the general worries or concerns of a small business owner are much different than those of its employees. While there a plenty of differences between being an employee and an owner of a small business the worries of each are similar. Here are five things that both a small business owner and employee should be concerned with.
Losing Your Job
Employee: In the heat of the recent recession a lot of employees lost their jobs. It caused a lot of people to start their own businesses. The problem with being an employee of a company is that there is always the possibility that you will be fired. It may not even be due to poor performance. Sometimes it is just a business decision that needs to be made. In a small business even little swings in sales or losing clients can have a tremendous effect on the business.
Employer: I would imagine that many people feel that an employer has complete job security. However, job loss is a concern for the small business owner as well. The most likely reason that an owner would lose their job is because the business fails. Many factors can cause a business to fail such as the economy, employees leaving or just poor business decisions. Either way if the business goes under the owner is out of a job as well.
Business Goes Bust
Employee: While a business failing is an owner concern, employees need to worry about this as well. If the business fails the employee is out of a job. In a small business environment this can be a positive factor. The reason this can be positive is because it causes the employee to care about the business. When a business is small the employee too can become intimately involved with wanting the business to succeed. In a small business an employee can directly have an impact on the success or failure of a business. In a larger business the employee may feel like they can't make as much of an impact.
Employer: Obviously the employer doesn't want the business to fail. The owner is even more vested in their own small business than the employees are. In many cases the business was started solo with the owner putting in all the work. A small business owner has strong emotional ties to their business. Therefore, if the business fails it has more of an impact on the owner than just a financial hit.
The Stress Of Worrying
Employee: A small business employee faces a lot of stress in the day to day. First, they are worried how long the business or their job will last. Is the boss happy with my performance? More importantly are the clients I deliver to happy? Will I be replaced by technology? Will I be replaced by a younger, cheaper and possibly smarter employee? In a small business environment there is no room to hide and very little goes unnoticed, both the good and the bad. Many outsiders probably think all of the stress of running a small business falls on the owner, but employees burden their share as well.
Employer: Small business owners obviously face a tremendous amount of stress. Are our clients happy with our service? What happens if we lose a few clients? How will we fund payroll? Are the employees happy? Am I keeping the business on track? Are we growing too fast, too slow or just right? The day to day worries can be taxing. However, small business owners thrive in this type of environment or don't last very long. My advice is to always stay true to your vision. You don't have to be the next big thing, only what you want your business to become. Make sure you are happy and if you are not make some changes.
Keeping Up With Technology
Employee: Employees are always under pressure to keep up with technology. Employees that want to add value to the company are always looking for ways to improve. That often means learning new technologies and keeping up. In our company an employee that is not connected with the business and our clients doesn't usually last too long. We offer a flexible schedule, but we are very demanding of our employees to stay connected to the business and clients via email and phone.
Employer: Competition in any industry can be fierce and keeping up with technological advances is very important. If you fall behind your competitor to far it could cause damage that you may not recover from very easily. Early adopters of new technology often win the race. However, it is equally important to know when a new technology does not and will not make your business more efficient.
Employee: A small business employee has to be very smart with how they grow with the business. Many new employees start off very motivated and are anxious to learn and get ahead. Often volunteering for duties outside of their comfort zone and skill set. This is a great way to learn but you need to be careful. I feel that many employees become overambitious with what they are trying to accomplish. They think that asking for advice or guidance from those above them will reflect on them negatively. The fact is I would rather an employee ask questions than perform a task incorrectly for a client. Don't be afraid to ask for advice if you don't know what you are doing, your superiors will respect that.
Employer: As a small business owner you most likely want to grow your business. The question you need to keep in mind is how much do you want to grow and in what time period? Growing smart is something you should always keep in mind as a small business owner. The last thing you want to do is over promise and under deliver. Knowing how much you can grow in a certain time period is important. It is incredibly hard to turn down business when someone is trying to give you money. However, the last thing you want to do is accept new business and then deliver poor service, either to your new clients or current clients.
Owners and employees of a small business do face similar challenges and worries. However, the viewpoint and consequences may be different for each of them. Additionally the actions that an owner and employee can perform to directly affect the outcome of each worry differs. While owning or working for a small business can be stressful, it can also be very rewarding. Those that are meant to work in a small business environment overcome the stress and succeed.