Ten Cons of Working for a Small Business

One of the biggest financial decisions that we make in life is the decision of where we want to work. There are both pros and cons to working for a big business and working for a small business. While I’ve said that I think working for a small business can be surprisingly beneficial, it can also have many undeniable drawbacks. It’s important to know both the good and the bad before you commit to any workplace situation, especially to one where you’re going to be spending the majority of your days. Below are some of the cons that come when working as a team member of a small business.

Lower pay

Many small businesses simply do not have the resources that large companies do. W


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9 Responses to Ten Cons of Working for a Small Business

  1. Fern says:

    As someone who has spent their entire career (all 26 years of it) in small and mid-sized businesses (not planned, it just happened that’s where the jobs were), I can relate to many of these points.

    One thing you didn’t mention, working for mostly small companies can be a handicap when you look for jobs in larger corporate environments; the concern is that you lack the ‘corporate mentality’ and may not understand the heirarchal structure and customs. Actually, I understand it very well. And good riddance!

  2. Alfa says:

    These cons make running a small biz more challenging, which is what many entrepreneurs are looking for.

  3. Elena says:

    There are some intangible good points of working for a small business too. There is a “family feeling” about. A savage loyalty to each other that you won’t find in a conglomeration, and your good work shines forth! It may not be for everyone but if you want to feel like a respected, needed person, small business might be the right way to go.

  4. Pingback: Ten Pros of Working for a Small Business - SavingAdvice.com Blog

  5. I like your connections BUT I do not agree on many points here. Your Pros for working with a Small Business resonates better. I have worked with Small Businesses and two large ones. Many of your Cons in working with small business applies to working with large businesses if you are working for a new arm of a large and older business.

  6. Mule says:

    Let me begin by saying that the 10 cons are absolutely true but they’re described in very favorable and “diet” light compared to the real world.

    I would say that the one thing missing is the biggest problem of a small company boss VS a large company manager/boss.

    The problem is “My wallet” mentality VS Corporate Capital mentality.

    That is the source of all problems within a small company run by 1 person (usually a closeted, greedy tyrant).

    One of the biggest difference between a SME and a corporation is that EVERYTHING you do is looked at as taking money out of the boss’s pocket. If you take a sick day (god forbid) that is looked upon as theft of company property aka boss’s wallet. If you dare take a lunch (at Boston Market) on a business trip, that is blatant theft. Also a slave master tendency often arises in SME bosses where if you’re a salaried employee (read slave/indentured servant) you are expected to stay many hours after work and with very little thanks if at all. However if you dare ask for a vacation day, that is always labeled as inappropriate behavior (bordering outrageous and mentally unstable), you’re reminded that you’re a salaried employee (slave) and politely escorted out of the office with hushed whispers and an aura of secrecy and shame as if you have committed a horrible atrocity and is being easily let off for the crime.

    I’m not saying this is always a case, just a RL experience. If you’re going to work for an SME, make sure it has more then 1 owner!

  7. fern says:

    While Mule’s case is extreme, I have to agree that this can sometimes be the case. I worked for two very small businessees (owner on the premises and maybe 5 employees) that “did not work out.”

    In each case, I was fully qualified for the position, but the owner had unrealistic expectations and demands. And it is certainly true that in a small company, you need to be willing to do everything, from working ‘mail room duty’ to dealing with office machine repairs, not just your specific job function. You have to be willing to pitch in whenever needed and have no prima dona mentality.

    Many small businesses, in my opinion, lack the more formal, often written, policies and procedures that protect employees in a larger corporation. While small companies offer potential rewards and satisfaction that can’t as easily be matched by working in a large company, i guess it depends on what you’re looking for from your job, in addition to making a living, of course.

  8. Michael says:

    This sounded like my life exactly. Loved the response number 6. I have worked for 3 small biz each only had one owner. Each worked out the same way all work and no security then they get mad when I quit HA beware sole proprietorship if you don’t want to share the wealth than don’t hire do it all yourself

  9. Fred Smith says:

    I wish I had read this article when it first came out. A small business is usually started by someone with no financial responsibilities, who live with their mommy or well-off spouse. The afformentioned person starts their own business because they normally lack the maturity to listen to anyone other than themselves. (know it alls). They normally enjoy the feeling of watching their small staff do all the work that they will take credit for, while anything that goes wrong will be blamed on anyone other than themselves. There is never a retirement program, helth insurance, pensions, paid-training, or anything else which might enrich the lives of the employees. By making part of your pay cash, the “never wrong” business owner will also rob you of some EIC, and the chance to even retire on social security. If you ever do interview with a small business, make sure that the person running the business has actual goals for the business, and for the employees of the business. To sum it all up, in a large company ladders exist for growth, and it is up to you to climb them. In a small business you walk in every morning, stare at a sign on the wall in front of you that reads “dead end” and you are expected to run into it. Nothing will crush your soul, or your sense of self worth faster than working at a small company.

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