9 Differences Between Working for Small and Large Businesses

Big businesses and small businesses differ in a number of issues other than size, and when deciding on where to work this differentiation matters. There are number of differences from values to cultures and job functions. Here’s a look at the top 9 differences between working for a small business and a large business.



  • 1

    Unity of control:

    Everyone knows that when you work for a large company there is a long chain of command you have to go through to get anything done. Small businesses on the other hand, tend to have less bureaucracy, less organization and less complexity. In a small business it easy to see through the organizational maze to know who makes a difference.

  • 2

    Inter-personal relationships:

    If you work in a large company, it’s unlikely you will get to develop deep relationships with most of the people you work with on a regular basis. At a small company you will probably know everyone from the receptionist all the way to the boss. There is going to be a more personal relationship, if you get along then it may feel like a family.

  • 3

    More responsibility:

    Working for a small business can give you much wider exposure to job functions, because everyone tends to do many tasks. For instance an accountant in a small business may have to take on work in marketing, and sales, while in a large business they would be responsible for accounting and finance related work.

  • 4

    Better working conditions:

    Small businesses typically have less rules and thus more flexibility in the work life balance they offer. They know they can’t provide the same benefits that larger businesses can, so they do everything possible to make sure that their employees are satisfied.

  • 5

    Specific expertise in a large business:

    At a large business you will get the chance to specialize and fully develop a specific expertise at a particular job function. If you're trying to build specific skills in a particular area this can be a good opportunity to do so, but it can also be less appealing to a person that’s seeking a broader career experience.

  • 6

    More opportunities in large businesses:

    Most of the time, at a large businesses, there are more opportunities for ambitious people. After all, large companies typically have a structure in place to move up a career ladder. That doesn’t mean a small business won’t create opportunities but simply not on a scale to be compared with larger businesses.

  • 7

    Money-making is not always a priority:

    Every business's objective is to maximize profit, but smaller companies tend to have other priorities like building lasting relationships with staff and customers.

  • 8

    Better job security:

    When you get a job at a small business, you will often be considered a part of the family, and letting you go may be considered heartbreaking. On the other hand, in a larger business, given the fact that there is much less emphasis placed on inter-personal relationships, it's usually much easier for people to get fired.

  • 9


    There are advantages and disadvantages for working in both small and large businesses. business. A lot of the time, it really depends on how each individual business is run, and on the personal preferences of individuals.

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