There are more than 27 million small businesses in the United States today, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration. If you work for such a company, you likely know that employees in small businesses rarely have just one job assignment. The nature of small companies means that everyone has to pitch in and help wherever and whenever needed. Because of this dynamic, your boss may not always have the time he or she would like to teach you about succeeding in your job and in business in general. There are likely a few things that he or she would like you to already know. Below are just three such things to consider:
- Attitude is everything. How you address your fellow employees and the company's customers sets the tone for the entire business. Do you treat everyone with respect, from the mail person to the CEO? An atmosphere of professionalism and courtesy makes your office or store a place that not only employees want to work in, but that customers will want to frequent. Make sure that your attitude is courteous, on the phone, in your written communications, on social media and in face-to-face meetings.
- It is okay to ask for help. In a small business where the boss' and manager's time is drawn in many directions, he or she may not always notice when you need assistance in completing a project. Although it may seem like a sign of weakness to ask for help when you're struggling or unsure of how to proceed, your boss or manager will likely welcome your questions. After all, the boss can't be in all places at all times.
- Numbers count. Although immeasurable things like good customer relations, a healthy social media following and a cache of future prospects are important, numbers are what pay the bills and that includes salaries. The employee who adds to the company's bottom line will always be more valuable that the one with great ideas, but few concrete results.
Working for a small business is different from working in a large corporation. For one thing, the departmental boundaries are less rigid and employees are often called on to wear multiple hats. For another, advancement possibilities are often more available as small businesses grow and expand. Being aware of what your boss expects you to know can help you be prepared to take advantage of these opportunities when they arise.