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While small businesses don’t operate on the same scale as big businesses, they have some distinct advantages:
1. Flexibility: Small businesses experience less bureaucratic inertia. This enables them to respond to changes in the market more quickly than big companies that have to jump through their own hoops. Small businesses can maneuver where big businesses lack the speed. In a world that is continually speeding up, businesses are facing the challenge of adapting quickly.
2. Personal: Small businesses can be personal in ways that big ones cannot. This allows for more meaningful interactions between businesses and customers. Big companies spend massive amounts of money trying to create this same level of personal engagement.
3. Passion: When a business is a run by a smaller number of people or just one self-employed individual you often see more pure passion. That passion hasn’t been diluted by large staff and or altered by a compromised vision.
4. Independence: With less bureaucracy comes more independence. Small business entrepreneurs are able to exercise with much more independence, which is often part of what got them into running a small business in the first place.
5. Best in their niche: It’s hard to please everyone, and where super companies are trying to please the majority a small business can zoom in on a niche and provide them with exactly what they need.
6. Local Contributions: Small businesses typically circulate more of their revenue back into their local community. This makes the local economy more resilient, which in turn makes the global economy more resilient.
7. Diversity: There are more small businesses than big ones. This means more competition and more innovation.
8. Easier Start Up: It is much lower in cost to start a small business and can be done working part-time hours.
9. Straight Forward: Small business owners are far more likely to be directly involved with their consumers. This enables them to be more in tune with their customer’s satisfaction and concerns.
10. Sustainability: Small businesses are less likely to harm the environment. They are more likely to be catering to their locale, which means less driving and more walking. They are more aware and in control of their energy costs and less likely to engage in wasteful practices like leaving lights on. They often operate from home and therefore don’t use store or office space.
As a small business owner or self-employed individual it is wise to use these advantages to the fullest. As a small business transitioning into a mid to large-sized business it is important to try to maintain the intimacy and advantages of being smaller.
Every big tree starts with a small seed. Some of these seeds go on to become giants, others reach contentment at a certain capacity, and some fail to thrive at all. Every big business started as a small one- and the ones that remain small still play a very big role in our global economy.
Despite varying definitions of what constitutes a small business or being self-employed, they comprise the majority of the workforce in any country.
– There are 2.7 million small business entrepreneurs and self-employed individuals, which is about fifteen percent of the population (Statistics Canada).
-48 percent of the Canadian workforce is employed by a small business.
– Small businesses with under 50 employees represent 97.8 percent of the total business establishments in Canada (CFIB 2009).
– 45 percent of Canada’s GDP is generated by small and mid-sized businesses.
In the United States…
-There are over 27 million small businesses that employ 117 million people and generate 30 trillion in annual revenue (American Express OPEN).
-60-80% of new jobs created annually in the US can be attributed to small businesses.
-Nearly 60 percent of China’s GDP comes from small to mid-sized businesses (Intuit Small Business).
– There are over 30 million people running their own household businesses.
-Small businesses create 75 percent of China’s urban job opportunities
In the WORLD…
There are roughly 189 million small businesses.
Small business is a big business. Although the spotlight may not shine on small businesses, collectively they are bigger than any fortune 500 out there. Self-employment and small business are the key to economic health and resilience.