Small Business. Big Business. All Business.
I was recently looking for blog topics, and asked a good friend if he had any ideas. Yea he said, “I’m sort of getting upset about all these big corporations, and how they make it hard for us little guys”. I gave him my sarcastic puzzled look, and reminded him I started my career at a fortune 500 company.
Times are tough. Big corporations are getting slammed by the current presidential administration and small businesses are struggling to keep pace with an evolving high-tech world.
It’s not like when I graduated college, or is it?
I graduated college in 1982 with a B.A. in Business. I sat in the college placement office and sifted through hundreds of potential companies and sent out hoards of resumes; rejected by all. I was relegated to living at home with my cool parents, while working part-time at Burdines Department store. After a year of searching for a meaningful marketing job, I thought I was destined to become a retail merchant, and was just about to enter into the Burdines merchandise buyer’s program.
Then the improbable happened. I was lazing around the house (code for sleeping late) when the phone rang. I answered and was shocked when the caller introduced herself as the personnel recruiter for Ashland Oil (one of the companies I sent a resume to from the college placement office). She asked if I was still looking for a job. I snapped out of my sleep enough to make it through the call, secure an interview and land a job. The rest is history.
I loved working for a big corporation. We had a great brand, great people, great products, great benefits, and most of all, great training opportunities. If it wasn’t for the training and experience of a big corporation, I wouldn’t have been as successful working at small companies. I learned how to manage people, P+L’s, market products, develop business plans, use technology and deal with the everyday pressures of setting and achieving goals.
I don’t really understand why big corporations are disliked. All big corporations started as small businesses. In Ashland Oil’s case, they started as a small oil refiner in Ashland Kentucky in 1924. Today, they operate in over 100 countries with thousands of employees. The same can be said for Microsoft, Apple, Coke and on and on and on.
In fact, many small business start-ups are created by entrepreneurial spirits that left their so called cushy jobs at big corporations.
Don’t get me wrong, small businesses are the life blood of America. But in the end, whether small or large, all businesses are made up of people, just like you and me. And the more any business grows, the more people they employ. So, let’s streamline regulations, lower tax burdens and encourage investment in all businesses. When we’re all successful, either big or small, we all win!