There are many reasons to seek employment with a small company. Small companies represent 99.7% of all employers. When the big names are laying people off, it is not unusual for similar small businesses to see growth. Small businesses with well-developed business plans and carefully researched products or services often grow to fill specialized niches and just might have the perfect opening for you. In a small company, you will have more opportunities to stretch your wings and try on different roles. You will be less likely to fade into the woodwork, and projects with upper management will be more likely within your reach. These small employers may also have more flexibility to consider alternative work arrangements like flextime or job sharing. Working for a smaller company can also be a good stepping-stone to a larger employer in the same field.
On the downside, smaller employers may have fewer formal training programs; benefit packages can be more restricted and opportunities to relocate to other branches may be more limited or non-existent. There may be less opportunity for growth and promotion and the failure rate for small firms is also much higher than for larger ones. Although there could be less job stability than at a bigger company, if the comfort level fits and you enjoy the job, working for a smaller company might be your best career choice.
How to Find Companies
How can you find the right small employers to target? Check out these online resources to discover some of the hidden job market!
- Inc. 500/5000—http://www.inc.com/inc5000/welcome
You can access the entire Inc. 5000 list online. The list is searchable by state or key word, and each listing includes the growth in revenues and in employees over the past 5 years. Changes in company fortunes may have occurred since the data was last compiled, so you will need to do research on or contact the companies to determine if the growth pattern has continued.
Sample Lists include: http://www.inc.com/inc5000/list
This particular list includes small to large companies, but can be a great starting point to find successful small and medium size companies.
- ColoradoBiz Magazine—http://www.cobizmag.com/lists/
ColoradoBiz is a monthly magazine dedicated to covering the booming Colorado economy, business, finance, high-technology and other fields. They publish a section of various lists such as the “50 fastest growing companies to watch” and “Top 100 Colorado Companies.”
- Denver Business Journal Book of Lists (available through Penrose Library)—http://bianca.penlib.du.edu/search/?searchtype=X&SORT=D&searcharg=Denver+Business+Journal&searchscope=3
The Denver Business Journal Book of Lists provides listings and rankings of hundreds of leading companies in a wide variety of fields, along with key decision makers, their titles and complete contact information.
- Career Insider.com (available through Daniels Careers)—http://careerinsider.com
Career Insider has a searchable database of companies. Job seekers can look up a company by name or search by industry, city, state, country, and number of employers and revenue to generate a list of potential employers. There may even be message boards where you can get the inside scoop on the company culture and on what’s happening. Other resources for identifying small emerging companies include local chambers of commerce and the business section of your local newspaper. Information on new companies and updates on local businesses are typically published on a regular basis.
When you’re planning your job search strategy, broaden your horizons and consider each and every employer in your field, regardless of size. Bigger isn’t necessarily better!