The best part of working for a small business - The perks

by Elaine Hirsch

Small businesses may not offer the same benefits as larger corporations like Google, Apple and Disney, but there are some perks associated to working for a small business. 

Although telling your friends that you work for XXXX LLC is much less appealing than telling them that you work for Facebook, perks, which may be both tangible and intangible, are something worth considering when applying for jobs. 
According to MBA Online, a company's culture is just as important as the work they do in terms of employee satisfaction. Although established businesses have proven track records of satisfied employees, some perks make working for a small business easier.

Start up equity

Equity in a company will provide an employee with partial ownership and an opportunity to voice their opinion about the direction of the company at a shareholder meeting. A single share of stock represents ownership in the company. For instance, an employee that is given 200,000 shares of stock in a company with 20 million shares outstanding will own one percent of the company.

Employees are encouraged to enquire about this particular perk in a small company. According to, many small companies are hesitant to discuss this information, because it will disclose how well the company has been funded by investors. Experts advise asking a small business about the shares outstanding and the percentage the company is offering the employee to determine if the offer is fair considering the talent of the employee.

Preferred stock is usually designated for investors and founders and typically carries more rights and privileges than common stock issues to employees. Preferred stock holders will be paid out before common stock holders in most instances. Determine whether you are considered an employee or a stock holder of the company prior to accepting equity in a company. As a common stock holder, there may be a significant delay before the company is profitable enough for the company to begin paying its common employees.

Unlimited paid time off

According to a WorldatWork survey conducted in 2010, only one percent of companies offer unlimited paid time off. Employees that land jobs at this type of company should consider themselves lucky. For example, the Motley Fool, a small financial publication, offers its employees unlimited time off. In their opinion, when smart people are solving hard problems, they often need to step away from the situation and rest before they can come up with a novel solution. Something in the world may inspire them.

Smart employees often work around the clock to solve problems. Then, they may take two months to visit some place. Some employees may  not take a vacation in three years and then, take a 90 day vacation to a dream location. Small businesses like Netflix have the flexibility to reward their employees in this manner. Netflix believes that this perk and others such as honesty, openness and approachability, have made them into a $1.6 billion company.

Companies that reward employees with unlimited unpaid days off are typically seeking employees that have effective time management skills. These employees are typically self motivated, efficient, productive and innovative. They are capable of self-policing without a manager standing over their shoulder.

Technology benefits for employees

Employees working for small companies attract the brightest talent to develop their business. Companies may use the latest technology such as cloud computing to keep expenses low and innovation high. Furthermore, companies may give employees technology budgets so they can buy devices which they are most familiar with to use at work. Smaller companies are more likely to be open to new technology acquisitions than more established companies that want to be ensured that the technology is proven before introduction.


orking for a small business can be a smart move for employees that are new to business. A small business may offer an opportunity for growth, ownership, more responsibility and larger salaries. Starting off small may be lucrative and more congruent with the work style of the employee. Job seekers should consider working for a small company for exposure and perks that may outweigh other salary offers. 


is a jack-of-all-interests, from education to technology to public policy. She is currently working as a writer for various education-related sites and writing about a wide range of topics she is passionate about.

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