National Small Business Week may be one of my favorite “work holidays” in the year. It’s the week when I get to stand on the rooftops of Citrix, shouting my love for our customers – the ones who go out on a limb every day for their clients, who pour blood, sweat, and tears into their businesses.
I welcome big business, too. I live in a big city and enjoy the convenience of enterprise-level business. I appreciate the large hospitals and the large brand company that remediated the flood in my kitchen two years ago.
But I really adore my pediatric dental office, with a 35-year reputation now run by a childhood friend with the monkeys painted on the walls. I respect the plumber who came to my house today to install a new shower system, taking three hours so he could patiently teach his apprentice.
To help spread my joy for small business, I’d like to count down my favorite things about small business:
ShareFile started as a small business
In 2005, Jesse Lipson started ShareFile in his garage. A self-taught programmer, Jes saw an opportunity beyond clunky FTP sites and the hassle of CDs and flash drives. ShareFile grew bigger, gained more customers, eventually signed with Citrix, but but we remember the scrappy, hungry start-up life before Citrix and that spirit stays at the heart of everything we do.
Small business boosts the economy
A small business is defined as an independent business with less than 500 employees. With over 28 million small businesses in the United States, the finance, insurance and real estate industries have the largest share of SMBs. And in the last two decades, small businesses generated 63% of all net new jobs created, totaling over 8 million new jobs.
Did you know that 120 million people work for a small business, which is over 50% of the working population? Chances are, you or someone you love earns a living through a small business.
(Stat sources: SBA, U.S. Census)
Small business cares about the little things
When I planned my little sister’s bridal shower last fall, I found that small businesses offered better products because they empathized with my concern that everything be perfect for her day. The florist made sure the mums matched the table linens perfectly, while the chicken salad tasted homemade, like grandma’s secret recipe. The cupcakes were baked fresh that morning, rather than frozen & thawed. Every little detail was wrapped with someone’s caring hands instead of being shipped cold from a large factory.
Small business is an adventure
No doubt about it, going into business for yourself is a thrilling journey of discovery. You take control of your time, income, and future, but that freedom can be terrifying. Especially knowing your own worth, or when to outsource parts of the business that don’t lie in your expertise, or when it’s time to hit the accelerator on growth or tap the brakes around a challenge.
Throughout the week, we’ll be surprising and celebrating small business on our Facebook page. We’d love if you joined along.
Also, check back on our blog this week as we give our best tips for how to help your small business be mobile, turn a larger profit, and look to scale globally. (Like how to kick start your new small business into overdrive!)