You may not give it much thought unless you are trying to choose a company to serve your needs in some way. So, what are the benefits of choosing a small family business? Chances are a small family business will deliver in ways a large company is just not capable of doing.
Generally, if you work for a family business you become part of the family. An involved employee is a preferred provider of services. If the family knows your needs, chances are their employees are included. Test this theory. If you tell one member of your family something you haven’t widely shared, what happens? It takes no time at all before your information is widely known within the family. Why? These people share a concern for you, family businesses operate much the same way. Chances are when you contact a small family business, the person answering that phone will know your name, and what you need. It’s a personal experience, to the business and you.
Small family businesses, by nature, require that employees perform multiple jobs, become involved in more than one aspect of the company. Large companies tend to compartmentalize tasks, with more employees it’s easier to cover multiple bases. But do those employees of large companies become exposed to and gain the experience of an employee who wears many hats by necessity? No, not usually. Additionally, hiring employees is a much more personal thing to a small family business, after all it’s usually one or two people making that decision. Large companies may have 5 or 10 interviewers who have specific criteria that interests them in a potential new hire. Smaller staff also means that the same person or persons are going to respond to your calls for service. Relationships develop and continue sometimes for many years. Family businesses spend years developing their expertise and devote themselves to their customers for the long term. They depend on maintaining those relationships.
Small family businesses have a lot of flexibility in dealing with their customers. What will work for one customer won’t satisfy another’s needs. They can make those decisions without having to negotiate the red tape of following all the rules and protocols of large companies which have template responses from the outset. Does bureaucracy make for better customer service? Hardly. It generally hinders it.
In the future, when weighing the benefits of hiring a small family business, don’t forget that every customer is valued partner, and the very livelihood of these small family businesses depends on meeting customer needs. Make a choice to support those local small family businesses, you both benefit.