Deciding between joining a big company or a small company start-upThe size of a company is certainly important to think about when considering a new opportunity. Different factors come into play when considering a job, like culture, benefits, commute, work-life balance, growth, compensation, training and sustainability.

I wanted to take the time and break down some of these factors and talk about how they play into a small company versus a big company. Being able to decide what’s important to you in your job search should help narrow down what type of opportunity will be the right fit.

  • Culture

Culture is important to the success of a company.  Without a strong culture and happy employees a company limits its chances of being successful.  People are drawn to an opportunity and company that values its employees. Larger companies may be able to afford the luxuries of offering bigger vacation packages and comp time which may also include personal days. However, they may not offer the flexibility of allowing you to step out of the office for an hour appointment without counting it as a day off or half day. Culture may be dictated from a corporate standpoint as well for a larger company, meaning that company policy determines the dos and don’ts, since it may be harder to maintain the ideal culture while overseeing thousands of employees. In a small-midsize company, culture is usually determined by the established team and is further shaped as the company grows. You may not have the luxury of several weeks of vacation time, but the company may value team building on a regular basis. For instance, they may do Friday “happy hours” once a month or even allow for a more casual dress code. Weigh what is important to you and what kind of structure you see yourself being more successful in.

  • Compensation and Benefits

Chances are that a large company will typically offer a better benefits package than a small company, but that’s not always the case. To some people this matters a lot and some people could care less about benefits.  Some large companies will also have partners and affiliates where you can receive discounts on products and services.  This may not seem like a big deal but if you take advantage of good perks you could end up saving thousands of dollars each year.  You may find yourself considering opportunities that offer great benefits even if the start compensation isn’t necessarily what you had in mind for your search. Money isn’t everything, but it is something. And we as salespeople, understand the importance of revenue and a good deal. Research companies, and pay attention to how they describe and promote their company. Remember great compensation and benefits varies at both large and small companies and doesn’t necessarily determine happiness and success. Decide what is important to you and how the compensation plans may vary over the years. Inquire about how many sales reps actually hit their numbers and if quota is attainable, this may help you have a more realistic understanding of financial rewards.

  • Training

Nearly all companies today have some kind of training program in place for new employees.  Large companies may have a mandatory class or course that all new hires must attend. It may be in a formal classroom or they may send you offsite to another headquarter location. Smaller companies, will offer training as well but the structure may vary. You may find a mentor or a coach at the company and someone who will invest in your training and success. Or you may even find that it provides too much flexibility and not enough instruction/structure. If one-on-one training is important to you, inquire about the management structure. Are you someone that is more independent and can hit the ground running or are you someone that thrives in a micro managed setting?  Know your strengths and weaknesses and decide what tools will help you be successful at a company