Start Big

Some of the biggest and most confusing questions arise when you are first starting out into your career and have different options to consider. “Should they take the plunge into the topsy-turvy world of start-ups? Or work for a large company before pursuing the entrepreneurial dreams?(source).” Unfortunately the answer is not black and white and is different for everyone. I personally feel that my experience with working for a larger company set me up for success on my own but it varies according to each individual. To make the decision all the more confusing there are wild success stories of those lucky few who are able to build empires before they’re out of high school or university. “These are outliers, for every hugely successful company started by a whiz-kid, there are a thousand other sustainable and meaningful businesses built. Also remember that the average age of an entrepreneur is close to 35 in spite of the headline grabbing whiz-kids, (source).” I like to see working for a bigger company as that first step into learning the language of whatever industry you’re in. Most are generally ignorant of the processes of building and running a business/organization when they’re fresh out of school. Below are a list of reasons why I liked working for a bigger company first before going out on my own:

Learning: I think it’s incredibly valuable and important to absorb as much knowledge as you can when you’re first starting out. By working for a larger company you have access to a huge variety of people and that means different learning styles to learn from. “You get to see the good, the bad and the ugly. You see lots of very good ideas (like proper source control) and some not so good ideas (like how not to motivate people), (source).” I learned how to approach bookkeeping from an entirely different way that I wouldn’t have been exposed to and also gained knowledge from some really unexpected people!

Experience: I used to work for Grant Thornton, which is a massive company where I saw a huge range of work. I gained invaluable experience through being put into different situations and having to figure it out. “At a small company or startup, it can often feel that you squeeze a lifetime into every single day. Large companies do not move at such a reckless pace so you have time to learn and reflect, (source).” I also learned how to balance work and life through my experience with a larger company. Working with a large firm also gave me the tools to know how to work closely with the accounting world and what exactly accountants need from bookkeepers.

I love having my own business and being able to be a one woman show but it definitely is more difficult than working for a larger company. You are the sole person responsible for your integrity, schedule and staying on top of all the things that make a business go round. I don’t regret a minute of it but working for a larger company gave me the skills to be successful. Contact me for all your bookkeeping needs or questions about owning your own business



Melissa Rowbottom