Different Types of Business: Who to Work for and Why

When applying for jobs, we rarely take the time to consider the types of companies they are situated. We think about salary, responsibilities and opportunities for progression, but how many of us stop to consider whether or not we’ll be happy there? Here’s a brief rundown of some of the types of companies out there and the advantages (and disadvantages) of working for them.

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Image Source: Howard Lake

Members-Only Business Model

Members only businesses offer members exclusive discounts that high street competitors struggle to match. These brands encourage repeat custom through their membership deals and members often feel like they have more of an identity as shoppers. Apply for a job now at Sams Club, and you’d be part of a recognised brand with a loyal customer base. The increased accountability of these types of businesses often makes for a more relaxed relationship between customers and staff. Unsurprisingly, this makes them an attractive option for those working in public orientated roles.

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Image Source: Loozrboy

E-commerce Companies

Some of the biggest companies in the world are based online. Often international, these businesses usually offer staff greater flexibility in working hours and location. Technical communications software makes integrating offices in different sites, even different countries, relatively effortless. This means that a new job with an e-commerce company might not require relocation. Some of the bigger companies also allow staff to choose which office they are based in. So if you fancy spending a year abroad, you could potentially work from a foreign office without the need to change your job or role.

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Image Source: Chris Meller

International Companies vs. Small Businesses

This really is a case of personal preference and what you prefer. Many people like the stability of working for a large, international company. There is no worry over whether you will have a paycheck a year from now and many offer fantastic benefits packages. Of course, there is an element of being just a number when working for a larger company. The management structures necessary for smooth day to day operations can often feel bureaucratic and inefficient. In contrast, small companies offer staff a greater sense of recognition. Employees often work directly with the directors, meaning changes and issues can be addressed promptly.

General opinion on which of these business types have the greatest opportunity for career progression seems to be divided. To a large extent, it is incredibly dependant on your situation. Larger companies tend to have more resources in place for staff training. By comparison, smaller operations tend to offer less direct training but staff can have the opportunity to carve out their own niche as the company expands.

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Image Source: Lars Ploughman

Start-Ups vs. Established Businesses

There is a common saying that everyone should work in a start up at least once. Although the reality is, they are not for everyone. With a wealth of ambition and enthusiasm and often a lack of capital, working for a start-up can feel precarious and unsafe. Particularly if you have a mortgage to pay and a family to support. Of course, if you thrive on a challenge or are at a point in your life where you can afford to take the risk, getting involved with a successful start up can be well worth the gamble.

On the flip side, an established business offers a higher level of job security. You are also likely to be working with more mature colleagues with a wealth of experience you can make good use of. Career progression may not be as quick as a successful start up but you can be pretty sure the job you’re aiming for will still be there in five years.