The Power of Small Business

We work 40+ hours a week to support ourselves, our family, and/or our hobbies.  We spend nearly 25% of our lives working.  Yet we put very little thought into the influence our businesses have on our culture.  There is a big difference between a chain company and a small local business.  The power of small business has a specific impact on sign language interpreters.

Power of Small Business

Large Business vs. Small Business

There is bureaucracy in large companies.  At the same time, they have a huge impact and control over our communities.  This can be for good or not so good depending on their mission.  They may be able to come in and drive prices lower for the customer.  This could impact the profession negatively, however, by poor treatment of employees, in our case, sign language interpreters.  In addition, large companies do not have corporate hands-on experience to see what is truly needed in service to our local community.

The power of small business is in their heart and personal touch.  Instead of being afraid of the large companies, small businesses can be confident in their knowledge of the community they live where they can personalize their service.  Check out the insights in the video below.

Typically a small business is established and run by a community member or members.  This means they understand the community they live in and know what is needed and wanted by citizens.

Impact for Sign Language Interpreters

Interpreters, whether staff or contract, are impacted in two ways by businesses in their community.  Most interpreters work directly with interpreting companies.  If they work at a local reputable sign language interpreting company, they are able to get all the information they need ahead of time about clients, locations, and topics.  These companies are equally able to custom pick each interpreter who best fits the needs of client(s).  Large companies such as foreign language or out-of-state companies will not have this amount of specific information.  In Missouri and Illinois, there are specific state requirements reputable local interpreting companies understand.  Also, out-of-state companies cannot meet interpreters in the locale or know the needs of specific clients.  A large company’s business goal may simply be to fill a need with a warm body instead of personalizing interpreters to clients.

Sign language interpreters also go into businesses on a daily basis to interpret for students, employees, or patients.  They feel the difference in company size.  This is not all negative.  The benefit of a large company may be that they are able to streamline information.  Hopefully they have already ironed out issues that have arisen through the years.  Additionally, they have the resources to pay for the interpreter and employ people under the ADA.  Management, however, may only see the financial bottom line.  The power of small business is that interpreters often are able to speak directly with management to encourage appropriate interaction with clients.  Small companies are not weighed down by bureaucracy and rules.  They can modify their business to better accommodate the needs of clients and the community.


Support your local small businesses.  The large companies will not go away, but we can build up our community and encourage a personal hands-on approach through the power of small business.  Instead of making price the top priority, consider how your purchases impact long-term the community we love.


Additional Resources:

Small Vs. Large Companies: Ten Differences Between Working for the Two

How Can Small Businesses Create Safer Communities?


Photo Credit:

MT & Associates | Sign Language Interpreting Practice BBB Business Review