A lot of people (especially politicians) talk about small businesses. They really are the bread and butter of our economy. Many people are small businesspeople and you might not even realize it. While corporations may seem like they are slowly taking over the world (including the veterinary world) there are still many small businesses that keep our economy going. Your plumber, doctor, electrician, daycare provider are all important small businesses.
So I can safely say I never thought I would never be a small businesswoman. I kind of fell into it. Initially, it was intimidating, exciting and scary. I may be pretty good at math, but accounting and tax law is a whole other world.
While my first official employment was for a university, and then corporate medicine, I've worked at (and with) many small businesses. They actually say my line of work as a traveling veterinarian is a great way to work prior to starting your own clinic because you get to see what works (and doesn't) when owning a small business.
I have had many clients tell me I should open my own clinic. While I can't say I ever thought about being a small businessperson prior to starting my current line of work, I've definitely thought I NEVER want to own my own clinic. It's one thing to be a single person, taking on the risk (and rewards) of your own business. It's quite another matter to be responsible for other people, and managing them. Human resources is the single thing that would scare me away and providing healthcare for employees in this current climate would also scare me.
I grew up in a business environment, with my dad working with businesses and even having his own business. I remember watching, as a small child that he kept his struggling business open, even at a monetary loss so that every last one of his employees could get a job before closing it down. That type of experience leaves an impression. First, it left an impression of what a wonderful man my father is, but also an impression that this is what separates small business owners from the big corporations.
Supporting small businesses is something I've become more aware of and whether its supporting an artist on Etsy, a vendor at a farmer's market, or just patronizing a local store, I try to consciously make a decision to support small businesses. Please, as you consider where you do your shopping this season, consider patronizing more small businesses. They improve our world, one job at a time.