My Experience Being a Part (and Learning the Ropes) of a Small Business: A Journey Full of Surprises, Nerf Guns, and Plenty of Chocolate

When I first joined Ketner Group in 2007, I knew very little about running a business, and just enough about PR to convince them I was the best candidate for the entry-level position. I was given a gigantic desk in a room all to myself (one of the “perks” of small business I am glad we grew out of – it was so lonely!) and thrown into client work 8-5, 5 days a week, while all my friends were still off procrastinating away senior year. (I was the dork that graduated early.)

The past three and a half years have taught me more than I could have imagined, and one of the best parts of it has been learning bit by bit about how a small business is run and the secret ingredients to doing it right. Don’t get me wrong, I’m no financial expert, and my favorite parts of the job will always be client work and scheming with my co-workers, but an incredibly valuable part of working for Ketner Group has been learning much more than just PR: I’ve watched a small business grow, gain and lose clients (AKA revenue), and adapt to survive in a time when our entire industry was changing beneath our feet.

In order to avoid writing a novel, I thought I’d pick just a few things that make me proud to be part of this team:

Creating the kind of atmosphere you want to work in

I will be the first to admit our office didn’t always have the greatest atmosphere. Sure, it was a positive environment, but – being a small business – we just didn’t splurge on things like new furniture or décor. With clients that were mostly out of town at the time, we didn’t have many unexpected visitors, either, so the “image” of our physical office wasn’t terribly important. Then, 2 things happened. We got more local clients, and we hired more women. Continue reading