How to Ask for a Raise When You Work in a Small Company or Family Business

If you’re like most people, you want to be compensated fairly for the work that you do. But when you work in a small company or family business, it can be difficult to know how to ask for a raise. The rules are different than when you work for a big corporation. In this blog post, we will give you some tips on how to approach your boss and ask for that well-deserved pay increase!

Do your research

First, do your research. Know what the average salary is for your position in your area. This will give you a good starting point for negotiating your salary.

You can use sites like or to find out this information for your field in general. However, when you work in a small business or family business, keep in mind that the pay is generally less than the big players in the industry. If you can, chat to other employees in your company and in similarly-sized local companies to find out what they earn.

Going in with relevant information and a realistic ask will set you up for success.

Know your value

Second, know your value to the company. What are you worth to them? How much would it cost to replace you? This is where doing your research comes in handy. If you can show your boss how much you contribute to the company and how difficult it would be to find someone with your skillset, then you’re more likely to get the raise you’re asking for. Back your case up with specific stats such as sales figures or key metric you’ve helped to improve

Be prepared to negotiate

Be prepared to negotiate. No matter how well you’ve done your research, you probably don’t know exactly what budget your company has available. It doesn’t pay to be too stubborn. Your boss may not give you the exact salary you want, but if you go in with a clear idea of what you’re worth and are willing to compromise, then you have a better chance of getting the raise that you deserve.

Timing is everything

Remember, timing is everything when asking for a raise. If your company has just had a big loss or is going through tough times, then it’s probably not the best time to ask. Instead, wait until your company is doing well and you can point to specific successes that you have contributed to. You should also be aware of your company’s tax year and if there are certain times of the year when they have more flexibility in the budget.

Be polite and professional

When you go to ask for a raise, it’s important to be polite and professional. This is not the time to get emotional or angry, even if you feel you’re being treated unfairly. Instead, calmly explain why you deserve a raise and what you have done to contribute to the company. If you can back up your request with data or specific examples, that will also help your case.

This includes dressing yourself professionally, too!

Be prepared to hear no

When you ask for a raise in any company, ‘no’ is always an option. But in small companies, budgets are likely to be tighter and less flexible. A pay rise might simply not be possible, no matter how great you are at your job. Think about what you’ll do if you don’t get the answer you want. Is it time to look elsewhere? Or are you happy trading off a lower salary for other benefits such as a shorter commute?

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