Operating a small business takes hard work and dedication. Daily, you’re faced with unique challenges. Whether they come from competitors, customers, or the government, it’s up to you to pursue your goals and move forward. Throughout the years, a few movies have been created showing the struggles and successes a small business can experience. If you’re a small business owner or employee, you may be interested in watching these six movies that depict small businesses:

Blade Runner

The science fiction movie Blade Runner portrays several relevant lessons if you’re operating a small business. Being a strong leader and manager is a top characteristic of the main character, Rick Deckard. He relies on excellent management skills and leadership when tracking down rogue replicants. You can learn from his perseverance and apply it to your small business.


The movie also depicts the importance of adaptation and innovation. The replicants were made to be more adaptable and robust than humans. This characteristic shows why it’s essential to innovate and adapt when circumstances change in your small business environment. You can stream Blade Runner on Hulu.


Starting a small business and making the first few dollars can be challenging in any environment. Initially, you’ll have to find a way to fund your startup, which might require borrowing money or teaming up with other business partners. This hurdle was quickly completed in the movie Ghostbusters (playing on HBO Max).


When three friends come in contact with ghosts at the New York Public Library, they decide to team up and start a small business that captures and contains unwanted spirits. Operating in a disused firehouse was an inexpensive way to get started. If you can find a cheap location to operate your small business that’s cheap, whether it’s virtual or physical, it will reduce your overhead costs, helping ensure you can continue to offer services.


Like many small businesses, finding customers was the next hurdle the Ghostbusters business would need to tackle. Fortunately, paranormal activity was increasing in New York City. Ghosts began showing up in several areas, causing mayhem. However, this action created another element where small businesses can struggle. When several spirits began tormenting individuals, the Ghostbusters crew had trouble keeping up with demand, requiring them to work on the logistics for each capture and containment. Doing so helped ensure there was a process to follow. This action made it much more convenient for the Ghostbusters business to succeed in getting rid of several ghosts in the city. When you’re faced with hurdles in your small business, it’s critical to form a plan, follow it and change as needed.

It’s a Wonderful Life

It’s a Wonderful Life is another popular movie containing valuable lessons for small business entrepreneurs. The importance of perseverance is vital throughout the film as the main character, George Bailey faces several challenges and setbacks. However, he never gives up. If you’re a small business owner, you can learn from his example when facing adversity.


The dangers of self-interest and greed are also apparent in this movie. George’s competitor, Mr. Potter, symbolizes these characteristics and only cares about gaining wealth and power. The example portrayed by Potter shows why it’s best to avoid short-term thinking. Bailey focused on building relationships. He also valued innovation and creativity, helping his customers and the community. Creating an innovative and creative culture in your company may be beneficial if you’re a business owner.


You can stream It’s a Wonderful Life on Prime Video and Plex.

Jerry Maguire

If you’re operating a small business, you may have received advice from others on how to succeed. Current business owners, friends, and family can be excellent resources if they have the right experience. In the movie Jerry Maguire streaming on Netflix, a sports agent has an epiphany that makes him realize it may be better to have fewer clients, resulting in more personal, caring relationships. Jerry’s mentor in the business had told him, “The key to this business is personal relationships.”


This advice is one of the primary elements that can be seen throughout the movie. After Jerry leaves a large sports agency to start his own, he discovers the benefits of building solid personal relationships. With his only client, Rod Tidwell, you can see that creating a strong relationship increased Rod’s loyalty. This element can be essential to success if you’re operating a small business. When your customers feel appreciated and valued, they’re more likely to continue conducting business with you.


Several benefits of positive relationships can occur when operating a small business. Having a solid relationship with suppliers can help you when negotiating prices for accessing products that are challenging to find. Creating positive relationships with employees can also be helpful and increase employee retention and job satisfaction. Employees who feel valued will likely be more engaged and supportive of your business.

The Social Network

Learning to pivot is another characteristic that needs to be adopted by your small business if it’s required for success. This aspect can be seen in The Social Network, a movie about the founding of Facebook. At first, the company’s founder, Mark Zuckerberg, catered to Harvard students. However, to thrive in this niche, Zuckerberg knew he had to create a social network for the general public, switching key components in his business model to allow the company to grow.


Focusing on customer satisfaction is another essential element when running a small business. In the case of Facebook, Zuckerberg focused on user experience, providing a better one than other social media platforms. 


You can catch this movie on Prime Video.

Tommy Boy

Once you’ve established a business and have it running smoothly, it’s essential to have a backup plan in case you or other owners can’t manage operations. In the comedy Tommy Boy available on Prime Video, this business lesson becomes apparent quickly. Tommy Callahan is thrust into his family’s auto parts business when the owner, his father, suddenly dies from a heart attack.


Several small business lessons can be learned from watching this funny movie. When Tommy inherits the business, it’s on the verge of bankruptcy. He recognizes the benefit of building solid customer relationships and goes out of his way to provide top-notch customer service. He also focuses on product quality and gets taught that cutting corners can create problems for a business.


In the movie, Tommy also learns the benefits of marketing and branding. He goes on a road trip to promote and build brand awareness. His actions can provide a valuable lesson to your business if you’re trying to attract new customers and increase visibility.


As a small business owner, besides being entertained by movies, you can learn from them. Popular movies such as Blade Runner and Ghostbusters cover a variety of topics, including leadership, perseverance, adaptation, innovation, customer satisfaction, and building strong relationships. Understanding the lessons portrayed and using them when you face challenges can help make your small business even more successful.