Small business owners: What are you thankful for in 2011?

As the Thanksgiving turkey hits the table this year, what are your reasons for being thankful about your small business? Flickr photo by cletch. Collective Commons license.

Small business owners: What are you thankful for in 2011?

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, the day when we are supposed to think about all the things we’re thankful for. As someone who is self-employed, some of the reasons on my list are business related. At a time when many small businesses are continuing to struggle because of the sad state of the economy, I think it’s good to stop and look at the positive things about your business. Here’s what I’m grateful for. What’s on your list?

I am thankful for clients who:

• Give me their business year after year. Long-term clients are important to any freelancer since the less time you have to spend on generating new business the more time you can spend doing the work that brings in money.

• Pay on time. I rarely have to nag any of my clients about a past-due bill. When I do have to remind someone that they’re late, payment is always quickly forthcoming. I know this is not the case with every freelancer, so I am extremely grateful to have clients who understand the importance of prompt payments.

• Refer new clients to me. Word-of-mouth is golden. The prospect has a positive impression of you before you even walk in the door since they’ve heard about you from a trusted source. Such referrals have been a huge part of my business success and for that, I am truly grateful.

• Voice their appreciation for my work. Nothing makes my day more than to have a client tell me I did a good job. I am fortunate to currently have a number of clients who often tell me they like what I’ve done. I always contrast this with the behavior of the real estate moguls I worked with in my job at a Boston PR firm before I started my own business. Most of them operated on the “what have you done for me lately” mode. As a result, working for them was not all that pleasant.

• Give me a steady stream of interesting work. When you’ve been writing as long as I have, you can sometimes feel like you’ve done it all. But over the past few years in particular I’ve had a steady stream of really interesting new projects that have challenged me. This is great. As a writer you always want to be growing and not repeating yourself, so for these new challenges, I am very grateful.

I also appreciate having great colleagues like Laurie Breitner, Silvana Gravini and Karen Utgoff, who have brought their expertise to this blog in 2011. Thanks, team! Good job!

So again I ask, what aspects of your small business are you grateful for this year? Have you let people – employees, customers, colleagues, vendors – know that you appreciate them? Take a few minutes to think this through and I’m sure you’ll be come up with some good reasons to be thankful. Even in this economy, we all have a reason or two to say thanks.


  1. Agatha says:

    I am so thankful that after 10 years in business I have the freedom to do what I want, whenever I want. It was such hard work to get to this point but it was so worth it!

  2. JeanneYocum says:

    Congratulations on surviving and thriving over such a challenging 10-year period, Agatha!

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