Succeeding in Small Business celebrate 11 years and over 1,800 posts

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By Jeanne Yocum

When 2020 started, I intended to write a celebratory post in April to mark the 10th anniversary of the Succeeding in Small Business blog. But when April arrived last year, the nation – indeed, the world — was locked down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Given that so many small business were closing their doors, many not knowing whether they would ever re-open, celebrating this blog did not seem appropriate.

Now it’s April 2021 and our 11th anniversary has rolled around. Not the milestone of a decade that usually draws attention, but still worthy of note, especially since this past year has been both the most alarming and the most inspiring of years for those of us who track what’s happening in the all-important small business part of our economy.

This blog started as we were coming out of the Great Recession, which at that time was the biggest threat to the security of small businesses in decades. We all thought things were as bad as they could get then, but the past year has presented a truly existential threat to many, many small businesses. A good number of the businesses that shut down last spring are permanently gone. Entrepreneurs who had devoted years to creating their businesses have seen their financial investment and security disappear.

Yet in other cases small business owners quickly came up with innovative and workable ways to continue serving their customers and have managed to survive. As the nation’s economy opens back up, many are hiring again. I cannot express how much I admire the owners who came up with new ways to serve their customers’ needs under the toughest of conditions and restraints.

Doing whatever it takes

Just two examples from here in the Research Triangle illustrate what I’m talking about: Last spring when salons of all types were closed, a hair salon owner in Raleigh started putting together custom hair coloring kits for her customers to use at home; they picked them up curbside. And here in Durham where I live one fitness studio owner quickly moved classes not just online but also outdoors to a nearby park, drawing old and new customers. Now a year later she has gained enough new customers to enable her to expand her indoor studio by adding space next door where another business shuttered its doors.

I’ve also marveled at how freelancers have managed to figure out how to survive as their own clients faced pandemic-induced struggles. Our very own Mark Auerbach, a valued contributor to this blog for most of its existence, wrote about his experience in “Making the pandemic pivot with your small business.” And another esteemed contributor, Michelle van Schouwen, offered several posts with sound advice on how to survive the COVID-19 economy. You can read a couple of her helpful articles here and here.

All across the country other small business owners kept going in 2020, deciding not to give up on their dreams of being their own bosses. Many benefitted from financial support offered by all levels of government. Many businesses also were aided when state and local governments eased operating restrictions to fit the times. For example, our governor in North Carolina issued an executive order allowing bars and restaurants to offer cocktails to go to serve their take-out customers. Restrictions on outdoor dining were also relaxed in many cities and towns, changes that some communities are now considering making permanent as the popularity of these outdoor dining options has grown.

It is also very encouraging to know that even this horrid pandemic has not killed the entrepreneurial spirit in America. Each week I see news of a new business starting up locally, including some very brave folks who are opening new ventures in in the hard hit restaurant industry. Now that takes optimism and guts!

Looking ahead

Of course, we’re no out of the pandemic woods yet, and I am anxious to observe and report on what innovations small business come up with to overcome the numerous challenges that are bound to arise as the effects of the pandemic linger. Count on us to still be here recording these innovations and giving advice to help small business owners succeed as their own bosses.

Finally, while this blog is geared mainly to the readers in the U.S., it has become a truly global resource for small business owners, with guest posts coming from authors all over the world, including regular contributions from the U.K. and Australia. It is such a treat to look at our Google Analytics report and see that readers on every continent except Antarctica have checked us out.

Right now we have over 1,800 posts on this site. Watch for us to cross over the 2,000-post milestone later this year! As always, thanks for reading Succeeding in Small Business.


Jeanne Yocum founded Succeeding in Small Business in 2010. In 2018, her book, The Self-Employment Survival Guide: Proven Strategies to Succeed as Your Own Boss, was published by Roman Littlefield. Jeanne is now retired after a career that included over 25 years of self-employment as a public relations consultant and ghostwriter.

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