Thoughts on the second anniversary of SucceedinginSmallBusiness.com

April marks the second anniversary of SucceedinginSmallBusiness.com. Over the past two years, we brought you 193 posts covering a very wide variety of small business topics. In one way that seems like a lot, but when I think about it further I know we’ve just scratched the surface.

Indeed, when I look at past posts, I almost always realize that we could dig deeper and broader into the topic at hand in future posts. And isn’t that what is so challenging about operating a small business? Being an expert in the field in which your business operates is not near enough. You have to understand numerous other topics as well.

The part that is really scary is that something new is always coming down the pike that needs to be mastered or at the very least explored for its potential for your business. Take, for example, social media. Tools like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter have all come along in recent years to offer amazing opportunities for promoting your business and your expertise. But getting up to speed on these tools takes time and then implementing a plan to leverage their power to the greatest extent possible adds yet one more responsibility to your already full plate.

When I look back at my own career of self-employment, I can point to a long list of new skills that I have had to add to my repertoire over the years. After all, I was using an Smith Corona electric typewriter left over from my grad school days when I first started! One of my first clients couldn’t stand the fact that when she edited something I had to type if all over again so she insisted on giving me a loan so I could buy my first computer. That was in 1985. Well, we’ve come a long way since then technology wise haven’t we, baby? Each decade since has brought amazing technological advances that in many ways have made our work easier but have also required us to buckle down and learn something totally new.

Back in February I wrote a post about small business lessons I learned from my father. Looking back, I realize that the business part of his work as the owner of a small lumber mill was transacted solely by phone or in face-to-face meetings. Agreements rested on a handshake, although I believe the Pennsylvania Railroad did send him purchase orders when they wanted some railroad ties. He wrote his invoices out by hand in a tablet that made a carbon copy so he had a record of the bill. No money was spent on marketing, except for the occasional ad in a program booklet that a local charity was putting out.

From the time he started his own business in the late 1930s to when he retired in the mid-1970s, he operated more or less the same way. How amazing is that?

Oh, if only running a small business could still be that simple! But it isn’t. And that’s why I created this blog, knowing that small business owners need all the help they can get these days, when achieving success has never been more complicated and challenging.

As always, I want to thank my contributors, Laurie Breitner, Silvana Gravini, and Karen Utgoff for the value they have added to this blog since they began posting last year. We all look forward to helping you learn more about how to succeed in small business in the year ahead. And so ends post #194!

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