Posted by Jim Dickensheets
The business and financial picture of the last few years may appear to be all doom and gloom, but that’s not the universal truth. Granted, the jobs picture, the housing market, and the availability of capital for business growth may not be where we want them, but despite all the shortcomings and challenges, many small businesses are progressing just fine, thank you. I’m always cheering for the underdog, so when I read in newspapers and business journals about small businesses that are able to grow and succeed, despite the long odds, it makes my heart sing! What makes them special? How were they able to survive and compete despite the bleak industry and capital environments? I’m always curious to find out just how these companies were able to make something out of nothing.
One of the best sources for learning just how these small businesses achieved their goals can be found on the Small Business Administration (SBA) web site. This link takes you to the SBA portal for stories about companies just like yours and mine – companies that have great vision, great leadership, and lofty goals. The sad truth is that some of these companies just don’t make it in this cruel world. So when a company is able to sort through the landmines and achieve good things, that story is both inspiring and instructional. The SBA link provides stories from SBA District Offices describing success that may well have application to your business. If nothing else, these stories can provide you with ideas or information channels that may assist you in growing your business. If nothing else, they provide some great reading.
Another source for success stories can be found at http://www.score.org/success-stories this link provides success stories achieved by small businesses assisted by our friends at SCORE. Many of you are aware of the great assistance that SCORE chapters are able to provide to small businesses, like mentoring, business consulting services and training workshops. SCORE is a resource partner with the SBA, and therefore, is acutely aware of the challenging environment that small businesses face. Their success stories are equally inspiring.
There are many other sources for small business success stories that may be of value to you. Take a look at:
http://www.businessweek.com/smallbiz/successstories/ Bloomberg/Business Week Small Business Success stories
http://www.nadco.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=3320 From the National Association of Development Companies. Many of the stories are geared to the SBA 504 Loan Program.
http://www.bizsugar.com/SuccessStories/sba-success-a-personal-story-of-recovery-/ BizSugar is a social bookmarking and networking site for small business and medium-sized business owners and managers.
http://www.entrepreneur.com/startingabusiness/successstories/index.html The folks at Entrepreneur have a comprehensive collection of success stories covering a wide range of business areas.
http://smallbusiness.aol.com/success-stories/ The AOL Small Business site has a wide ranging collection of success stories as well as business news and entrepreneurial advice.
http://mashable.com/2010/06/02/small-business-social-media-success-stories/ This site is geared to social media success stories and may provide you with insight into how to best approach your social media efforts.
I hope the listings above will provide you with some ideas and insight into how to move your business forward in today’s challenging environment.