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Did You Have a Successful Year?

Now that we’ve handed in our taxes, it is a good time to reflect on 2011. Did you have a successful year?

For most business owners, success is not primarily defined by the numbers on their 1040 forms. In fact according to The 2011 Hartford Small Business Success Study, while 75 percent rate business profitability as very important, only 18 percent believe it to be the most important factor in defining success.

Similarly, the Enterprise Council on Small Business found that a healthy work/life balance was the single biggest factor in their definition of success at 41%, followed by “making customers happy” (29%) and “doing what I love” (20%). Options related to expansion and profits were far lower.

And not everyone wants to grow. In the Hartford study, 52% consider themselves to be growth-oriented, but 48% feel successful running their business at its current size.

So “success” is defined by measures along several dimensions, some financial but most subjective and personal. Owners define success by working in a business they feel passionate about and giving back to customers and employees.

By these measures, business owners feel very successful.

  • 22.9 percent say their businesses are very or extremely successful.
  • 46.8 percent say their businesses are moderately successful.
  • Just 30.3 percent say their businesses were “slightly” or “not at all” successful.
  • Asked to project forward for the next two years, only 6 percent feel they won’t achieve success in that time frame.

Did you have a successful year? How do you define success? Share in the comments section below.

Jeanne RossommePresident, RoadMap Marketing
Jeanne uses her 20 years of marketing know-how to help small business owners reach their goals. Before becoming an entrepreneur, she held a variety of marketing positions with DuPont and General Electric. Jeanne regularly hosts online webinars and workshops in both English and Spanish. | @roadmapmarketin | More from Jeanne

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Discussion (4) Comment

  1. Jeanne RossommeAuthor

    Great point Jeff. And great that you are able to provide work for other.

  2. I have to agree with the survey results. Last year was the best year yet for Gelmtree Advertising, but even in years when revenue was lower, the satisfaction of being able to do something I enjoy was immeasurable.

    • Jeanne RossommeAuthor

      Thanks Carole. Getting to do what I love with clients that I love being with is my greatest measure of success! thanks for sharing!

  3. Jeff MorganVisitor

    In 2011 we able to load up on some talent that may not of been available in better economic times. So in that way 2011 was very successful.


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