The end of the year is quickly approaching. For small business owners, this offers the perfect opportunity to reflect upon the past year and evaluate all of your successes and failures. And in businesses, even the things that didn’t quite work out can be helpful in the long run.
So this year, think about all of the things to be thankful for in business.
Being in Control of Your Life
As a business owner, you are the primary decision maker. You have to decide what to sell, what to call your business, who to hire, what hours to work and more. This can sometimes seem like a lot of pressure and even a burden. But in the long run, being in control of your business means that you have more control over your life.
Nellie Akalp explained why she is thankful for this aspect of running a small business in an article  for AllBusiness:
“Sure, sometimes running a business is stressful. But I don’t have a boss making unreasonable demands on me. So how I manage my stress and that work/life balance is completely up to me. I can work myself into a heart attack. But I’d rather spend time with my kids and rely on my staff to help me grow my company.”
A Great Team
Not all businesses have huge staffs. In fact, many small businesses operate with just one or two people. But in small businesses, each and every employee has the chance to make a huge impact on your business. Those team members work tirelessly all year long to make your business a success. And let’s face it, you probably couldn’t do it all without them.
Even solopreneurs are likely to have a support system of friends or family members who help them in certain ways. No matter what kind of business you run, you probably can’t do it completely alone. So be thankful for those who help you along the way.
A Growing List of Tech Tools to Make Your Life Easier
Today’s businesses have so many different options when it comes to technology. There are a lot of different tasks that can be completely automated. In the past, businesses would have had to spend hours performing them.
Michael Ansaldo wrote in an article  on the Intuit QuickBooks blog:
“There’s never been a better time to run a small business, thanks to the wealth of affordable tools that let you manage everything from your computer keyboard. Apps and web services have revolutionized small-business accounting, project management, communication, sales and marketing.”
Your Online Connections
Another great thing about running a modern business is having access to so many people in different parts of the world. Blogs, social media sites, and other online platforms allow you to reach people anywhere with marketing messages, sales pitches or collaboration requests.
These people can have a huge impact on your business. Even if they happen to be physically far away.
Because business owners get to make all the decisions, you often have the option to work the hours of your choice in the location of your choice. Many small business owners choose to work remotely or come up with a schedule other than the traditional nine-to-five.
You can also have flexibility when it comes to things like vacations and other time off. That isn’t always the case when working a more traditional job.
The Ability to Help Your Community
As a small business owner, you have the ability to have a large impact on your local economy. You also have the option to choose if and when your company supports causes or charitable organizations. A small business that’s part of a local community can make more of a difference than a business that just donates some money to a large group.
Sarah Petty wrote why this is important to her in a Joy of Marketing article :
“Last year during the holidays, a devastating tornado ripped through a town an hour away. Since I choose where my donations go, I was able to go Christmas shopping for the kids who lost everything.”
Even though your business is small right now, it doesn’t always have to be that way. Many of the largest companies and organizations in the world started out just where you are right now. So if you have a great idea, a great team and the drive to make it grow, your business could one day be just as successful as those huge companies.
These are tough times for small businesses. But chances are, your business still made some progress this year, whether it be through profits or personal growth.
Every little success your business has is something that should be celebrated.
But not every move your business makes will be a success in the traditional sense of the word. Failures are a part of life and an even bigger part of running a business.
If you’re a smart and resolute business owner, you can find a way to turn those failures into learning experiences. So even if your business didn’t grow much this year, you should have at least learned something. And that’s something to be thankful for.
Grateful  Photo via Shutterstock