Small-Business Success Stories 2011

Small-Business Success Stories 2011

Small businesses face big challenges. Particularly if you’re the founder, CEO, and (some days, it seems) just about everything else, you know about the interminable hours, the financial frustrations, the learning that comes only from doing (and often failing, at first). Even then, most new small businesses don’t survive more than a few years. But when they do succeed, they create new jobs, new wealth, and happier lives for their constituents.

Small businesses don’t need to create the Next Big Thing. But they do need to see an opportunity—and then possess and cultivate the desire, drive, and the right mix of hard-nosed realism and hope-against-hope optimism to turn that opportunity into a story of success.

The following 10 stories, all from companies with 500 employees or fewer, offer useful insights to other small-business owners and executives. These stories also offer something that every businessperson needs, at least from time to time—inspiration.

So read, learn, and fuel the fire.