Small businesses are the lifeblood of today's economy, generating nearly 44% of all U.S. economic activity and two-thirds of the new jobs. To recognize these crucial contributions and others, National Small Business Week has been celebrated every year since 1963.
If you are a small business owner looking to contribute to this year's activities, we've got seven ideas to help. Keep reading to learn more about growing your business and connecting with your community and industry this Small Business Week.
In 1963, President John F. Kennedy signed a Presidential Proclamation to honor Small Business Week on a national level. Since its inception, National Small Business Week has been a yearly event to celebrate the contributions of small businesses in the U.S. on a local and national level. During this week, the U.S. Small Business Administration highlights the impact of small business owners from each state and territory in the U.S.
Typically celebrated during the first week of May, Small Business week 2021 will be held September 12-18.
During National Small Business Week, owners, entrepreneurs, employees, and patrons alike should take the time to recognize their accomplishments. For many Americans, small businesses are worth far more than money. Their spirit of entrepreneurship helps drive innovation and shapes the character of the communities they serve.
As a small business owner, don't miss the opportunity to pat yourself on the back and take advantage of the enthusiasm and recognition this national week could help bring your company. Below we will explore seven ideas to help get you started, but be sure to apply your business acumen to make each concept your own, helping your brand's identity shine through.
Hosting an event or party at your work can be a great way to garner attention for Small Business Week while partying alongside the people who made your business what it is today. Consider holding raffles and giveaways or teaming up with a local restaurant to add food and drinks to the mix.
Remember, Covid precautions still need to be followed, so celebrate responsibly. Consider holding your event outdoors or throw a virtual get-together with your team and local customers online.
If you are a retail establishment with other small businesses nearby, try turning your event into a block party. Increased foot traffic can help all the small businesses in the area prosper together. If an in-person event between partners is not possible, be on the lookout for local small businesses that offer complementary goods and services — think a coffee shop joining together with a bakery to offer exclusive discounts, coupons, or menu items for each other's customers.
Small Business Week can be for far more than growing the bottom line. It's also an excellent opportunity to give back to the people and places that helped make your business what it is today.
Consider organizing a charity event or service project that coincides with Small Business Week. You can contribute your goods or services to a silent auction, partner with a local nonprofit to raise funds from customer donations, or even give your employees paid time off to volunteer at a local shelter.
As a small business owner, social media is your friend. No matter what you choose to do during Small Business Week, be sure to amplify your efforts using social media. From sending out event invites to sharing your volunteer efforts, social media can be an effective way to get others interested and engaged.
Sharing on social media can also be a great way to connect with those still stuck at home. Consider going live on your preferred social media platform like Instagram and Facebook. This technology allows colleagues and customers alike to feel more connected, ask questions, and be part of Small Business Week's excitement. When sharing, use hashtags like #SmallBusinessWeek to connect with an even larger audience online.
Throughout Small Business Week, owners will also have the opportunity to share more about what makes their business unique. Don't be afraid to share your own journey as the owner, but remember to bring the focus back to those you serve. Sharing your story will help new and old customers feel better connected to your brand and could help inspire the next entrepreneur to get involved in your community.
An integral part of any small business's story is its customers. While reflecting on your own achievements this Small Business Week, don't miss the opportunity to recognize your loyal customers who have made it possible. Consider offering special discounts or promotions or even giving away free gifts to customers.
Small gestures like a free pen or reusable bags can go a long way towards thanking your customers. Go the extra mile and throw a small party for your most loyal customers. Give away prizes, food, and small, customized gifts to create an experience they'll be sure to remember for a lifetime.
The same gratitude you show your customers, you should pass along to your employees. Your staff of dedicated team members put in the hours all year to make your business what it is, so be sure not to let those efforts go unnoticed. Whether you throw a party, hold a raffle, bring in free lunch, or simply say a sincere thank you, a little bit of praise can go a long way to letting your employees know you care. Even if your team is still remote, there are ways to keep your employees engaged through technology and team building.
No matter how your company celebrates, be sure to measure and track your efforts. Whether your goal is to make more money, garner more press and attention, or increase employee satisfaction, you can't measure what you don't track. To help you get started, try reading our article, How to Define, and Measure, Success for Your Small Business.
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