It's Small Business Week – from May 5 to 11 – how are you celebrating your success? If you haven't started your social media campaign, featuring #DreamSmallBiz and #SmallBusinessWeek as hashtags to connect you with owners just like you across America, then you need to hop on and join in – now. Here are our favorite reasons to love Small Business Week.
Embrace Shop Local
Many communities have a Shop Local marketing campaign usually executed through the Chamber of Commerce, so make sure that you're listed as a business owner. Support from your community is essential – hang Shop Local signage in your windows with the SBW hashtags and logos included. If your business is mainly online or service-related you can still highlight the Shop Local movement – just change your pop-ups and online advertising to include SBW.
Cultivate New Relationships
Do your part to patronize smaller businesses by choosing suppliers and vendors that are also small businesses. Show your dedication to supporting your fellow owner/operators by choosing a local accounting firm to handle your payroll and invoicing or a local farm for some of the ingredients in your restaurant's dishes. Making the effort to promote other small businesses results in a stronger local economy overall.
Attend Local Networking Events
Your area Chamber of Commerce may be hosting an event specifically for small businesses this week, and you should go! These after-hours receptions are an excellent way to meet owners like yourself, exchange best practices for running your small business, or get referrals for new clients or leads.
The personal connections you make go beyond business referrals – remember that your peers are also shoppers, and they may choose to buy from you or recommend you to a friend or family member.
Celebrate Your Staff
A hardworking team usually means business success. Your employees are the front line for taking care of your clients, and this week is for them to shine, too. Consider featuring one or two employees each day on a social media post, highlighting the accomplishments they've achieved or special skills that they have. Getting to know your employees a little more adds to the authentic experience that your customers, especially millennials, desire.
Take Advantage of Learning Opportunities
There are several webinars sponsored by the Small Business Administration specifically designed for small businesses. These free sessions cover everything from crafting an online marketing campaign that gets results to finding resources for businesses struggling financially.
These webinars are going on throughout the week. For more information about specific topics and to register, visit the SBA online here.
Small Businesses are Vital to the Local Economy
For local businesses, the profit they earn is typically spent locally, keeping money in the community instead of sent to a corporate headquarters. Celebrate your contribution to a thriving local economy by creating a blog post on your website educating readers about the economic impact that local businesses have.
Focus on Your Community
Your community is full of friends and neighbors that support you. It's time to reach out and thank them for their support over the years, whether it's through a display in your brick-and-mortar shop or by featuring areas of local pride on your website and marketing materials. If you haven't looked for celebrations in your area, it's not too late to find an event. More information may be found here.
Your Loyal Customers Like it, Too
If you've established authentic relationships with your client base, you may be excited to discover that they're excited about SBW too. Many of your loyal customers are invested in your success, from being passionate about your niche market to feeling a sense of community pride in an economy where small businesses flourish. Invite your customers to celebrate with a limited-time promotion or hold a week-long sale event with SBW signage prominently displayed.
Take advantage of the national hashtags the SBA is using for press and social media this week. Make sure that you're integrating #AllForSmallBiz, #DreamSmallBiz, and #SmallBusinessWeek in your tweets, Facebook posts, and Instagram stories.
There are a few key accounts to follow, including the Small Business Administration and Google. If your social media presence is lackluster, focus on it this week to take advantage of the networking and educational opportunities.
Develop New Partnerships
Reach out to another small business owner who has a similar target market to partner in marketing campaigns or email blasts. For example, a florist and a formal dress boutique may share a similar customer list for bridal parties or other customers celebrating a special event. A salon owner and a massage therapist may have clients that are interested in services the other provides. As small business owners work together, they can both benefit.
Small Business Week is celebrating you! Kick back and enjoy your hard work and success over the past year.