National Small Business Week is almost here. From May 5 to 11, the Small Business Administration (SBA) will celebrate America’s small business owners. The week kicks off in Washington, D.C., where the winners for this year’s outstanding small business owners will be recognized and honored. SBA leaders will continue the festivities in D.C. by meeting with local entrepreneurs, visiting small businesses, and holding roundtable discussions with community leaders.
Not in D.C.? No problem: There will also be a free, two-day virtual conference featuring educational workshops and networking so you can meet other small business owners and get expert advice. In addition, recognition events and educational seminars will be held all week long throughout SBA’s 10 Regions and 68 Districts. Details and registration information will be posted on the SBA’s website as events are finalized.
That’s how the SBA plans to celebrate. Now how about you and your business? Make the most of Small Business Week by joining in on the celebration and promoting your business at the same time. Here are some ideas on how to get in the Small Business Week spirit:
- Show your local pride. Consumers like to know their money is helping support their local economy, so make sure you play up your local business angle during Small Business Week. Check with your community’s Chamber of Commerce or business development office to see if there’s already a “shop local” organization your business can join. Plan a few shop-local events and create Shop Local signage to display in your store’s window and on your website.
- Host a small business networking event. Get to know your fellow small business owners and put your business in a leadership position by planning and hosting a networking event. Not only will your event generate some buzz around town and create brand awareness, you might also get some high-quality business leads from your peers. If the weather’s nice, think about holding the event outside so the mood is less formal. Put the word out on social media to attract the largest crowd you can. Then be sure to take lots of photos at the event so more people will join the next time around. (Note: May 5 is Cinco de Mayo—why not make it a Mexican-themed event and break out the guacamole and chips?)
- Launch a contest or giveaway. Get your customers excited about Small Business Week by holding a contest in your office or store and on your social media platforms. A contest will raise brand awareness and attract more followers. Have an early bird special for the first 100 customers to walk through your doors during Small Business Week or give away a prize for the best Instagram post showing your product or service. Depending on your business, think outside of the box and really get your customers engaged.
- Celebrate your employees. Don’t forget your hardworking and loyal employees during Small Business Week. You couldn’t do it without them and now is a great time to show your appreciation. Close the office early one day to host a company party or take your team on an outing such as a relaxing spa day or exciting escape room adventure. If you don’t want to splurge on an activity, try surprising your staff by letting them have a half day off to enjoy the Spring weather.
- Celebrate your customers. Let your customers know you appreciate them during Small Business Week by including them in some of the festivities. Give away some swag if you have it—and make sure you package it up in a nice box or bag with your company logo on it, denoting that it’s Small Business Week. You could also launch a new customer loyalty program in honor of Small Business Week. Send handwritten notes to some of your best customers thanking them for all their support or send out an email with a short thank-you video featuring you and your staff.
There’s a special pride and camaraderie among small business owners. Small Business Week is the perfect time to flaunt your success and show your appreciation for all who help make it happen.