By: Mike Bull
According to the Small Business Administration, 99.7% of companies—which works out to 27.9 million different firms—qualify as small businesses. Not only do small businesses create a ton of jobs, we all rely on them in our day-to-day lives. They’re your favorite restaurant, the person who plows your driveway, the neighborhood market you shop at, the team that paints your house, your barber.
Since 1963, America has honored its small businesses during National Small Business Week, which will be celebrated May 5 -11th this year. National Small Business Week is an annual celebration of over 28 million entrepreneurs and small business owners in the United States.
Small business happenings will take place across the country during the week, including events and training sessions for small business owners, both online and in-person.
If you are a small business owner, you can join in – why not have your own celebrations?
We have compiled a list of suggestions from across the internet for you to consider*.
Thank your employees – You couldn’t do it without them, right? Employee appreciation goes a long way. You can celebrate them this week by letting people know who is on your team and why they are so vital to your business.
Thank your customers – Your customers and clients should know that you value them as much as they value your business. Thanking them for their support and time is always a grand gesture. Sending them an email of appreciation or a special shout out on social media is always appreciated.
Host a meetup, networking event, or open house – inviting others into your workspace and giving them more information about your business, products, or services can help you build a community around your business and brand awareness. Remember, your business is their business.
Offer a Small Business Week deal or discount – Show your customers that you appreciate them helping you stay in business with a deal that they can only take advantage of during the week.
Get Social – Talk about the products and services that you offer on your social media platform of choice. This way, you can join the conversation about Small Business Week, position yourself as an expert, and possibly gain new followers who might transition into clients based on your influence. Be sure to use the hashtag, #SmallBusinessWeek.
Share your story – People are drawn to the stories behind the business and the raw and uncut stories behind entrepreneurship. Small Business Weeks presents a great opportunity for business owners and entrepreneurs to do so. You can start with a blog post, a section in your newsletter, or with a great photo on social media with a compelling caption.
Launch a contest or giveaway to engage your audience – For example, you could give the 100th or 1000th new person to follow your Twitter account a bag full of swag—or something even better (like a gift certificate to a restaurant or a weekend getaway somewhere). Depending on the products you sell, you could also launch a photo contest, encouraging your followers to send in pictures of your products taken in exotic or unusual places (for example, a coffee mug with your logo on it on a mountain top).
Plan an event with a local celebrity – Reach out to a local newscaster, government official, author, sports team, social media influencer or artist and ask them to stop by your business for a meet and greet. This is a great way to get your customer base to visit you and to attract new prospects.
You may not know any big names personally, but the florist down the street may. So consider joining forces with other businesses in the area. This kind of collaborative marketing will turn your photo op into an exciting community event and true celebration of small business owners.
Once the public figure has confirmed, send out email and social messages, inviting your customers to come down for the event — and to learn more about your lineup of products and services.
National Small Business Week is your week, so you don’t want to miss out. But before you begin your marketing efforts, create a plan. What are your objectives? Are you simply promoting this fun national event or are you trying to drive revenue? Either goal is totally acceptable. But you’ll have to figure out what you hope to accomplish in order to decide on which promotions, events or audience engagement tactics to utilize.