Small business owners must take advantage of every available opportunity to maximize working capital, increase market share and boost operational efficiency if they want to succeed in growing their organization. It takes a lot of sweat, long hours, dedication and sacrifice to make this dream of owning a successful and expanding small business, and often there are little, if any, immediate rewards.
Operating a small business can be a grueling endeavor, with owners having to essentially wear every hat necessary to run the company. The National Association for the Self-Employed reported that 79.66 percent of all small businesses are, in fact, self-employed. In general, small businesses live up to their name, as 62 percent of all businesses in the country employ fewer than five employees, Capterra reported.
Because these enterprises are so small, yet remain responsible for employing such a large number of Americans, their successes or failures contribute greatly to the country’s overall economic health. As goes Main Street, so goes the rest of the country.
In honor of the contributions these enterprises make, it’s important to note National Small Business Week is rapidly approaching, and owners can use that week as way to network, increase brand awareness, and ultimately leverage the goodwill and exposure into new sales leads. From May 1-7, 2016, there will be a host of events, including webinars, conferences, awards and specialized content available for small business owners.
According to The U.S. Small Business Administration’s press release, this year’s theme will be “Dream Big, Start Small.” Events are scheduled across the country, including an award ceremony to kick off the celebration in Washington, D.C., followed by additional functions in Atlanta, Denver, Phoenix and cities in California throughout the rest of the week. Educational events and recognition of the tremendous contributions made by women, millennials, immigrants and veterans in the small business sector will take place throughout the SBA’s 10 regions and 68 districts as well.
Speaking of last year’s NSBW, National Federation of Independent Business President and CEO Dan Danner noted how these organizations are key to our national economic strength.
“Small businesses are the backbone of the American economy,” Danner said. “They create more jobs than any other sector and represent half of the nation’s economic output. From the earliest days of the country it’s also been the way upward for ordinary Americans, including the poorest.”
With the spotlight of National Small Business Week looming large across the country, owners can use this showcase to market their company and boost their sale numbers. Here are several ways small business owners can utilize this national celebration to their benefit:
Promote the week
It’s important to spread the word about NSBW so customers are aware of it. Put up posters and signs in your shop to let people know when this week arrives. You can incorporate the event into your social media campaign, posting content and data related to small businesses that features what’s happening around the country based on NSBW. There’s even an official hashtag #DreamSmallBiz. This will let you tweet statistics and facts about the state of small business in the country, or get more granular with your data and report on specific industry trends. You can even use the hashtag for self-promotion by adding in details about your company’s offerings or sales.
Launch a sale
If you’re going to promote the event, it’s a good idea to have a special offering or sale that coincides with NSBW. It’s important to track these sales, so you can measure how the event is helping your small business. This provides you with a means to focus in on the more successful aspects of the sale in future years, while downplaying or eliminating elements that don’t seem to be working. Consider offering a discount for people who retweet your company’s Twitter handle and the #DreamSmallBiz hashtag together for maximum exposure.
Host an event
You don’t necessarily have to pull out all the stops and host a spectacular gala or spend a large sum of capital on schmoozing and boozing customers and industry peers. However, National Small Business Week offers a perfect excuse to put together a gathering of like-minded people and fellow small business owners. You can host a meet and greet at your shop and use it a means to get your company’s name out there. Or you can even take the opportunity to set up a webinar to discuss thought leadership issues aimed at other companies in your sector located across the country.
Start your own business
If you don’t currently own a small business, but it’s always been your dream, now is the time to make it happen. Many companies offer discounted LLC formation services during National Small Business Week. Although starting your own small business requires months and even years of planning, use this annual celebration as the impetus to finally put your plan into action and get the ball rolling; whether that involves drafting a business plan, buying the necessary inventory or launching your first foray into selling a product or service you designed.