May 5-11 is National Small Business Week. BluePay honors the hardworking SMB owners that are the pillars of our communities - not just this week, but throughout the entire year. Follow our blog to see a wide variety of educational posts dedicated to helping SMBs grow.
Politicians and news headlines tend to focus on the world’s biggest companies, but small businesses are the true backbone of the global economy.In just the United States alone, there are more than 30 million small businesses employing nearly 58 million workers. Collectively, these smaller enterprises contribute roughly half of America’s entire gross domestic product of $21 trillion.
Statistics like these explain why — for more than 50 years — the U.S. devotes a full week celebrating the successes, contributions, and importance of small businesses.
National Small Business Week is officially proclaimed by the sitting president every year. It is unofficially administered by the U.S. Small Business Administration, which regularly honors standout entrepreneurs.
This year, National Small Business Week falls between May 5-11. Here are some time-tested strategies for getting the most out of this annual celebration.
1. Express Gratitude
You’re technically the guest of honor during National Small Business Week, but this event is the perfect time to thank everyone who makes your business possible.
Employees are an obvious starting point. Consider extending pay raises, bonuses, or time off for your entire team. If money is tight, you can always enliven the office environment with these creative Fun at Work ideas.
To thank your customers, consider offering discounts, coupons, and other incentives as well.
But why stop there? You wouldn’t have gotten where you are without mentors, teachers, investors, suppliers, and vendors — all of whom deserve your gratitude. While you can’t necessarily give them employee perks or customer discounts, personalized thank you cards are universally well-received.
2. Explore Partnerships
National Small Business Week is a great opportunity to start exploring cross-promotional partnerships with other small businesses in your area.
It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in — there are always organizations that can use your help (and provide help in return):
- If you run a health food restaurant, for example, then talk to local gyms and yoga studios about partnership opportunities.
- If you’re a freelance language tutor, then call up neighboring bookstores, community colleges, or travel agencies about working together.
The point is, you should get creative and see what types of alliances you can forge.
3. Acquire New Business Skills
From programming to copywriting to accounting, there’s not a single entrepreneur on the planet who couldn’t brush up on some useful business skills. Unfortunately, however, most small business owners get bogged down with urgent tasks and daily minutia.
During National Small Business Week — the excuses need to stop. Instead, you should use this time to sign up for webinars and workshops, while encouraging your employees to do the same.
If you’re not sure where to start, the U.S. Small Business Administration hosts free virtual conferences during which you can receive expert advice from professionals in your field.
4. Mentor Someone
As a small business owner, you might not have all the answers, but you certainly know more than those who are just starting.
Use National Small Business Week to reach out to struggling entrepreneurs who can benefit from your guidance and experience. Again, you probably wouldn’t be here today unless someone had mentored you in the past. Why not use this special celebration to pay the favor forward?
5. Share Your Story
Launching a business isn’t easy, which is why most startups fail within the first few years.
And yet, here you are.
You obviously have a story to tell — complete with all the risks and challenges that accompany entrepreneurship.
Now’s the time to share that story. There’s even a dedicated hashtag for this purpose — #MySmallBizWhy.
6. Involve Your Customers
Offering discounts and coupons can help attract more traffic to your store during National Small Business Week. You can also use this opportunity to check in with your customers and discover how you can improve their experiences.
If you ask, they will tell you.
Depending on the relationships you have with customers, you can also gently encourage them to nominate your company for one of the Small Business Administration’s many annual awards.
Need More Tips for Your Small Business?
If you’d like to learn tips for saving money, streamlining operations, and increasing sales, we’re happy to help.
Our merchant services team is available to learn more about your business’ unique needs and offer time- and money-saving solutions.