Monday, May 4th kicks off National Small Business Week, an annual event held from May 4-8, 2015. The Small Business Administration has designated this year’s theme: “SBA: Dream Big, Start Small.”
Every year since 1963, the President of the United States has issued a proclamation announcing National Small Business Week, which recognizes the critical contributions of America’s entrepreneurs and small business owners.
It’s an exciting proposition to celebrate the impact of 28.4 million small businesses here in the U.S., but you, like many entrepreneurs, may wonder “How can I make national events, like this, relevant for my business locally?”
Dream Big, Start Small
Often times it’s not easy to think-up ways to make a local impact when it pertains to national-scale events. Yet, the celebration and recognition of entrepreneurship at a federal level is exciting – and important – given many governments don’t exactly “get” or support entrepreneurs at all.
As, Silicon Valley serial entrepreneur and academic, Steve Blank has said, “Not understanding and agreeing what ‘Entrepreneur’ and ‘Startup’ mean can sink an entire country’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.” It’s something we can easily take for granted.
Meanwhile, “According to an authoritative series of reports on entrepreneurship around the world, the government has a key impact not just on how many new businesses are created, but also – and perhaps more importantly – on the nature of these firms and their ability to grow,” says New York Times writer Simon Johnson.
So, are nationally recognized events like National Small Business Week important? Yes. Is it relevant to your small business? Absolutely. Can you make it more meaningful at a local level? Sure.
Here are four smart and creative ways to celebrate National Small Business Week and make it relevant for your small business.
Share your story, by the numbers.
This week you’ll likely be inundated by tweetable facts, figures and statistics pertaining to U.S. small business; stats like, “small businesses create about two out of every three new jobs in the U.S. each year,” and “small businesses represent 99.7 percent of all U.S. businesses with employees…”
These numbers are impressive, but take a closer look at yours – there’s likely a remarkable story to tell (a story that is worth sharing). How many days have you been in business? How many customers have you served to-date? Create a quick infographic or social media post to share with your brand advocates and fans.
You may think your small business story is nominal, but keep in mind a large number of small businesses fail – specifically “about half of all new establishments survive five years or more and about one-third survive 10 years or more.” (Source: SBA.gov). The mere fact that your doors are open and you are actively serving customers is something to celebrate.
Talk more candidly with customers.
We can all agree that we should be talking to customers early and often. The reality is, while it’s important, it can easily fall by the wayside. However, there’s no better time to catalyze your customer experience and listen more intently to them and share their stories.
For example, take time out this week to ask a few key customers to share testimonials that shed light on why they work with your company and why working with a small business makes sense for them. These insightful nuggets of wisdom can be used to promote your customers and boost content marketing efforts this week.
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