Article Summary: Even though Small Business Week has come and gone for 2018, that doesn't mean you can't continue to celebrate the other small businesses in your community to build a strong Main Street in your area.
Here are five things you can do for Small Business Week, and all year long:
- Get to know another business in your community
- Share your story
- Add to your business know-how
- Celebrate your customers
- Evaluate your business
Collectively, small businesses are an important part of the U.S. economy—hiring roughly 50 percent of our friends and neighbors. In fact, one out of every three net new jobs created in our country happen in small businesses, just like yours. Keep reading to learn more about what you can do to celebrate Small Business Week as well as the entire year.
This week we’re joining with SCORE and the SBA to celebrate Small Business Week. When you consider that collectively you and your small business peers create two out of every three net new jobs and employ roughly half of our friends and neighbors, it’s hard not to get excited about recognizing the contributions you make in our communities, large and small, on Main Street all across the United States.
I’m also excited to share five things you can do with us, to celebrate Small Business week:
- Get to know another small business owner in your community: If you’re a member of the local Chamber of Commerce, you probably already know many of your small business peers (and hopefully you also patronize their businesses). If you’re like me, it probably won’t hurt to step out of your comfort zone, meet someone you might not know, visit their business, introduce yourself— and break the routine. You might even discover a new restaurant or merchant you want to do business with.
- Share your story: We’d love to hear how you started your business, your successes or even your challenges. And, I don’t think we’re alone. When I was a small business owner, it was incredibly helpful to learn from others who had already been though what I was going through at the time (even if they were in a completely unrelated business). It could be as easy as posting your story in the comments here or maybe on your company Facebook page or other social media. Your experiences are valuable and could help a fellow small business owner build another successful business.
- Add to your business know-how: One of my best friends is a CPA. Whenever he would try to help me learn something more about the financial side of my business, I thought it was a bunch of accounting mumbo-jumbo and kind of tuned it out. In hindsight, I wish I had taken the time to pick his brain to learn more about the financial side of my business rather than learning the hard way. Today, I can’t say enough about the good work the volunteers at SCORE do to help small business owners build successful businesses. Many of these volunteers are retired from successful careers and with no other motivation than to give back, they freely share marketing, sales, financing, operations, and other business know-how with small business owners just like you.
- Celebrate your customers: Without customers, nothing happens. Because of this, in my business, we would occasionally; at random intervals, open up the warehouse, fire up the barbeque, and serve hamburgers or hotdogs (along with a cooler full of ice-cold beverages) to the customers who would visit the store. We’d send out a postcard at the beginning of the week and fill the warehouse with people the following Friday afternoon so we could celebrate with our customers and personally thank them for doing business with us. It was a great way to build lasting relationships and give them another reason to choose our business when it was time to make a purchase.
- Evaluate your business: When was the last time you did a deep dive into your business’ success metrics? If this isn’t something you do on a regular basis, there’s not a better time than now to take a look at those metrics that tell you how you’re doing. I know how difficult it can be to set aside some time away from the day-to-day running of your business to analyze and think about your business, but it’s time very well spent—in fact, it could be the most valuable thing you do this week. If you’re not sure what to look for, call your accountant and schedule some time for a consultation. My guess is that he or she would welcome the opportunity to help you take your business to the next level.
You might also want to join us at the SCORE Small Business Week Virtual Conference. From the convenience of your office computer you can attend webinar presentations, visit virtual trade show booths, and meet with small business vendors and SCORE volunteers that can help your business grow and thrive. The conference is free and packed full of valuable information from folks like Google, Constant Contact, Visa, QuickBooks, Square, along with us here at OnDeck.
I hope you’ll join us and I hope you have a successful Small Business Week.