As a tradition spanning over 50 years, National Small Business Week is a great time to celebrate America’s nearly 30 million small businesses, which employ almost half of U.S. workers and create two out of every three jobs.
Whether you own a small business, work for one, or you just love supporting them, there are plenty of ways you can celebrate the contributions small businesses make to local communities and the national economy during the coming week and beyond.
Here are five ways you can take part in Small Business Week this year:
1. Invest time in education
Whether you’re building a company or working as a freelancer, it’s important to continue to expand your skill set so you can take your business to the next level.
Throughout Small Business Week, the SBA is hosting free webinars to help you learn new skills and increase your impact. You can view the full list of conference webinars and register to attend here.
2. Share your story
You started your business for a reason — probably the same reason that motivates you to get out of bed in the morning, roll up your sleeves, and get the job done.
Don’t keep your story to yourself! Use your unique point of view as a way to stand out from the competition, get closer to your customers, and inspire other entrepreneurs just like Matt Sandgren, Julie Guidry, Kenny Faison, and Theresa Stirling have.
This Small Business Week, take a moment to remind your customers and supporters why you do what you do.
Telling your inspirational story can be as simple as updating your Moonlighting profile and sharing a sentence or two — and maybe a quick photo — on Twitter using the hashtag #MoonshotStory.
3. Partner with another small business
Are you close to other small businesses in your area or offer a remote service that pairs perfectly with another service? Strengthen your impact and reach a larger audience by joining forces this Small Business Week.
For example, a web designer, developer, and SEO marketer could join forces to offer a website package so their client has a one stop shop for their next website project. Or a local chocolatier could increase their exposure by setting up a display at a local wine shop and providing samples and 10 percent off coupons to all wine shop customers.
Look for collaboration opportunities with other businesses that reach a similar audience, so your products and services complement and help raise each other up.
4. Celebrate the people who keep your business going
Who makes your business possible? Maybe you’ve got a top-notch staff or die-hard customer base. Maybe you have a mentor you can always call when you hit a lull. Take a moment to step away from the everyday hustle and show your appreciation.
Say thank you face-to-face if possible. Consider creating a special occasion theme such as “champagne and shopping” or serving hors d’oeuvres one evening to bring the community in to celebrate with you.
But if you can’t make a face-to-face event happen, you can also write thank you cards, send an email to your supporters, or post a thank you on social media. If you’re comfortable in front of a camera, a short thank you video can get your message across even better.
5. Offer a special Small Business Week deal
Get the word out to your supporters by sending an email announcing Small Business Week and offer a special week-long promotion that encourages your customers to support you.
A buy-one-get-one-free offer or discount on one of your most popular products can increase your brand’s exposure and gain new customers by introducing the community to all you have to offer.
To make the most of this idea, post your offer to your active social media channels and be sure to have ample service representatives on hand to answer questions and teach customers a little more about what you could be doing for them. Soon, your customers will be celebrating along with you.
6. Hire help for the day, for the week, or for the long-term
If you need an extra hand putting together a Small Business Week marketing strategy, customer appreciation party, or growing your small business, finding quality talent is crucial. So whether you’re looking for your first (or next) employee, or simply need help short-term assistance with a project, Moonlighting can help you build your team.
Just post your job now to reach the amazing freelancers and small businesses Moonlighting across America.
Happy National Small Business Week!
No matter how you choose to celebrate, the most important thing is to recognize the incredible impact and contributions small businesses make all year long.
Are you celebrating Small Business Week this year? Let us know your plans in the comments!