Small businesses offer more than unique products and quality service. They employ 46.4% of U.S. workers. They’re also an essential part of the economy, with 99.9% of U.S. companies being small businesses.

Small Business Week allows you to celebrate your small business and all that your employees do for you. It also lets you show support for other companies in your community. This year, Small Business Week is Sept. 13 to 15.

Learn more about why this week is important and get useful tips for showing your appreciation below.

Why It’s Important to Celebrate National Small Business Week

Whether you plan to advertise discounts on social media or hand out coupons in your store, this week is the perfect time to engage with your customers and employees. In fact, the more you interact with your customers and employees, the more you’ll:

  • Raise brand awareness
  • Promote customer loyalty
  • Increase sales
  • Boost employee morale
  • Stay competitive in your industry

Engaging with your customers also helps you better understand their expectations. This can help you improve your products or services.

7 Ways You Can Celebrate National Small Business Week

Not sure how you should celebrate National Small Business Week? For some ideas, check out this list below:

1. Tap into social media — National Small Business Week is a great time to share your business’s story on your social media accounts like Instagram. You can also create a YouTube video. Sharing how your business got started can help your customers feel more connected to your company. This ultimately helps enhance brand loyalty and increase sales. You can also show your customers what it’s like behind the scenes of your business through social media posts or video. You can combine your efforts and go LIVE with your audience on social media where you can answer questions and engage in real time. You can also offer insights into how your business has changed to better serve customers during the recent pandemic.

2. Say thank you — It’s important to remember that your customers are what drive your success. To show your appreciation, you can send them a thank you postcard highlighting why their support has been meaningful and include coupons or discounts. You can also give your customers a small gift after they make a purchase, such as a free pen or reusable bag. Putting your name on these items can be another added form of marketing that helps with brand recognition.

3. Make time for training — Continuously learning and growing is a must if you’re hoping for long-term success. To expand your knowledge, you can look for small business conferences and courses online. For instance, the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) learning center offers a variety of courses. The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) also offers free webinars on topics like marketing that you and your employees can watch. Some other topics you can look to offer training on include leadership or customer service. Investing in education can help your business become even more innovative.

4. Partner with other small businesses — If you’re looking to create a partnership, you should first identify businesses that offer products or services that complement your own. For instance, if you own a coffee shop, the book store down the street might be a good fit. Your customers can grab a coffee and then get a coupon for books down the street. The book store can then do the same and offer discounts to your coffee shop for each customer that buys a book.

5. Team up with local charities — For each purchase during Small Business Week, you can donate to a local charity. For instance, you can donate one dollar for every purchase to an animal shelter. Customers often feel more motivated to buy something if they know it’ll make a positive impact in their community. It shows your customers that you’re dedicated to helping others. Over time, this can help you build customer loyalty.

6. Host a contest — To get some excitement into your business, you can set up contests. The prizes can be as simple as a gift card or a popular piece of merchandise. Your goal is to get your customers to engage with your brand. Contests are also a good way to build an email list of customers. You can use this later on to send out marketing materials and stay in touch with your customers. Social media makes running a contest even easier with its wide reach. Some social media contest ideas include:

  • Product customization contests — For these, your customers can customize your products and submit photos of them. For instance, they could embroider or paint sneakers from your shoe store. You can then feature each submission on your Instagram page and let viewers vote.
  • New product contests — If you want to expand your product line, you can have customers submit ideas. You can then choose the top five and have other customers vote on social media for them.
  • Video contests — For this, you can have customers submit a video using your products in a creative way. You can then post them on your social media accounts, and the one with the most likes wins.

7. Update your employee workspaces — This can be a small change like adding plants to desks or be as big as repainting shared spaces. Either way, re-arranging and improving your employees’ workspaces can have a big impact on productivity. It also shows appreciation for all they do for your small business.

National Small Business Week is a time to celebrate all that small businesses add to our communities, economy and lives. That’s why it’s a great time to celebrate your employees and customers. Without them, your business wouldn’t be where it is today.

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