In 1963, the U.S. celebrated its first Small Business Week, thanks to an order handed down by President John F. Kennedy. Fifty years later, we’re still observing the annual celebration, and it’s no wonder: small businesses employ more than half of all Americans, and account for the vast majority of companies in this country.
So how can small-business owners take advantage of the next seven days to strengthen their enterprises, boost their revenue, and support small business around the U.S.? Any of these five celebration strategies will get your Small Business Week off to a strong start.
- Partner with a local small business. There’s a reason ants are famous for ruining picnics: they may be small, but they know how to work together to rearrange the world to their benefit. Bring some ant super-strength to your business by teaming up with another small business in your area. Find one that offers complementary goods or services and start a policy of cross-promotions or referrals. Everybody wins with very little extra effort.
- Join (or start) a local small-business group. If you think you couldn’t possibly squeeze one more event into your busy schedule, take a moment to reconsider. Local groups for small-business owners (which might be run by a professional association or your local chamber of commerce) can provide excellent networking opportunities. Plus, being part of a community of small-business owners means you can join forces to lobby for changes you’d like to see at the local level.
- Call, write, or email your elected officials. One way you know it’s Small Business Week is that members of Congress at both the State and U.S. level tend to draw attention to their pet issues related to small businesses. While it’s never necessarily a bad time to reach out to your elected officials to express your opinion, making contact during Small Business Week could give your request extra punch, particularly if you make it in a public forum (e.g., as a response to an Op-Ed piece penned by a legislator). Even better? Network with your small-business group and educate your clients, encouraging everyone to reach out to representatives and ask them push for important causes.
- Attend a Small Business Week Event. For the first time since its inception, Small Business Week will host events in five major cities: Seattle, Dallas, St. Louis, Pittsburgh, and Washington, D.C. But even if you aren’t near any of those metropolitan areas, you can attend live streams of the speeches and panels scheduled throughout the week (view a full calendar here).
- Shop small. So you own a small business. But are you supporting small businesses in every aspect of your life possible? If not, make an effort this week to step outside your comfort zone to eat at the bakery on the corner or ask for recommendations for a lawn care provider based in your neighborhood. As you know, small businesses in every industry rely on the support of their communities to thrive and keep those communities strong, so show your recognition of the owners’ hard work by voting with your wallet, as they say.
Stay Tuned for More Small Business Week Events
Stay tuned to insureon’s Facebook page, where we’ll be posting about more news and events to honor small-business owners throughout the week.