National Small Business Week is fast approaching and just a couple of days, almost 30 million small businesses all over America will be celebrating entrepreneurship at its best. Expected to fuel the US economy, small businesses account for two of every three new jobs in the country each year. Conducted by the SBA, or Small Business Administration, this year’s event will recognize and award outstanding businesses in Washington D.C., Florida, Texas, and Utah.
While this is such a momentous occasion to showcase your business and meet new people within the industry, you don’t have to be in those particular locations to participate. Even if you are miles away from the venue, you can take advantage of this brilliant opportunity to market your products or services and grow your business. Here are some tips on how to promote your business during Small Business Week.
1. Have consistent branding
When it comes to the foremost authority that assists and supports small businesses within the United States, SBA is the go-to agency. They are known to provide loans, grants, partnerships, counseling, and all other assistance that every small business owner needs. Recognized in the business community, they have a long-standing reputation of being trustworthy and reliable.
You can use the agency’s popularity to your advantage by incorporating SBA on your promotional materials. For print media such as posters, catalogs, brochures, leaflets, and pictures, make sure to include the SBA logo along with your own branding to show participation. This is also a great time to rekindle your connection with social media and utilize its reach to promote your business and grow your audience. Use Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, and all other social media platforms.
- Use hashtags when posting on Twitter and Instagram like #SBW2019.
- Develop a strong online presence by participating in virtual boards and discussions.
- Schedule related posts on Facebook throughout the week.
2. Go to SBA sponsored events
Of course, physically joining the event in key major cities is fun and exciting, but when you have dozens of responsibilities, it’s easier to miss the party than let your business suffer. But the good news is that you don’t have to be in the exact location to be part of it. You can still join a Small Business Week event in your community through the help of your local Chamber of Commerce. Attending local events allows you to establish a strong connection with other leaders and entrepreneurs within your community.
Likewise, SBA will host a free 2-Day Virtual Conference for business owners. Registration is free and can easily be downloaded or filled out online. The agency will sponsor webinars and training which you can participate in to hone your skills as well as gain valuable knowledge. The best part of the online webinar is that you’ll get to experience the in-person conference in the comfort of your own home or office but without the trouble of traveling.
- With webinars, you can pick the topics and subjects that are most relevant to your industry.
- You can also chat with other entrepreneurs and industry experts conveniently.
- When it comes to virtual conferences, register early because slots are always limited.
3. Collaborate with other businesses
With small, medium, or big businesses, we cannot deny the fact that competition is just about everywhere. From the other store that sells exactly the same items to rival service providers trying to match your prices, everyone in the industry will do everything they can to get clients. Although competition is naturally part of the game, this doesn’t mean that there’s no room for collaboration.
Most of the time, small businesses are local businesses operating within a thriving community, and they have one goal in mind – to provide what’s best for everyone. Try to collaborate with other businesses that complement your products or services. For example, team up with a clothing store if you run a jewelry and accessories business. Do cross-promotional marketing that will attract prospective customers for both companies. The business doesn’t have to be exactly related to your trade, but at least within the same industry. Meat shop owners and restaurant businesses, bars and coffee shops, home repair and hardware supplies, etc.
- Give discounts when they purchase something from the tie-up business.
- Share each other’s social media content and link customers on respective sites.
- Reach out to social media influencers and ask them to promote your business.
4. Offer deals and discounts
Everyone loves free stuff, so give customers discounts, freebies, irresistible deals, and exclusive offers. Instead of marking it as a major promotional event, position your strategy as a “thank you” deal to attract customers and eventually increase your customer base. Aside from the fact that it gets people in the door, it shows that you appreciate their business leveraging on the emotional attachment that will lead to long term client-owner relationship.
There are many ways to offer deals and discounts in line with the Small Business Week celebration. You can offer week-long discounts during the entire event, or create special deals such as the ever popular “buy one get one free”. But if you want to level-up your offering, you can give out special codes and vouchers whenever they visit your website or like your social media account. You could charge 10-20% less when they sign up in your mailing list and use the data gathered to send future promotions.
- Host a contest where customers will get a prize or complimentary service.
- Give away small promotional items such as pens, organizers, mugs, etc.
- Send out free online tools and helpful resources that clients will appreciate.
With millions of small businesses participating in the event, it’s such a challenge to stand out from the crowd. But with these simple tips and tricks, you don’t have to compete with others just to get an advantage. Small Business Week is indeed fun-filled, yet don’t forget to utilize the benefits of this momentous occasion to get your business growing.