It is a great idea, but why for only a week?
Have you heard about National Small Business Week? It was created by the Small Business Administration (SBA) over 60 years ago to honor top entrepreneurs, but many business owners are either unfamiliar with it, or at the very least skeptical of it. Recently, I asked a few of my friends, who are business owners, about it. Here’s a sampling of what they said:
“I don’t know about Small Business Week.”—Owner of a marketing agency
“A bunch of nonsense made up by marketers to give them an excuse to reach out: ‘Hi, I’m calling because it’s Small Business Week.’”—Owner of an insurance business who used to be in the B2SMB space
“I have heard of Small Business Week, but other than the name I don’t know what it is.”—Owner of a data marketing company
“Vaguely.”—Business owner and keynote speaker in the HR space
Sure, this is a small sample size, but I can assure you it is very representative of the small business population as a whole. No disrespect to the SBA (which has many effective programs including their loan guarantees and government contracting assistance), but outside of participating in dedicated SBA or U. S. Chamber of Commerce events, Small Business Week is basically a non-event for marketers.
That said, honoring small businesses is a terrific idea. The SBA clearly has good intentions, and I have noticed that awareness from B2SMB brands has been increasing over the past few years.
So, in the spirit of Small Business Week, if not around the event itself, here are a few things your company can do to celebrate the achievements of small businesses:
- Celebrate small businesses and entrepreneurs, particularly your customers, by featuring them—and thereby promoting them—in your content.
- Provide expert content that truly makes a difference in how they run their businesses.
- Treat them well. Your company has small business vendors. Give them good terms and make doing business with you as easy as possible. (This will likely mean to telling legal and procurement to ease up a bit.)
Small businesses are as American as apple pie. In fact, businesses with fewer than 500 employees employ almost half of the private sector workforce and produce 46% of private sector output (source: SBA). Most SMB owners work hard and have a lean staff and scarce resources. Recognizing their accomplishments is always a good thing. Why not honor them all year round?
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