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Small Business Week 2021: How to Celebrate It (and Capitalize, Too)

By Lindsay Haskell Reviewed By Mike Lucas
By Lindsay Haskell
By Lindsay Haskell Reviewed By Mike Lucas

National Small Business Week 2021 is an opportunity not only for celebrating your team and boosting employee morale, but for building your business. 

If you didn’t celebrate small business week last year, now is the year to start building your own annual small business week traditions.

What Is Small Business Week?

Hosted by the Small Business Association (SBA), National Small Business Week is a celebration and appreciation of small businesses. With an emphasis on local shopping and supporting local entrepreneurs, it highlights the role small businesses contribute in the nation’s economy. 

It’s been going on for more than 50 years, with small businesses leveraging the opportunity to influence their local community, reward loyal customers and partner with other small businesses.

When Is Small Business Week 2021?

Held every spring, the small business week dates this year fall on May 2 to May 8. 

Why Celebrate Small Business Week?

Celebrating National Small Business Week helps benefit your business in qualitative and quantitative ways. 

Here are the competitive advantages you stand to gain:

Raise Brand Awareness

As a small business you can leverage Small Business Week 2021 to raise awareness to your brand online. Using the hashtag #SmallBusinessWeek in your posts, you can join conversations on social media. Get seen by other businesses as well as their customers as you express and showcase what your business is all about. 

Take the opportunity to share your insights and experiences other small business owners can benefit from. This helps build authority for your brand while giving you the chance to network and engage on social media. Provide media in your posts wherever possible. Ask questions and use polls to boost engagement on platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Promote Customer Loyalty

Celebrating Small Business Week as a small business is essentially a celebration of yourself. In an email newsletter and on social media you can point out your successes and share your founding story with customers. Taking the time to speak on why you do what you do shows customers your passion. It’s a way to express your genuine commitment to them in a way that compels customers to return. 

Boost Employee Morale

Small Business Week also is a way to connect with your team and boost morale around being a small business. You can give out your own awards to employees for Small Business Week or give a thank you gift to each of your staff. 

Bolster Your Second-Quarter Sales

Another way you can take advantage of small business week in 2021 is by offering a promotion. For example, a storewide discount or a coupon for customers who participate by supporting your social media page or by signing up for your email newsletter. 

Pushing your message as a small business while rewarding customer support with discount promotions can encourage higher sales numbers and help you finish the second quarter stronger.

A calendar marking Small Business week sits between small shops.

Making the Most of Small Business Week 2021

What can you do to maximize the week when small businesses are celebrated? Plan a little something to recognize each of the key groups that play a role in your business’s success.

Thank Your Customer Base

Provide your customers a perk such as “2 for the price of 1” or a storewide discount during Small Business Week and explain why you’re doing it. 

Leave a brochure or card with every shopping order you send out to customers during this deal to offer information about your brand. Tell your customers you appreciate them and wouldn’t be where you are without their loyalty

Appreciate Your Employees

Gift your employees with a little something to show you appreciate their impact on your business. Take the time to personalize thank you cards that recognize employee achievements and excellent work. Reward your team members by going as a group out to lunch or ordering pizza for the break room. 

Show that you see and value their potential by investing in training that can advance their career. Also, give your staff members free company swag, such as T-shirts and water bottles with the brand logo on them. All these things can go into boosting employee morale and retention. 

Inspire Other Businesses

Think back on your experiences as a business owner. Through the ups and downs are there any experiences you can share, such as recovering from a website hack? Your expertise is worthy of sharing and able to inspire other business owners. You also will ignite your customers with your passion and share your company’s journey with them in a way that builds trust and loyalty. 

Videos are shown to get the most engagement on social media and can rank at the top of major search engines. Round up a couple of your staff members who are keen on public speaking to represent your business in an “About Us” video. This not only increases your exposure, but gets your employees engaged with your brand.

Leverage Free Resources to Host an Event

Take advantage of free training from the SBA during Small Business Week. It will be video streaming live from its website. Check your local SBA district office to learn about any meetups going on. Local media outlets may publish Small Business Week event calendars and schedules. 

If nothing has been planned nearby, you can plan a meet-up at your business location or in a larger public space. Invite local entrepreneurs and business owners to show up for networking and to watch live or recorded SBA events online. 

Let your invitees know what they’ll gain from the training; there are live seminars on marketing, search engine optimization (SEO) and other hot topics in the small business world. As the host of the event, you get the opportunity to hand out branded invitations and share your company story to all the attendees in a speech.

A smartphone promoting Small Business Week story sits between two small shops.

Examples of Small Business Week Ideas

Ready to use Small Business Week to make an impact on your team and your bottom line? 

Here are some ideas that can generate buzz around your brand:

Highlight Your Story in a Social Media Campaign

To celebrate the importance of entrepreneurs and small businesses, you can inspire existing and aspiring business owners. Talk about the impact your company is making in your local community and in the world. Use relevant hashtags, including #SmallBusinessWeek, #business, #businesstips, #homebusiness and #smallbusinesslove. 

Write up a blog post and share it in social media posts. Or, make a video sharing your company’s startup story or highlighting personal insights from your entrepreneurial journey. Be sure to emphasize the values and passions that have propelled you to serve your customers. 

Partner with Another Business to Offer a Loyalty Promotion

Running a Small Business Week promotion can help you bolster second-quarter sales while rewarding your customers. Partnering with other businesses to celebrate Small Business Week will allow you to reach a wider audience and maximize exposure of your event or limited-time offer.

If you have a local storefront, consider planning something for Small Business Week in partnership with a neighboring business location. Give the other business coupons to hand their customers for a discount at your store. You can offer to reward their customers with a discount at your store. Meanwhile, send your customers over to your partner’s store with a loyalty discount coupon code. 

This expands your reach to another business’s audience that shares your same geolocation. However, if your business is online-only, you can still offer this partnered promotion with online coupon codes and promote it on social media.

Reach Out to Online Influencers to Share Your Business

You can also leverage Small Business Week to boost online engagement and e-commerce sales. One option is to pay a social media influencer in your niche to review your product or promote a discount code to their audience. Giving the influencer a percentage of your sales is usually the best way to drive sales numbers up.

Contact bloggers, YouTubers and other influencers in your industry with a specific targeted audience. Ask if they would feature you in a guest post on their blog, or if they want to contribute on your blog. This gives you the opportunity to share your link with a similar audience, helping you get your brand and products in front of more leads. 

Give Gift Cards to Customers Who Spend During Small Business Week

Gift cards for your store are a great way to reward customers for spending, whether they shop online or at your storefront. 

To bolster sales during Small Business Week, offer a gift card to anyone who spends more than a certain threshold on an order. Or, offer different gift card amounts to reward different order sizes. 

Planning ahead, be sure to request your promotional event to be published in event calendars by local media outlets. This brings shoppers back to your store to spend more, and often they’ll spend more than the amount on the gift card.

National Small Business Week 2021: Forecast

By planning ahead for Small Business Week, you can avoid missing out on the opportunity to nurture the key relationships that make your business possible. 

Planning ways to recognize and reward your loyal customer base and your staff members with gifts and opportunities can lift employee morale during this key week. You also can offer a special promotion to incentivize sales and highlight your success story to boost your marketing reach.

Lindsay Haskell Contributing Writer at Fast Capital 360
Lindsay Haskell is a business writer who specializes in blog posts targeting niche audiences with a focus on business, marketing, health, fitness and beauty. She also writes sales and marketing copy, press releases, product reviews and buyer's guides.
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