National Small Business Week has been an ongoing tradition since 1963, highlighting small businesses and the contributions they make to their local communities and the country's economy. It's an exciting time for small business owners, with many opportunities to leverage media attention, hold events and giveaways, market to potential new customers and increase loyalty among existing customers. Whether you run a startup business or an established company, it's never too early to start preparing for National Small Business Week, which runs from April 29 – May 5, 2018.
Hold Contests and Giveaways
The media is going to be looking for small business stories to spotlight, and a contest is a good way to attract local coverage while getting people excited about your company. Throughout National Small Business Week, consider offering in-store and online contests. You could include a raffle ticket with every purchase, and announce the winners of your raffle at the end of the week. You could incentivize people to sign up for your email list by offering a daily giveaway for a lucky winner. You could also use social media to your advantage, and give free products or services to people who share your posts. Try to get creative, and make sure your prizes are valuable enough to get people interested; consider it as a long-term investment in customer acquisition and exposure.
Host Pop-Up Events
If you're wondering how to promote a small business, consider throwing a party. After all, National Small Business Week is the ideal time for small business owners and their customers to celebrate. A customer appreciation event can boost customer loyalty, and it can also attract some new faces to your business. If you're planning to host an event, it's important to make sure that people will show up. In addition to inviting people online, you can send out some handwritten party invitations to get people excited. You may want to consider partnering with other local businesses or charities to boost visibility and increase the chances of the media showing up to cover the event.
Educate Consumers on the Value of Supporting Small Businesses
Many people out there just don't recognize just how vital small businesses are on a local and national scale. As a small business owner, it's up to you to educate them. One of the most effective ways to make your message heard is to reach out to your community. After all, they're the people who are directly affected by your company's contributions to the local economy. Consider printing out some custom flyers about the value of supporting small businesses, and hand them out to people. You can also leave them in public spaces, such as community centers, libraries and local coffee shops. When people understand the value that small businesses bring, they're more likely to go out and support them, especially during National Small Business Week.
Give Out Branded Freebies
National Small Business Week is an ideal time to give out branded gifts. Everyone loves receiving a freebie, even if they've never heard of your company, and it's a good way to turn people into ambassadors for your brand. Of course, it isn't practical to set up shop on a busy street corner to hand out your swag. Instead, you can entice people to come to you. You can send out emails and postcards and make social media posts inviting people to stop by your store for a free promotional gift. If you don't have a brick-and-mortar location, you can invite them to sign up for a free gift through the mail. Consider signing up for trade shows during National Small Business Week for a conducive place to hand out your swag.
Depending on your plans for the big week, you may want to start preparing at least a month in advance. That gives you time to grow your budget, plan events, order promotional products and create marketing materials. You may also want to reach out to media outlets and put out a press release, so your community knows about your plans in advance. It's never too early to start planning, and you'll likely see better results if you put in more preparation. You can have fun with National Small Business Week, but try not to overlook the incredible business potential it offers. As a small business owner, this week can be your chance to shine.
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