This year, Small Business Week takes place on May 2nd to May 8th. Small Business Week (SBW) is a time to recognize the importance of small business owners and entrepreneurs and their contributions to society. In the United States, the majority of Americans’ livelihoods can be attributed to small businesses, either through owning one or working for one.
5 Ways Business Owners Can Celebrate Small Business Week in 2021
Due to the uncertainty brought on by the pandemic, it’s important to take some time to celebrate your efforts as a small business owner and the adversity you have overcome. As we move into a post-pandemic landscape, it can be helpful to use Small Business Week as an opportunity to reflect on the past year while also planning ahead. Here are a few ways that you can celebrate SBW this May.
1. Foster relationships
One of the most important considerations as a small business owner is the relationships you have. While it’s always critical to have a good relationship with your customers, remember to also foster relationships with your employees and business connections. Making a point to acknowledge those that assist with your day-to-day business operations can set you apart and depict that you’re willing to put the extra effort in to show your appreciation.
Connect with your customers during Small Business Week:
Finding ways to continuously connect with your customers can help your organization’s overall growth. Don’t be afraid to reach out to previous clients to ask for feedback or see if there are ways to improve their overall experience. Furthermore, brainstorming ways to say, “thank you” during SBW can give you the opportunity to bring back customers and promote retention. This can either be done by providing a special discount or promotion, featuring customer stories on your social media channels or even sending out “thank you” emails.
With your employees:
While your customers are certainly key to maintaining your business, remember to also keep in mind the importance of your employees in your overall structure. Small Business Week is a time to celebrate your accomplishments but also to acknowledge the work that your employees put in. When your employees know they are valued, they will continue to put forth effort, which in turn promotes the overall success of your business. Consider handwritten notes, publicly acknowledging their talents and contributions, or catering a breakfast or lunch as a way to nurture these important relationships.
With your connections:
Another important element in maintaining a successful business is having connections outside of your day-to-day relationships. The pandemic put a halt on public gatherings, making networking extremely difficult. You may have some connections that you haven’t spoken to in over a year. Use SBW as an opportunity to reach back out to them and spark up conversation in a relationship that may have fizzled out. This is also a great opportunity to network with new connections and get your name out.
2. Further your education during Small Business Week
As a small business owner, you are probably aware of the importance of evolving. Depending on your industry, keeping ahead of the competition could be imperative to maintaining a successful business model. One way to do this is to find ways to further your education, whether this is in a structured or unstructured environment. There are many ways to do this, such as industry specific extended learning opportunities or finding a business coach. Implementing feedback and expanding your knowledge are two vital components in growing your business. This SBW, you can even start small by taking some time to read motivational, business-specific literature to build momentum.
3. Evaluate safeguards
After this past year of uncertainty, it is evident that you can never be too prepared. As a small business owner, you are most likely the fundamental person responsible for keeping your business afloat. While this notion may come with a significant amount of pressure, remember that there are ways to protect both yourself and your business. This is why it’s important to regularly revisit both your personal and business finances and ensure that you have adequate safeguards in place.
For example, one consideration that gets overlooked is ensuring you have enough life insurance coverage set up. Even though a life insurance policy is an added cost to your bottom line, remember that this is an essential coverage to have, particularly if you have dependents who rely on your business income to meet current obligations. Furthermore, if you used any family assets to financially secure a portion of your business, having this safeguard in place protects your family from paying these debts off if you were to pass away.
4. Revisit goals
As a small business owner, you may have set both personal and business goals along the way. When you are faced with adversity and substantial change, sometimes these goals can get put on the back burner. Use SBW as an opportunity to revisit goals you may have set and find ways to work towards achieving them. Furthermore, if you have had to adjust your strategy, try setting new business goals and initiatives. Continue to reflect and ask the right questions to promote growth and hone-in on your long-term plans.
5. Prioritize self-care
While being a business owner comes with freedom and flexibility, there is also a great deal of responsibility involved. Not only are you responsible for both your personal and business success, but you are also responsible for employees and their livelihoods as you grow. This can lead to an insurmountable amount of stress overtime, especially during times of uncertainty. Recognizing all that you are taking on and allowing time to reflect and decompress is important for your mental well-being and decision making. This can be difficult to do, especially when you are wearing many hats, but use SBW as a chance to practice self-care as a business owner. Whether this is taking a vacation, treating yourself to a nice dinner, splurging on an item you’ve had your eyes on, or going on a short day trip, making time for yourself can be the difference between feeling motivated rather than experiencing burnout.
If you experienced adversity and hardship in 2020 as a small business owner, use Small Business Week 2021 as an opportunity to reflect and re-engage. Remember that the success of your business starts with you so finding ways to celebrate your accomplishments and hard work along the way is vital in building momentum as we move into a post-pandemic landscape. With planning, preparation and goal setting, you can set yourself up for success in the months (and years) ahead.