Mother’s Day, Memorial Day—May is full of holidays honoring hard work and sacrifice.
And if you’re an entrepreneur, you should add another one to your calendar: Small Business Week.
Celebrated for more than half a century, Small Business Week (May 5-11, 2019) recognizes the leaders who make such critical contributions to our nation’s economy — and provides unique opportunities for growth, too. National and local events mean the chance to amp up your business acumen and drive sales and innovation, all while networking with other movers and shakers like you.
While the event is headquartered in Washington, D.C., there are plenty of ways to get involved regardless of your location. From auditing a virtual conference to creating buzzworthy initiatives in your own community, you and your company can make the most of this unsung holiday.
5 ways to make the most of small business week
Whether you whisk yourself to Washington, D.C. for the weekend (hey, it’s deductible, right?) or hold down the fort at home, here are some ideas for getting into the Small Business Week spirit.
1. Head to the #hackathon
If you’re looking for a way to kick-start some serious changes in your small business, consider registering for the Small Business Week Hackathon. Taking place over three whirlwind days and with the allure of hefty cash prizes, you can think of the event as a crucible for creating actionable solutions to real problems. (This year’s theme: preparing for and recuperating from natural disasters, like hurricanes and earthquakes.)
The event will take place in person in Washington, D.C., from May 3-5, and the winning innovator in first place will walk away with $25,000. A jackpot like that might just make it worth the trip!
2. Sit in on a the SBA’s conference—whether you’re in D.C. or not
Not quite sure about two sleepless nights of coding, but still looking for ways to learn more about making your business the best it can be? The Small Business Administration will be holding a free two-day virtual conference on Tuesday, May 7 and Wednesday, May 8, offering webinars covering a range of important and timely business topics.
You can pick and choose which sessions to attend, or set aside the time to make it to all of them. Either way, you’ll get to interface with industry leaders and other entrepreneurs, all from the comfort of your own office. (Or living room.)
3. Take part in a Twitter chat
Here’s a really low-key way to participate in Small Business Week: just open a Twitter tab on Friday, May 10 at 12 p.m. EST. The SBA will be hosting a live conversation with tips and tricks on creating and nurturing a small business. Just follow @SBAgov and log into your account to join and use #SmallBusinessWeek to voice your own questions and answers.
4. Create buzz in your local community to drive sales and marketing
Small Business Week is the perfect time to highlight your goods and services to your local community. After all, shopping small and supporting local business owners is in vogue these days, but customers can only patronize your company if they know what you have to offer.
Some fun and creative ways to ramp up your marketing: send a team to volunteer at a local charity (wearing branded T-shirts, of course), sponsor local sporting events and reach out to your local Chamber of Commerce to see if there are any local small business organizations you might join. You could even create a specific Small Business Week sales initiative, like hosting an employee contest or offering “shop local”-themed discount incentives to customers.
5. Take the opportunity to make your business the best it can be
Small Business Week is all about celebrating the impact local entrepreneurs have on the economy. (Case in point: according to the SBA, more than half of America’s workforce is involved in small businesses, which are responsible for two-thirds of the new jobs created in the U.S. each year.)
So what better time to take a good, hard look at your business and make the improvements you’ve been putting off? Whether it’s a change to outdated team policies or an interior redesign, Small Business Week is an opportunity to ensure your firm is putting its best foot forward.
As you know, you’ve got to spend money to make money—and sometimes, it might be more than you have upfront. If that’s the case for your company, finding a business loan can help you meet your goals without upending your budget. With time, patience and good planning, the improvements you make can pay for themselves in the long run, and drive your future profit margins even higher.
The bottom line: Take advantage of Small Business Week 2019!
Regardless of which sector you’re in, or where your company is headquartered, Small Business Week is a great opportunity to learn more about how to set and achieve your entrepreneurial goals, and to put your plans into action to get there. If you’re in D.C., you can participate in live events like the Small Business Week Hackathon, but there are plenty of local and virtual options for leaders around the country.