Happy Small Business Week!
Each year, some of the world's best and brightest minds converge to celebrate small businesses across the U.S. From mom-and-pop shops to budding Fortune 500 companies, corporate leaders take this time to provide guidance to small-business owners and share tips to those who are just getting started.
In his Presidential Proclamation of National Small Business Week 2015, President Barack Obama noted that these companies are critical to the country as a whole.
"America's small businesses are the backbone of our economy, employing half of our country's private sector workforce and creating nearly 2 out of every 3 new jobs in our country," Obama stated. "During National Small Business Week, we recommit to advancing these vital enterprises, and we celebrate their contributions to our collective American story."
So how can you get involved? Throughout the week, business leaders will be hosting a string of informational sessions in five separate cities in the U.S. Whether you have a chance to attend or not, there are a few ways you can celebrate this occasion at your store.
Keep up with the workshops
There are five cities hosting events for this year's celebration: Miami/Boca Raton, Los Angeles, San Antonio, New York City, and Washington, D.C. We recommend that you drop by one of these cities if you're close by, but if you can't, you can still stay up to date with the workshops.
To stay on top of the events during Small Business Week, follow the Small Business Administration's official Twitter account, as the organization will be tweeting throughout the week. Alternatively, review this list of events, compiled by Small Business Trends, and bookmark your favorites - once the event is over, you can begin searching for overviews or recaps on your favorite websites.
Sign up for a webinar
If you can't make it in-person, consider signing up for an online webinar hosted by the SBA. The registration form can be found here, and it features a variety of events hosted by industry leaders that cover topics like digital payment, volunteering, workplace issues and credit card fraud.
Since these webinars can be seen anywhere with Internet access, consider hosting an event with other small-business owners in your neighborhood. Make this a networking event by projecting the webinar on a big screen, then having a small forum for discussion afterward. This provides a perfect place for you and fellow professionals to meet and learn from each other regarding small-business growth.
Involve your customers
If small businesses are the building blocks that form the American economy, customers are the bricks that build small businesses' foundations. Since you're already celebrating small business culture this week, take the time to give out coupons or discounts to the customers that make it all possible. You could offer a blanket discount - like 10 percent off the entire store - or set a specific theme for each day of the week, like Markdown Monday or Two-for-One Tuesday.