Since 1963, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has honored the contributions of hardworking entrepreneurs during National Small Business Week. This year, the celebration takes place May 5 through May 11. As the SBA brings attention to small business owners with events and award ceremonies, you can get involved by running your own National Small Business Week-themed promotions.
1. Spread the word on social
Encourage social media fans and followers to stop by your business during this special week. Incentivize the visit by having a National Small Business Week giveaway at your brick-and-mortar location.
This is also the perfect occasion to get a little creative and personal. Throughout the week, share stories about how and why you started your business or photos of you and your staff at community events. For extra traction and to help you connect with other business owners across the country, use hashtags such as #DreamSmallBiz and #SmallBusinessWeek.
2. Get found with search engine marketing
While ranking for the phrase “National Small Business Week” may be challenging, it’s a good time to maximize your search engine optimization and marketing. Consider creating a local ad on Google Ads so people can find you when they’re supporting small businesses during the week.
To optimize your content for search, take the time to make sure you have these basics down:
- Produce fresh, relevant content that your audience finds useful and search engines can understand
- Claim your online directory listings to boost in-person visits
- Include words you want to rank for across your website — i.e., a library could include the work “large print books” in titles, headlines and body content
3. Bring in customers with branding
Make this celebration an opportunity to thank customers for their contribution to your success. Try a week of branded promotions: Send out an email and have flyers printed for a National Small Business Week Customer Appreciation sale. Offer discounts on a different item or service each day. An extended “thank you” promotion can get more people through the door, and it can also help build an emotional connection between your organization and your audience. Remember to put your logo on your promotional materials to spread brand awareness beyond National Small Business Week.
3 bonus tips by industry
National Small Business Week is your week, so you don’t want to miss out. Create a plan for your business by asking determining your objectives. Are you simply promoting this fun national event or are you trying to drive revenue? Figure out what you hope to accomplish, so you can decide which promotions, events or audience engagement tactics to utilize. Here are more tips for specific industries:
Restaurants: Land more visitors with a landing page
Beyond keeping your website up to date and free of errors, you can attract more visitors with a landing page. Landing Pages are an efficient way to create customizable, single-purpose web pages that your readers land on after clicking a link or call to action button from your website, a search engine or one of your email messages. They keep visitors moving in the right direction, lest they get lost on your website or distracted by something else.
Know your goal: Use a landing page for special events like promoting a new menu item or generating growth by having a singer come in for National Small Business Week. It should be clear what you want customers to do, such as reserve a table or order online.
Retailers: Create buzz with a celebrity
Try planning an event with a local celebrity. Reach out to a local newscaster, government official, author, sports team or artist and ask them to stop by your business for a meet and greet. This is a great way to get your customer base to visit you. And if you don’t know any big names personally, ask the florist down the street. Consider joining forces with other businesses in the area. This kind of collaborative marketing will turn your photo op into an exciting community event and true celebration of small business owners.
Once the public figure has confirmed, send out email and social messages, inviting your customers to come down for the event — and to learn more about your lineup of products and services.
Nonprofits: Engage with email marketing
Nonprofits can benefit from sending out emails during National Small Business Week. From “thank you” emails to newsletters outlining your impact, email marketing is a great way to let people know how you’re going to be involved in National Small Business Week. You can also email customers to share information about the number of people you’ve helped throughout the year or an employee who goes above and beyond.
Our list doesn’t cover every situation for every business, so don’t fret if you don’t find something for your specialty store. Instead, take ideas from this article and alter them to fit your needs. Most importantly, get out there and enjoy this week. You’ve earned it.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published in 2018 and has been revised and expanded for 2019.