Your small business is your baby. You created it, watched it grow and now provide it with everything you have to make sure it thrives in the world. Every year, the Small Business Association devotes a week to honor the accomplishments of small business owners called National Small Business Week.
Small companies provide unique services, buying experiences and products that consumers typically may not find with larger corporations. National Small Business Week, which takes place this year during the first week in May, is a time to reflect on this and celebrate how your hard work and dedication have positively impacted your customers and your industry.
Small Business Success Stories
One thing that separates small businesses from larger companies is the dedication to providing customers with a service or product that’s disruptive or strays from what's already on the market. This alone is one of the many reasons that small companies often succeed.
Whole Foods Market, for example, is now among the most popular grocery chains in the U.S. When it was started by John Mackey and Rene Lawson Hardy in 1980, it was one of the first big stores that offered organic products. With just 19 employees, the first store opened in Austin, Texas, and 12 years later went public posting $6.5 billion in revenues, according to Business Pundit. Today, it’s a Fortune 500 company.
Arianna Huffington, co-founder of the Huffington Post, had a hard time getting her now thriving website off the ground. When the site first launched in 2005, the company was hit with a lot of negative reviews. However, Business Insider notes that by establishing a strong yet small tech team of 30 people and staying committed to their overall goal of providing an outlet for people to share their thoughts and ideas, the business began to thrive, eventually merging with AOL in 2011. In terms of Web traffic metrics, the site now goes head-to-head with major media outlets like The New York Times.
These small business success stories exemplify not only the persistence and dedication it takes to thrive as a small business, but also how the commitment to providing people with unique products or services is often what defines small companies. This Small Business Week, celebrate your own story and how your business has left a mark on customers.
How to Celebrate Your Business
In addition to learning from success stories and finding motivation in other small business owners who have reached their goals, National Small Business Week is also about focusing on your company's progress with your staff and rewarding loyal customers.
Consider showing appreciation to your employees by buying them lunch or coffee. Even gathering everyone in a meeting and expressing your gratitude for their hard work can go a long way in keeping your team engaged and motivated.
Don't hesitate to celebrate the week with your customers either. Show them your appreciation for their loyalty with a deal or promotion during Small Business Week. Write about the occasion online, telling your business' story and posting photos of your company and its employees.
There are also opportunities to participate in SBA sponsored events around the country. For example, events are being held this year in Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Denver, Phoenix and San Jose. Stay tuned to the SBA website to see how you can show support for other small businesses, increase brand awareness, and even meet potential business partners.
About the Author
Mark Cerminaro is Chief Revenue Officer at RapidAdvance, a leading online financial services company that offers flexible financial solutions to small- and medium-sized businesses. Mark has spent his career advising business owners on investments and helping them access the capital they need to grow.