Small business owners, are you ready? It's time for National Small Business Week, May 2–5, 2022. According to its hosts, the US Small Business Administration (SBA): “National Small Business Week 2022 celebrates the resiliency and tenacity of America’s entrepreneurs who are doing their part to power our nation’s historic economic comeback.” So how can you make the most of a celebration that's all about you? For 2022, why not celebrate your business by cheering the loyal customers and clients who've helped you build the business of your dreams! We've put together tips and suggestions for doing just that and added a suggestions for small businesses that aren't in-person or face-to-face businesses, too. Try these 4 tips to help your business shine. 1. Spread the Word Most consumers don’t have Small Business Week pre-scheduled into their calendars, so it’s up to you to spread the word about the week and your related offerings. First, tell your customers—but don’t make them feel obligated to participate. Nobody likes a guilt trip, after all. A great place to start is on social media, including Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, or wherever your followers can find you. Use your most active channel(s) to invite customers to your store, whether through Instagram grid posts or Reels, paid Facebook ads, or a special giveaway campaign through Twitter. Let customers know how you’re staying involved in their community through your networks—and if you have great media to share, whether it's a video of a past celebration or a preview of an upcoming events—now’s the time to post it, too. You can also spread the word on your blog, email lists, or even through traditional advertising—nothing wrong with a good old-fashioned flier! 2. Host an IRL or Virtual Event The best way to get customers to visit your in-person business during Small Business Week? Host an event. Invite shoppers in for a treat and they’ll be more likely to come by—and to make a purchase. Everyone likes a present, so it’s hard to turn down a gathering that comes with a special promotion or offering. You can also grow your celebratory footprint by partnering with another small in-person business in your giveaway plans—host a local coffee shop pop-up to serve visitors while they browse at your bookstore, for example. What if you’re an e-commerce business? Now more than ever, virtual events are a valuable, trustworthy way to gather customers together, be that through social media or webinar clients like Zoom. You could offer a consultation, a giveaway, or even an educational opportunity—like a cooking class to showcase your business’s new spice blend. Professional service-oriented businesses can also utilize this educational approach to draw in new customers. What about a webinar about filing estimated quarterly taxes for freelance clients (accountants) or a short interview with a veterinarian about the best foods for picky dogs? The possibilities are endless. Remember, you don’t always have to be selling your services: you can host events or activities to build goodwill with customers, too. These educationally oriented opportunities are the perfect chance to foster connection and purpose with your current or future clients during Small Business Week. The best way to make sure your event doesn’t fall flat: spread that word, as we covered above, whether virtually or in-person. If no one knows about your giveaway or special offerings, they won’t be able to enjoy them. 3. Share Your Story—and Celebrate Your Customers' Stories As a teeny-tiny, 1-person small business owner myself, my favorite question to get asked is how did you start your business? And as a customer in a city that’s chock-full of amazing small businesses, I love learning about how my favorite bookstores, restaurants, and boutiques came to exist. Throughout Small Business Week, make sure your events and offerings center those at the heart of your success: your customers. To celebrate and connect with your customers while honoring your business’s history, include some creative ways to share your story with them as part of your Small Business Week celebrations. This could take place on social media, especially for e-commerce businesses, or via your business’s blog, but it could also be integrated into your IRL celebrations through an anniversary sale or commemorative event. Your longtime customers will feel seen, and your new ones will feel encouraged to return. And whether your small business has been running for half a century or was just founded last month, Lendio is dedicated to helping you succeed—so we're included the success of your small business in our celebration, too. We're collecting the stories of small businesses we've worked with and sharing our favorites with our network of followers. Want to participate? You can record your story here. 4. Tap Into Free Resources The Small Business Administration creates resources to help your small business take advantage of all that National Small Business Week has to offer. You can find their list of resources, including online and local events, by going to SBA resources. Also, follow Lendio on Facebook or Instagram to stay up to date throughout the year with news, ideas, and tips to help your small business connect with more customers and grow. The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Lendio. 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