Celebrating Small Businesses

It has been National Small Business Week this week!  It’s a great opportunity to celebrate and support the small businesses online and offline that work very hard to help lots of people around the world.  If you’re a small business, you face some special challenges and special opportunities.  Today I want to share some encouragement and a few ideas with you.

First, let’s talk about the elephant in the room: you’re a ‘small’ business.  You’ve probably been counseled before to look for ways you can grow, and growth can be a good thing, but not everyone has the same concept of growth.  Growth to you may be 2 new customers each month, but growth to someone else may be 2000 new customers.  You don’t have any reason to be ashamed for fitting the ‘small’ business definition or not wanting to grow to a company that serves billions around the world.

As a small business you can have a lot more say in what you offer and how you help people.  It’s also a great opportunity to offer some more specialized or customizable products and services because you don’t have to come up with the quantity or figure out those logistics for your thousands or millions of customers.  Offering more unique or custom designed products can really help you stand out as a business in your local community.  I use MailChimp for my newsletters and they’ve been doing a great newsletter series highlighting some of their clients and sharing about the ways that their small businesses are learning and growing.

As a small business though you don’t have the resources to tap into that some of those big companies do.  What it means is that you have to get good at finding the free or lower cost resources that work for you, and encouraging your happy customers to share about you with their friends and family.  Their kind reviews on Yelp, Facebook and Google don’t take long but not every business encourages their customers to do them.  Things like social media, a blog and a newsletter can be very low cost opportunities to market your company, and there are lots of local opportunities you can take advantage of as well and not every small business (or business of any size) does.

Small businesses have an important role in the community and business world at large, you should be proud of what you do if you’ve got one. If you’ve got a small business I encourage you to share a little about your business in the comments below.  Or if you don’t have a small business but love one share some love for them in the comments, too!

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