Special to The Dallas Examiner
For over 50 years, the U.S. Small Business Administration has organized and hosted National Small Business Week during the first week of May. NSBW recognizes and emphasizes the importance of small businesses in the United States and their contributions to its economic well-being. This year, NSBW will be recognized from April 30 through May 6.
Small business owners often must overcome multiple challenges for continued success and longevity. Approximately 1 in 3 small businesses survive their 10th year in operation, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Business Employment Dynamics.
To ensure entrepreneurs have every opportunity to succeed in their business venture, the SBA and BBB offer free webinars, training events and conferences during NSBW and throughout the year. Current and future business owners can attend these events by registering at https://www.sba.gov/nsbw and https://www.bbb.org. Additionally, the SBA will host a free two-day virtual summit beginning on May 2 covering a variety of topics such as how to write a business plan and developing creative ads.
BBB encourages residents to contribute to their business community by shopping small and shopping locally, but there are also numerous other ways to support small businesses beyond purchasing products or services. This NSBW, show appreciation for the small businesses in your community by following these recommendations from your Better Business Bureau:
- Shop local. Before buying an item from a major corporation, search your community to determine if a local retailer offers the same thing. Instead of purchasing the newest best-selling book or home gadget from a mass retailer or online, support your local community and meet the small business entrepreneurs in your area. Most companies have an option to order online and pick up at the store for even more convenience when shopping locally.
- Go to the source. While there will always be times when delivery is the best option, consumers should try to go directly to the source of purchase. Third-party delivery services charge restaurants fees to use their services, taking away from the profit margins of small businesses. Small businesses listing their products on “digital shops,” such as Amazon or eBay, may also have a percentage of the sale diverted to the hosting website. By going directly to the source of these products, consumers can support small businesses by removing the middleman.
- Be social. Support small businesses in your community by “liking” them on social media, writing positive reviews, posting positive photos and tagging the company in your posts. Promoting these businesses through social channels has the same effect as “word-of-mouth” recommendations, enhancing their digital presence.
- Participate in community events. Farmers’ markets, networking events, community celebrations and national holiday celebrations are fantastic avenues to support locally-owned small businesses, meet your community and learn what local businesses offer. It is also where ideas, opportunities and knowledge can be shared, strengthening your small business community.
- Offer assistance. Be generous and forthcoming with any help you can provide to a small business. If you have technical or skilled expertise, such as an electrician or a lawyer, consider offering your services to small businesses in your community at a discounted rate. If you see an area where a small business is struggling that you are knowledgeable of, offer recommendations and build mutually beneficial relationships.
Better Business Bureau hosts a resource center specifically tailored to the needs of small businesses across North America. Consumers can access these resources for free at https://www.bbb.org/smallbusiness.
The SBA offers various resources for small businesses to assist in planning, execution, and evaluation of business practices, such as Small Business Development Centers. To find an SBA resource near you, visit https://www.sba.gov/local-assistance.
Small business entrepreneurs must remain vigilant against scams that specifically target their business. BBB.org can offer more information about common scams that target small businesses.