3 things you can do in 2018 to boost your small business

3 things you can do in 2018 to boost your small business

It’s been a month since National Small Business Week, but for you and millions of other business owners, every week is small business week.

Fortunately, many of the programs and resources introduced during the “official” week — including those at a virtual conference presented by the U.S. Small Business Administration and SCORE (a nonprofit organization that provides free business mentoring services) — are still available, and can be useful year round.

So if you missed out, don’t worry: We’ll detail some of the highlights here, and then give you three ideas for engaging with your customers and your community.

Virtual conference

Want to grow your business? Learn how to better utilize email marketing? Manage your finances more effectively? Experts at the SBA and SCORE virtual conference May 1–3 gave presentations on these and other vital topics for small business owners. And you still can access all of these webinars just by registering here and clicking Auditorium in the conference lobby. A few that we found interesting:

  • Grow Your Business in 2018: Learn how to boost your revenue and profit using loyalty programs, gift cards, and marketing techniques that create a unique and consistent brand experience.

  • How Changing Consumer Behavior Impacts Your Business: Understanding your customers better can position you for greater success — and Google’s Anastasia Kudrez, who develops online training for small businesses, will show you how to use this knowledge in your digital marketing efforts.

  • Get New and Repeat Business on Autopilot with Email Marketing: What happens after someone visits your website? In this presentation, you’ll learn ways to turn those visitors into contacts — and then engage with them regularly through automated email messages.

Get involved next year — or get started now

National Small Business Week is a great opportunity to connect with other small business owners and promote the benefits of supporting local businesses —  but you can do those things all year long. So while you’re thinking about how to participate next year (or how to be more involved), here are three things you can do right now to keep the momentum going:

  1. Create local partnerships. This can be as simple as a promotional agreement with another small business in your area — for example, each of you could provide flyers for the other to display. But you can get creative, too: Host an event where you can pair your products (especially if they go well together), or offer special savings for customers who make purchases from both of your businesses.

  2. Help the community. Giving programs, such as donating a percentage of sales on a given day to charity, are a hit with customers and are good for you and the community you find yourself in as well. These types of events shows that your business cares about community, and they also give people another reason to feel good about being a customer.

  3. Showcase small business benefits. On social media and during other interactions with customers, make sure they understand what it really means when they support a small business. Surveys have shown that small retailers return about half (or more) of their revenue to the local economy; the number is even higher for independent restaurants. So when a customer chooses you, the impact extends a lot further than just one transaction.

Of course, it’s a lot easier to do things that will help grow your business when you aren’t bogged down with regulatory and compliance hassles like managing your sales tax collection. Check out Avalara’s solutions here and see how we can give you more time to focus on what’s important.

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