National Small Business Week: What Does it Mean to (and for) You?

President Obama’s address kicks off the 50th celebration of National Small Business Week. In case you couldn’t tell, small business is a big deal! If you’re currently a small business owner or considering taking the plunge, you’ve got reason for feeling good about accepting the challenge. President Obama had some noteworthy praise about those of us in the small business trenches. Here are a few things he said:

  • This is a chance to celebrate all the innovators and entrepreneurs like you who had a hand in the success of our nation’s millions of small businesses. That’s right folks: This week we celebrate you! According to the Small Business Administration (SBA), more than half of Americans either work for or own a small business. That’s reason enough for a celebration! But it gets better…
  • It’s a chance to hear from you about what works, what doesn’t, and how America can do a better job of supporting your success. This means all you intrepid entrepreneurs deserve praise and support. It also means people need to hear our voices as we talk about the successes we experience and the challenges we face.
  • Small businesses are critical to our economy; they’re a key engine of growth and job creation. That’s right, you deserve kudos for keeping the wheels of industry turning! Whether you’re a mom-n-pop grocery store, independent book store, or a tech startup, you embody the core values of the nation according to the president. Among those values are “risk-taking, ingenuity, and hard work.” As a result, small businesses create two out of every three new jobs on average.

Of course, to really benefit from this week, you need more than a pat on the back. You need to learn practical lessons and take solid action. So what can we learn from National Small Business Week? What will this week mean to (and do for) you?

Say it Loud, Say it Proud!

Well, maybe not too loud. But you do have to speak up, and be confident in speaking! Small businesses have something to say, and all facets of society need to hear what’s on your mind. No, I’m not speaking of protest; that rarely accomplishes much good (take a look at this article to see why I say that). What I’m suggesting is sharing ideas in a collaborative setting. That includes local civic and government leaders, fellow business owners and entrepreneurs (such as a Mastermind Group), and both current and potential customers. All of the above need to know where you are, what you’re doing, and the things you hope to accomplish. Such knowledge leads to understanding, and that can lead to greater support and increased business. Additionally, you’ll get valuable feedback from the groups mentioned on what they expect of you. That helps refine your focus so you get better results from less effort in the future.

Focus on Your Core

President Obama mentioned the core values of risk-taking, ingenuity, and hard work. Those values drive good business and spur innovation. Whether your business is in it’s infancy or is well established, you still need to focus on the basics. Tony Petrill, LegalShield’s Vice President of Sales, often speaks of the “blocking and tackling” necessary to build a successful business. A football team always has the defensive line run drills to improve those two skills. Why? Because they’re basic, and you always need to hone the basics. They become your core. This means more than just the basic activities in which you engage. It also embodies the fundamental philosophies you embrace. So coming out of this week each business owner should recommit to engaging in the core activities that lead to success. If you’re already successful, then focus on the things that work and do more of them. Amy Porterfield embraces a simple philosophy: She finds what works and does those things over and over again. Only when she notices them not working does she make an adjustment. This doesn’t mean you can’t try new things. It simply means don’t neglect the proven strategies that led to your success.

So enjoy the well-deserved attention National Small Business Week brings! With it, take away a renewed desire to engage in meaningful dialogue and to do the necessary things that lead to accomplishing all your goals.

Does National Small Business Week have meaning for you? Let us know your thoughts in the Comments below.


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