Small Business Week

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What is BDC Small Business Week? 

Small Business Week is an annual celebration (October 16-22, 2022) of entrepreneurship that the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) has organized for over 42 years. Every year, close to 10,000 entrepreneurs gather to learn, network and celebrate the people building businesses across the country.

As the economy roars back to life, it’s become clear that the past 24 months have fast-forwarded long-term disruption. From growing labour shortages and the rise of remote work, to the expansion of digital business and increasingly frequent climate events; Canadian entrepreneurs will need to focus on innovation, inclusion and sustainability to maintain their growth amidst these changes.

Small businesses are critical to the Canadian economy, and right now they’re feeling the pressure of difficult workforce and economic decisions as the pandemic lingers on. It’s never been more important to support, build, and adapt local business infrastructures. 

What business owners can do for Small Business Week?

Small business owners have a lot going on. They’re focused on prioritizing business continuity, hiring the right talent to meet fluctuations in demand, and protecting the health safety of their people and their customers. With everything happening, it can be difficult to pause and acknowledge the role SMBs play in the Canadian economy. This year it’s particularly important to take time to celebrate your employees and come together with other entrepreneurs to share lessons learned and advice for navigating the uncertain business environments.

 What can you do?

Host a Small Business Week celebration

Acknowledge the contributions of your employees, even if you can’t all be together in person. Consider hosting a virtual team lunch or after work happy hour in absence of face-to-face activities. Your people help keep your business running and are the drivers of growth, which means you should never overlook their dedication.

Show your appreciation via a video posted on the company’s intranet, issuing points through an internal rewards and recognition program, or by mailing thank-you cards to employees. Recognizing your people during difficult times is an essential part of keeping employees engaged and satisfied – especially if they’re working virtually or in different locations.

Related: Four ways to keep your small business employees engaged and happy

Thank those who support you

It’s also important to thank customers and other SMB owners that may have supported you and your business in the past. Send your appreciation via a video on your social channels. Also consider including a thank-you note with purchase of a product or service. A message of appreciation will go a long way and can help to build brand loyalty.

Mentor an entrepreneur

Do you have lessons to share on building greater business resiliency or advice to help peers overcome adversity? Or are there things you wish you knew about running a business during difficult times back when you were just starting up? Consider celebrating Small Business Week by sharing your knowledge with an up-and-coming entrepreneur, or one that may be struggling. Chances are someone else could benefit from your knowledge.

Invest in your people’s development

Help your people develop their skills by offering learning and development programs. This can include developing technical skills, such a new technology or software program, or soft skills like managerial and leadership development. As well, providing opportunities to work on projects and tasks outside of an employee's current day-to-day responsibilities can help your people grow, so your business can too.

Take time to reflect

Think about the challenges that have been presented over the last several months. Are there any opportunities to improve on ways of working? How can you better support business continuity for future disruption? What new skills will your business need in the future? How are you supporting the development of your workforce? What inefficiencies can you reduce or eliminate? Are there any potential partnership opportunities available?

Apply for awards and recognition

Share the success of other small businesses by celebrating accomplishments. A great way to do this is to nominate a small business for an award or recognition. The CanadianSME Business Awards, for example, was developed to raise awareness around the impact small businesses make on Canada’s economy. Awards can go a long way in inspiring business owners to continue working hard in growing their business, especially coming out of a tumultuous time.

What members of the community can do during Small Business Week

Shop local

Encouragement to shop local is coming from all over, however, this can be difficult as social distancing restrictions are constantly changing in various regions. There are other ways to show support other than shopping in physical locations. For example, purchasing items online for delivery.

Tell a friend about a local small business you believe in

Take advantage of the power of referrals and a small business will thank you. Commit to telling a friend about a small business owners’ great customer service, a unique local product, or reputable service. You can also support your favourite SMBs by writing a positive online review on Google or Yelp.

 

 

 

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