Five Competitive Advantages, Five Ways to Drive New Business this Small Business Week
Monday, May 1, 2017
National Small Business Week, celebrated this year April 30 - May 6, is meaningful to Marc Kramer, Family Business and Entrepreneurship Executive in Residence at Saint Joseph’s University and president of Kramer Communications.
His grandfather emigrated from Russia in the late 1890s with just the clothes on his back. "He got a job in a shipyard, saved money, followed his brother to a small town, Coatesville, outside Philadelphia, and started a corner luncheonette/newsstand across from one of the gates of Lukens Steel Company," says Kramer. "Then, he started a second business in wholesaling over-the-counter drugs. My father joined him, took over the business and eventually closed it to start a second business in medical equipment."
Kramer himself has launched a variety of small businesses, and each of his daughters now also has their own businesses. For this family, four generations of success proves that "small business is in our blood," as he says.
But small business ownership doesn't have to be a family tradition for owners to find success. According to the US Small Business Administration there are over 27 million small businesses with less than $1 million in revenue. "Small businesses are our country’s competitive advantage and driving force of America," says Kramer. He believes small businesses have an edge over big business for five reasons.
According to Kramer, small business owners…
- Know the community and have personal connections with the people
- Underwrite youth sports teams in their community
- Serve on city councils, school boards and participate in local Rotary clubs
- Create 60 to 80 percent of the jobs
- Provide stability to a community because they aren’t governed by outside investors pulling the plug if a quarterly number isn’t met.
So, how can small businesses leverage their unique position in the community and garner more business during Small Business Week? Kramer offers these five suggestions:
- Host an open house with gifts and prizes to thank the community for its support
- Donate a portion of your profits to a local charity that benefits your community
- Team with other small business owners in your community to train middle and high school students in how to run a business
- Sponsor or organize a business plan competition for students, and grant the winner startup funding and marketing support from your and other community small businesses
- Provide free services or products to community members in need each month and share the story of your contributions on social media, etc.
"The bedrock of American industry have been small business owners like black smith’s, candle stick makers and tailors," says Kramer. "Take advantage of this incredible tradition and your place within it this Small Business Week."