As I write this, the U.S. is preparing to celebrate National Small Business Week from May 20 to 26.
In honor of the week, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is scheduled to host a business matchmaking event in Washington, D.C., where small businesses can discuss procurement opportunities with federal agencies and major corporations. The event is part of the SBA’s Procurement Day, which also features panels about gaining access to federal prime contracting and subcontracting opportunities.
The SBA is not the only organization seeking to provide small businesses with procurement opportunities, however. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is hosting its America’s Small Business Summit 2012 from May 21 to 23. The event, also in Washington, bills itself as “THE premier small business event with BIG business results.” The summit will include B2B National Procurement Matchmaking, which seeks to connect summit attendees with procurement officers from government agencies and Fortune 500 companies, May 21.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce says America’s Small Business Summit “unites small business owners, managers and entrepreneurs from across the country to learn, network and discuss common legislative and management concerns.” The summit also includes Rally on the Hill, where small business owners were invited to help influence the national economic and political agenda by advocating for pro-business policies.
While events like these can contribute to the success of a small business, the man or woman behind the company—the owner—arguably has the most influence.
Tom Adams celebrated the small business owner during his breakfast keynote speech at the National Association for Information Destruction (NAID) 2012 Annual Conference. The author of You Are the Logo encouraged conference attendees to embrace being small, saying that in the current economic environment, small business owners had a distinct advantage over larger corporations in that they are viewed more positively by the American public. Adams suggested that owners of information destruction firms become more visible in their businesses as a way to attract more clients.
In his book, Adams writes, “I believe the most powerful way for you to stand out from your competition, be positioned powerfully, remove yourself from the commodity trap, get paid for your real value, move from invisibility to a definitive reputation, get out of the hunt and chase game and magnetically attract a steady stream of business is to leverage ... you!”
This can be a struggle for some business owners, who may feel more comfortable behind the scenes. But, as I can attest from my years of working on SDB magazine, every small business owner has a story to tell. Make sure your prospects and clients know yours.