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If you’re a small business owner and March 29 isn’t circled on your calendar, it should be — it’s National Mom and Pop Business Owners Day!
While most people are familiar with Small Business Saturday, which encourages people to patronize local small retailers, National Mom and Pop Business Owners Day is all about honoring you — your hard, work, your dedication, and your vital contributions to the economy.
According to the Small Business Administration, small enterprises make up 99.7 percent of U.S. employer firms and account for 64 percent of the jobs created between 1993 and 2011. If that’s not a reason to celebrate, what is?
How It All Began
National Mom and Pop Business Owners Day supposedly originated when a gentleman named Rick Segal decided to honor his own “mom and pop” — his parents, who opened a small hat shop in Massachusetts on March 29, 1939. Over the years, the shop expanded into a major women’s apparel store, encompassing 10,000 square feet and earning $2 million a year in revenue.
5 Ways to Show Your “Mom and Pop” Pride
As Mom and Pop Business Owners Day approaches, you can take the opportunity to let your customers know about the event and invite them to celebrate with you. Here are just a few ideas to get you started:
Post on Social Media
Post about the occasion on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram with the hashtag #MomPopBusinessOwnersDay and invite your followers to join the celebration. Start a series where you share historic facts about famous mom-and-pop business owners, give a shout-out to other small businesses in your area, or share your “lessons learned” as a business owner.
Share Your Story
Do your customers know the story about how you started your business? If not, this is a great time to tell them. Put the story up on your website, in your newsletter, on your Facebook page — anywhere people interact with you online. If you have a brick-and-mortar shop, you can even frame a printed write-up of your company’s history and post it in a highly visible spot. And if you have long-standing customers, invite them to share their own stories about how they found you and the reasons why they keep coming back.
Say “Thank You” to Your Best Customers
When’s the last time you sent your best customers a thank-you gift? Make a “VIP” list of patrons who contribute to your success and send them a token of your appreciation to commemorate Mom and Pop Business Owners Day. You might choose an item that represents your product or service — for example, a mechanic shop might select a keychain flashlight, and a travel agency might choose a weekender tote bag. Or you could opt for a gift that everyone enjoys, like a beautiful engraved pen and pencil set, a stylish travel mug, or a tech padfolio. Remember to include a thoughtful note about how much their patronage means to you!
Mom-and-pop business owners know they can’t do it all alone, and this is an ideal opportunity to recognize the small-business partners who help you do what you do — your suppliers, service providers, vendors, and advisors. Partner up with those businesses to run joint campaigns showing your appreciation for each other and for your customers.
Host a Live Event
Hosting a live event will let you celebrate your success thanking your customers face-to-face for their support. If cost is an issue, consider inviting some of your fellow mom-and-pops to join with you; you can share the costs and you’ll probably get a larger turnout. Invite your guests to share photos on social media with the hashtag #MomPopBusinessOwnersDay. And remember to offer take-home gifts for all who attend — perhaps a plastic goodie bag filled with candy, coupons, pens, and other giveaways.
Mom and Pop Business Owners Day is an opportunity for small business owners like you to pat yourselves on the back … and say “thank you” to those who have helped you succeed. Business like yours are the engine that keeps your local, regional, and national economy humming along, so gather up your staff, your customers, and your partners and get ready for a well-deserved celebration!