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Small Business Week Spotlight: The Small Business Resources Owners Can't Live Without

Small Business Week Spotlight: The Small Business Resources Owners Can't Live Without

National Small Business Week is here again. Learn about how its been a time to recognize important contributions of entrepreneurs since 1963.

National Small Business Week is here again. Since 1963, National Small Business Week has been a time to recognize the important contributions of entrepreneurs and small business owners. It’s also been a great opportunity for consumers to show their support by visiting local businesses.

According to a March 2018 survey by Atomik and The UPS Store*, 50 percent of Americans choose to shop at local businesses as a way of supporting local business owners. So put your best foot forward during National Small Business Week and local consumers will likely reward your efforts.

To benefit from the increased recognition, small business owners should take a moment to ensure they have the right resources in place to operate and promote their businesses as flawlessly as possible. Since operational and marketing efforts are both crucial, we’ll touch on a few items in each category to help your local business stand out from the crowd, provide excellent customer service and generate great returns for you as the owner.


Master Your Operations

Manage your money.

Whether this is accomplished by taking advantage of accounting software or by hiring a CPA, the first thing a business owner needs to do is make sure their books are in order.

  • Keep close track of all expenses and make sure you aren’t spending more in any category, like supplies or wages, than expected or planned for.
  • Monitor your profit margins on all products or services sold. Some items have set prices, but if they’re costing you more than you’re making, you may need to reassess.


Develop a strategy and back it with data.

The best way to ensure sales goals and other business objectives are being met is to develop a strategy to get you to those goals. The best way to make sure your strategy works is to base it on key data points and modify it as needed when the data shows you should.

  • Research your market and offerings for pricing, strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. This will help you to set realistic goals for yourself.
  • Strategy objectives should include measurable key performance indicators (KPIs). It doesn’t matter if you have a strategy and great goals for your business if you‘re unable to track and measure whether you’re meeting those goals.
  • An adaptable strategy and goals are a must as your market changes. If a new competitor opens or sales of your top product decrease, you may have to take a different approach in your marketing and promotional strategies.

There are countless resources available to help owners improve their operations and maximize sales. The UPS Store is one resource for small businesses that can help with services like printing and shipping, as well as lesser known services like direct mail and business management services. Use the resources you need to ensure the growth of your business.


Become a Marketing Guru

Know yourself and your customers.

The best way to promote a business is to know exactly what it offers. As a business owner, it’s tremendously important to recognize both the good and the bad of your business. Know what customers gravitate towards, and look for processes or procedures that can be modified to make the customer experience as positive as possible.

  • The first step of promoting your business is actually done behind the scenes with employee training. The knowledge and experience your employees provide are what will keep customers coming back. Make sure employees know the business and are able to articulate the benefits of the products and services you offer.
  • Knowledge of your customer base will help you target your marketing to where your audience is. Appropriate marketing efforts will save you time and money in the long run and boost your returns on the marketing you put out.

Some marketing is free(ish).

Some paid marketing is needed, like direct mail campaigns, in-store promotional material or online marketing, but you can multiply your returns by adding in some unpaid marketing campaigns.

  • Things like social media cost you time, so they aren’t completely free, but they are a fantastic way to connect with local audiences and showcase community involvement. By investing some money on sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, you can increase visibility when you do run promotions or advertise products.
  • Email campaigns are another way to keep customers in the loop on sales, promotions and information on new products or services. There are several low-cost email software applications if your mailing list is too large to manage on your own.


Pull it all Together

Your operational and marketing efforts should work together in harmony to ensure the best experience for your customer and the greatest returns for you. Use research to plan your business strategy and set goals. Keep analyzing and reassessing to make sure it’s still working. Create a culture of knowledge and customer support with your staff. Promote your business through paid and unpaid marketing. And most importantly, keep your efforts going all year long.


*Survey Methodology: The UPS Store commissioned Atomik Research to run a general population online survey of 1,003 people in the United States. In accordance with Market Research Society guidelines and regulations, the margin of error fell within +/- 2 percentage points with a confidence interval of 95 percent. The fieldwork took place between March 5-6, 2018.

2023 Entrepreneur's Franchise 500 Top Rated for Veterans badge

We Proudly Support Our Veterans

Participating partners with the VetFran program, The UPS Store offers qualifying veterans $15,000 off their franchise fee to start their new business. To learn more, contact The UPS Store Franchise Development Team.

Entrepreneur's Franchise 500 Ranked #4 in 2023 badge

Ranked for over 30 Consecutive Years

The UPS Store has been ranked #1 in the postal and business services category for over 30 years and remains in the top 5 overall for the seventh consecutive year according to the Franchise 500 list.

Kristin Howard

Franchisee, Michigan

The reason my husband and I decided to go into franchising and specifically with The UPS Store, is the different opportunities we're given with the business. The UPS Store has name recognition as well as opportunities to expand.

Debbie Adams

Franchisee, Kentucky

What I enjoy most about being a The UPS Store owner is working with my customers. We are the solution specialists for our customers.

Jim George

Franchisee, Illinios

My favorite part about The UPS Store network is the camaraderie with other franchisees. Everybody loves to help everybody else. You’re really part of a family.

Greg Murray

Franchisee, Florida

The interesting thing about The UPS Store is that when a customer walks through the door there's an extremely high probability that they're coming there to do something that is important to them. So at the end of the day, what we do for customers is very important and they are trusting that we are going to do it well.

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Mariana Huberman

Franchisee, Washington, D.C.

One of the things that I love about The UPS Store franchise system is that you're not ever in this by yourself. The franchisees of The UPS Store network are great.

Heidi Morris

Franchisee, Colorado

The thing I enjoy most about being a The UPS Store franchisee is I get to get up, go to work and know that I'm helping other business owners succeed in what they're doing.

Bob Brown

Franchisee, Tennessee

Owning a The UPS Store franchise has changed my life because it's finally given me the opportunity to engage my customers and my staff and be able to take real pride in what I do. As a franchisee, we get faced with solving peoples' problems every day and we do everything we possibly can to try to help.

Marie Jensen

Franchisee, Oregon

My favorite thing about The UPS Store is the variety. I love the variety of customers, I love the variety of services; getting to know the customers, meeting their needs, finding out how we can help them accomplish what they need to accomplish and seeing how happy they are. That makes me ecstatic.

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Tad Mollnhauer

Franchisee, Florida

With the products and services that The UPS Store provides we can make a difference in people's lives and that is the best reason for being a The UPS Store owner.

Joy Batchelor

Franchisee, Idaho

What makes being a The UPS Store franchisee worthwhile at the end of the day is the customers. The customers treat us like we're family.

Paul Erchinger

Franchisee, Texas

One nice benefit of owning a The UPS Store franchise for me has been that it gives me the opportunity to be more involved in the community. As I make relationships with others it seems like no matter what the environment is, in one way or another business comes out of that and that's not my objective—it's been a secondary benefit to being involved in the community.

Chris Reminder

Franchisee, Ohio

There are several things that I really enjoy about being a The UPS Store franchisee. First and foremost it allows me to get to know the people in the local community and that is a lot of fun. We get to see people on a regular basis. We get to know their life stories. That's a lot of fun.

Bruce Jones

Franchisee, Kentucky

Since we have joined The UPS Store, our life has changed by just having more time to spend together as a family. We've been very fortunate with the stores that we have and we have a great staff that looks out for our best interest and we look out for theirs.

Lonnie Williams

Franchisee, Oklahoma

What makes The UPS Store so successful is it gives each individual an opportunity to grow with the network and just meet the challenges that are brought to them on a daily basis. Every day gives us a new opportunity to help another person, to help another small business, to answer a question and to solve a problem.

Jeff Graham

Franchisee, Alabama

I love my customers. I love my employees. I love every person, every face that comes into my store. I enjoy every day going into work and I can't see doing anything else for the rest of my life.

Stacie Stigar

Franchisee, Alaska

I think that this franchise is so successful because of all of the resources that are available to us as center owners—we have marketing materials, we have so many different opportunities for help from the home office, and it just really makes for a great franchise.

Don Pollard

Franchisee, New Jersey

I think the thing that makes this franchise successful is a number of things. First of all we have an outstanding system, we have a great product, a great brand, and we're able to attract dynamic people to run these centers and run the business. So I think when you put all that together it really provides for a winning combination.

Mary Ellen Nichols

Franchisee, Tennessee

The thing I love about the franchise is that you have the UPS name backing you but yet you also have the autonomy to make your own decisions to promote.

Laura Griffin

Franchisee, Florida

In the eight short months I've owned my The UPS Store it has really changed my life. I've gone from being an employee of someone else to being an employer of my associates. It's a big responsibility but it's exciting every day.

Sandy Scandrett

Franchisee, Wisconsin

Being a The UPS Store franchisee has improved every aspect of my life. It's very rewarding financially, professionally, and emotionally. I have a large number of regular customers who are really, really appreciative of everything we do.

Kristie Robison

Franchisee, Alabama

I would say owning a The UPS Store location has changed my life to where I have more time and flexibility. In owning your own business you get your store up and running and you get employees that you can trust that are going to help keep your store running. This allows me to attend my two boys' ball games and also travel and do things with them so it has really changed my life for the better.