May 05 2017

Find Inspiration from SBA’s 2017 National Small Business Week Award Winners

Apply three smart strategies exemplified by this year’s honorees.

The U.S. Small Business Administration celebrated National Small Business Week this week. SBA took the opportunity to commend the outstanding achievements of entrepreneurs and small businesses from 54 states and territories.

“These small business owners define entrepreneurial spirit and best represent the 28 million small businesses that are the backbone and economic engine for today’s economy,” SBA Administrator Linda McMahon said.

The honored leaders dedicate themselves to growing small businesses, creating jobs of the future, spurring innovation and boosting global competitiveness, and we have much we can learn from them.

IT leaders should tuck away the top three strategies demonstrated by the National Small Business Week awardees’ winning ways:

Take Calculated Risks — Invest to Meet an Unserved Need

Rose Morris of Pittsburgh, Pa., developed a fully enclosed bed system for her autistic son. Realizing that other families with children and adults with special needs likely struggled with the same challenge, she launched her company, Abram’s Bed, and now sells the Safety Sleeper worldwide.

Could technology fill a gap for your business’s users? How about customers?

Be Resilient — Develop Infrastructure that Can Withstand Disaster

Successful business leaders know they need to roll with the punches and adapt to changing markets and trends. Part of that resiliency stems from being able to weather a system outage or natural disaster. It’s critical to have a robust business continuity plan and data protection technology.

Electronics manufacturer Ember Industries of San Marcos, Texas, experienced a devastating flood in 2015 when 33 inches of water wiped out its production line. Having a coordinated response and partnership with a key supplier helped the company get running again with as little downtime as possible.

“I firmly believe we are a stronger company than before the flood,” said Rob Leonardis, president of Ember Industries. “We know that we can survive a major crisis. Our relationship with our customers has strengthened. Our relationship with our suppliers has strengthened.”

Identify Your North Star — and Let It Guide Your Mission

It’s not enough to simply have a mission statement. Companies need to live it, breathe it and do right by customers and employees. As a disabled veteran-owned business, IO Environmental & Infrastructure specializes in environmental remediation and compliance services. The San Diego company strives to maintain a workforce of at least 40 percent veterans and focuses on achieving a better environment, both natural and built.


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