Small Business Saturday Blog

Making the most of Small Business Saturday

Monday, January 04 at 13:41

Independent wine merchants Bat and Bottle reflect on Small Business Saturday and offer 3 tips for making the most of it as a small business!


Bat and Bottle Wine Merchants are specialist importers of Italian wines who had been trading since 1994. Made up of husband and wife team, Ben and Emma Robson, Bat and Bottle began by selling cricket bats as well as wine. Now they just focus on wine and are proud of their successful small business.

Bat and Bottle Wine Merchants offered a unique experience for Small Business Saturday 2015 Shoppers by offering a taste of some remarkable and rare wines for free. A great way to entice shoppers through the doors of small businesses!

Brightpearl spoke to Emma Robson from Bat and Bottle to see what they got up to on Small Business Saturday. “We had wine and gin tasting of some rare and wonderful drinks from a very small gin producer in London called Sacred and our smallest wine producer in Italy called Roberto Picech”, Emma revealed.

But was it a success? “People were genuinely very happy. The day was steady, constant and full. We thought it was good!” Emma added.

Bat and Bottle got creative with the Small Business Saturday stickers, Emma explained, “We sell from our warehouse on the outskirts of town and don't have a shop window, so we put the stickers on the back of our mini pickup. It’s still on there actually, I don’t see the point of taking it off!”

Located in the East Midlands town of Oakham, where independent businesses are the norm, many small businesses took part in Small Business Saturday. The council even offered free parking on the day.

“We are pretty much a town of independents in Oakham and it was good to see there were quite a lot of stickers all over the High Street. Somebody around the town had even organised a stickers trail so people went into all the shops displaying the Small Business Saturday stickers and got a tick or something along those lines from the person in each shop.”

Emma talked about other community events they’ve taken part in: “in the past, instead of discounting we’ve held a wine tasting in the town and encouraged our nationwide customers to come and stay in Oakham and shop in our small market town.” A great way to unite the community and increase business for independent and small businesses.

It not just Bat and Bottle who saw the benefits of Small Business Saturday, according to data from Brightpearl their independent retailers saw a 16% increase in gross merchandise value on Small Business Saturday from 2014 to 2015, Great news for independent retailers!
Here’s three quick tips for small businesses to take away from Bat and Bottle’s 2015 Small Business Saturday experience to help in 2016:

1. Offer product testing

Product testing is likely to get more people through the door of your store. Tempt them in with free samples and if they like the product, they’ll be likely to buy it from you!

2. Creatively display those Small Business Saturday signs

Think outside of the box like Bat and Bottle when displaying your Small Business Saturday signs and stickers. Place them in unusual places as well as your shop windows!

3. Join together with other small businesses

Joining forces with other local stores can lead to community co-operation. Building a relationship with other small businesses gives you an extra channel of support.

To find out more about Bat and Bottle Wine Merchants and Brightpearl visit their websites.

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