Case Studies

5 years of Film - Wild Film

Thursday, October 19 at 09:00

Wild Films turned 5 this year and we interviewed owner Leanne Gator about how far they have come and what they are looking forward to in the future. 

Turning five is a big deal for us. This year my partner Alex joined the business and it’s really started to take off - so all the hard work is paying off! My first hour long documentary, The Tigers Of Scotland, is due out this year too and we’re excited about where that might go and what opportunities it may present to our business in the next few years. 

What have you learnt in the last 5 years?

I’ve learned a good deal in the last five years. The biggest thing has been to accept that things take time to build up - especially in such a competitive industry as filmmaking. I’ve also spent the last five years specialising and developing niche skills which will stand me in far better stead than the jack-of-all approach I took when starting the business. I was taking on jobs as a commercial and events photographer, trying to make promotional films and making films about things that personally interested me, all at the same time - and it was tiring. It’s possible for some businesses to do that in filming and photography, but for us I think specialising helps a lot. 

What are your goals for the next 5 years?

As a wildlife filmmaker, I would of course LOVE to work on an Attenborough programme - who wouldn’t?! Alex is a cinematographer for fiction films and we hope the next five years follow the current trend of him gaining increasingly more work on feature films and high end commercials. Both of these goals for our careers would mean our business grows exponentially, which is ultimately always the goal.

What has been the single most helpful thing to you (advice, support, finance, etc) over your business life so far?

 I would say probably training. Continually improving our knowledge of our industry and the tools we use in it, but also improving our knowledge of how to run a business is what has been the most helpful thing. There’s always new camera equipment to familiarise ourselves with and new capabilities added to existing cameras, as well as new skills to develop, but there’s also trends in marketing and social media to keep on top of. I think sometimes people underestimate the value of training and development, but technology moves so fast that every business needs to keep on top of their training and development really.

Wild Films Specialises in Natural History shows and Cinematic Narrative/Drama productions, including outdoor, adventure and wildlife documentaries plus features, dramas and commercials. Wild Films provide cinematography services to the film and TV industries and is based in Cheshire, United Kingdom.

New Car Deals is 5 years old!

Thursday, October 05 at 09:00

Our second business that has turned 5 this year is New Car Deals - We spoke to Nancy and Paul Thorley who own the business.

- What does it means to be turning five?

It feels like a real milestone for New Car Deals to be turning five. Time has flown and it's great to look back from where we came from with a sense of achievement. We are excited to put into practice what we have learnt the last five years and see where the next five years can take us!

- What have you learnt in the last 5 years?

We have learnt a lot about ourselves, our strengths and weaknesses and how best to work together.
 I have learnt that the most important part of any business is good staff who feel part of the business and care about your customers.
 When you run a business you have to have the confidence to take risks, even if they don't always pay off.
 You also can never plan too much, have too many spreadsheets or write too many lists!

- What are your goals for the next 5 years?

We plan to expand our van business and introduce specialised commercial vehicles.

We have an exciting new website and rebrand in the pipeline which will go hand in hand with further growth of our team and a move to larger offices.

With the increase in personal leasing and customer awareness we plan to open a few small easily accessible and visible agent style shops/offices with a focus on personal leasing and interactively advertising our service, which can save people lots of money compared to walking into a local dealer. Whilst more and more people are confident dealing with high ticket purchases online and over the phone, there are always people who feel more comfortable putting a face to a business they are trusting with such an important purchase as their car.

There are lots of exciting things to come!

- What has been the single most helpful thing to you (advice, support, finance, etc) over your business life so far?

This has to be the importance of finding and keeping great staff who are loyal to your business. Obviously this costs you more money and time, but the rewards you get are tenfold. Staff who feel appreciated work harder and stay with you longer, retaining experience and training, and most importantly provide a continuous and reliable service to your customers.

New Car Deals is a family run business, based in Horbury, close to the city of Wakefield in West Yorkshire. They offer a very friendly, efficient and professional service to their clients and take great pride in looking after all of their clients both before, during and after any sale. 

Our first 5 year old Business is.... Tillycroy Support Services!

Thursday, September 21 at 09:38

We interviewed 5 businesses that were turning 5 this year and asked them all about their businesses, first up we have Tillycroy Support Services. 

1.      What it means to be turning five:

We have a huge pride in what we have achieved over the last five years. Within this time the North East of Scotland has been very badly hit by the downturn of the oil and gas industry. However, despite this Tillycroy Support Services have continue to grow and expand within on specialised area.

2.     What we have learnt in the last five years:
We believe in hard work and integrity while having a high regard for the people that we meet and work with.
Over the last five years we have discovered that by building trustful business relationships has added to us maintained our customer base while also securing new clients.
We aim to deliver the type of service that we expect to enjoy from our own suppliers.
You always need to set yourself targets, both short and long-term which helps to keep you focused and determined on the job in hand.
3.     What our goals are for the next five years:

We now have strong foundations in place which will in turn will help in our long-term ambition to grow the business.
We have already moved into expanding our course offering and now include Canine First Aid which has been a huge success.
In 2016, we started to win work within the Republic of Ireland and have contracts with three major clients.
This is an important area for us and we are looking to expand our customer base, while sticking to our core values of fully accredited training, customer service and quality.

4.     The single most helpful thing to us:
 Stop and listen to advice.
Make sure that anything that you are going to do within the business is not only right for it but for you and your family as well. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, it is not sign of weakness but strength.

Tillycroy Support Services are a training organisation based in the North East of Scotland.
They specialise in Fork Lift Training and Re-assessments; Accredited First Aid; AED Awareness; Health and Safety; Industrial Skills Training; Workplace MAC & DSE Assessments; Face Fit Testing.

"Tillycroy Support Services, Training For The Workplace"

Rose and Olive increase sales and bookings!

Friday, June 30 at 18:30

"As one of the chosen businesses for the Small Biz 100 in 2016, we took our festive pop up vintage tearoom to the reopening of Gravesend Borough Market, served tea and cake to the Mayor and had a near cake sell out. We also ran a special offer with 25% off which gained us some more bookings for 2017. All in all we had a great day!"

Claire Hearn, co-founder of Rose and Olive. Rose and Olive is a vintage tearoom who also host vintage tea parties. Both former Police Officers in London, we swapped our cuffs for cakes to follow our dreams and haven't looked back.

Stripes Fashion connects with customers

Thursday, June 29 at 18:30

"We encouraged local shoppers to shop at independents this Small Business Saturday by giving away festive gifts to tie in with our 12 Days of Christmas window. With each purchase of clothing or beauty treatments in store or online, customers were given wrapped complimentary festive gifts, ranging from complimentary one-hour manicures to beauty packages, make-up and jewellery. Small Business Saturday enabled us to start a dialogue with customers, thank them for their loyalty and to encourage them to support other independent businesses in the city."

Claire Wright, Stripes Fashion. Since opening in 2004, Stripes has become a destination store for women who love fashion. We are a family business with a passion for creating an inspiring boutique that is totally unique and offers a beautiful shopping environment, knowledgeable sales team and a fresh selection of clothing and accessories. We are proud of our products and take great care in traveling all over Europe to bring new collections to you.

Cakes with Faces promotes the Small Business Saturday message

Wednesday, June 28 at 18:30

"I gave my customers free Christmas cards with orders from Cakes with Faces on Small Business Saturday as a thank you. I design cute T-shirts and gifts, and was part of the first UK Small Business Saturday 100. For me, promoting the Small Business Saturday message is more important than sales on the day itself, because what we want is support and appreciation for small businesses the whole year round."

Amy Crabtree, founder of Cakes with Faces is a graphic artist/designer. Cakes with Faces are a brand of cute and colourful t-shirts and gifts, all with her original designs, which she sells online. 

Whitstable Produce Store celebrate their 3rd birthday in style

Tuesday, June 27 at 11:56

"It was our third birthday on Small Business Saturday (we opened on Small Business Saturday 2013). This year, we again celebrated by launching our Christmas windows, designed by Whitstable artist Oywah Chung, and revealing our third birthday cake by award-winning Whitstable baker Sally4Cakes. It was a busy, happy day with regulars popping in, and producers and local businesses sharing our content on social media."

Amanda Jones, Whitstable Produce Store, an independent Store selling great Kent food and drink run by a family that loves food and loves Whitstable. We sell food and drink made by great Kent producers. We're open every day for breakfast, morning coffee, light lunches and afternoon tea and we're licenced. Whitstable Produce Store is in the centre of Whitstable at the heart of its independent shops and minutes away from the sea.

Kit & Caboodle feel the Small Business Saturday love!

Tuesday, June 27 at 11:50

"This is our first Small Business Saturday, and we celebrated by giving away a free polar bear cub with every Winter Joy Kit purchased. As a new company, the most important thing is spreading awareness of our brand, so it was an excellent marketing exercise. It was also a great way to engage with our social media followers. The campaign gave us the chance to interact with our following and with other small businesses, and for our tiny company (run by just two of us) to feel a part of the small business community."

Alice Castle, co-founder, Kit &Caboodle. Kit & Caboodle Party Kits are a busy parent’s secret weapon. They are a complete party in a box, packed full of everything you could think of from dressing up when the kids arrive right down to the thank you cards. Or you can build your own party kit by theme or by colour. Simply add a starter kit and select extra tableware, decorations, dress up, party activities and party bags for the perfect party! 

Dandylion Teas look back on Small Business Saturday

Tuesday, June 27 at 11:39

"I was very proud to have taken part in this year’s Small Business Saturday and delighted at the personal invitation to showcase my teas at 10 Downing Street. Although Dandylion is a young company, it has been busy shaking up the industry and receiving resounding welcome and excitement. This year, Dandylion donated tea sets for the Small Business Saturday Blue Tie Ball, had our logo on the touring bus, catered for events, and happily served teas along the way."

Francesca Booth, founder of Dandylion Teas. Francesca’s inherent love of good food and drink lead to the creation of Dandylion. The Dandylion brand stands for quality, heritage and family. Their aim is to create products that become firm favourites; which can be enjoyed as an everyday indulgence and impromptu get- togethers with friends. 

Haven't Stopped Dancing Yet get into the groove!

Tuesday, June 27 at 11:33

"We celebrated Small Business Saturday by doing what we and our customers love – dancing. We’re a small indy business based in south-east London, offering 70s and 80s nights. It was our biggest event so far north of the river (at Islington Assembly Hall). There was a wonderful feel-good atmosphere and we had people from their 20s through to their 60s dancing their socks off to Chic and Sister Sledge. Local independent shops sold tickets and we’re giving 10% of profits to Cancer Research UK."
Nikki Spencer is the founder of Haven’t Stopped Dancing Yet! At Haven't Stopped Dancing Yet! you can buy your ticket in advance. There's no one deciding if you are are cool enough to get in. Dress-up, dress down - the choice is yours. Most clubs are geared towards 18-30s but that shouldn't mean that the rest of us have to sit on the sofa in our slippers on a Saturday night or start wearing head to toe beige.