Case Studies

How to get your side hustle off the ground without giving up the day job.

Friday, February 16 at 12:33

Having worked for years as a freelance copywriter and sometime journalist, writing for and about small businesses, I’d always harboured a secret envy of my subjects—the people who took an idea and ran with it, to build something exciting. Perhaps no surprise, then, that I wanted to do the same, one day.
That day came last year. The idea for Badd Karma was as simple as combining my love for yoga and puns with a fascination for the rise of the slogan tee. My copywriting work provides my living, but I wanted to challenge myself to see what I could achieve if I dedicated just a few hours a week to nurturing a side hustle. Fast-forward a few months and Badd Karma is now a brand-new online store with four clothing micro-collections planned for 2018. It’s still early days—and far from being a source of income yet. But I’ve finally done what all of those brilliant entrepreneurs I write about have done, while holding down a day job and staying relatively sane. How? Here are my top tips:
1. Don’t skip the elevator pitch or testing your idea
You have a great side hustle idea. Before you go any further, you need to know that you’re onto something and that your idea is comprehensive enough to successfully pursue. Spend time nailing that elevator pitch so that you can test your idea out on... well, anyone you talk to. Listen for feedback and be prepared to act on it. 
2. Gather your support network
When you’re holding down a day job and nurturing a side hustle, you can’t do it all alone. Figure out what you don’t know how to do and ask friends, social and professional networks for advice and practical support. People are generally happy to help, so don’t be too shy or too proud to ask. I’ve had near-strangers doing me huge favours, simply because they believe in my idea.
3. Do a realistic audit of your available time for the next six months
It’s easy to overestimate what you can achieve—while underestimating social schedules, family commitments, illness and procrastination. Be realistic. Avoid overwhelm and exhaustion by setting boundaries for yourself. Initially, I ring-fenced 5 hours a week as side-hustle time (hello, focus!), then upped it anytime my flow of client work slowed down.
4. Get organised—and professional
It might be ‘just’ a side hustle, but you still need a plan. I went for two months with no business plan until someone I met at a networking event suggested I took my own idea more seriously. She was right. I wrote a plan, set goals and suddenly, my idea took on a life of its own.
5. Share your goals and plans
Verbally committing to something is a very powerful motivator. Equally, communicating your goals and plans with your employer or clients reassures them that you’re completely organised and remain committed to your everyday work. You may find yourself some new supporters for your venture as a result!
Kate Foster is a freelance copywriter and the founder of Badd Karma, a slogan-led yoga wear brand with a social conscience that celebrates diversity on the yoga mat and aims to empower every yogi in their practice. She lives in Somerset and has worked with small businesses since 2012 as a copywriter and marketing consultant. 
Instagram: @baddkarmashop
Facebook: @baddkarmashop

Shining a Light on the Success of Shearer Candles.

Tuesday, November 28 at 14:41

We love to hear Small Business success stories and how here in the UK independent businesses are growing from strength to strength. 
One of these great stories comes from Shearer Candles in Glasgow and here they share with us how Amazon has helped them expand their customer base online and reach brand new customers to introduce their amazing products to. 
About Shearer Candles Founded in 1897 by Mr Shearer and Mr Harvey on the outskirts of Glasgow, Shearer Candles is the UK's longest established lifestyle candle company. Messrs Shearer and Harvey had worked as chandlers in the Candleriggs district, historically the heart of candle making. At that time, customers still bought their ingredients before the candles were made to order.Over a century later, Shearer Candles prides itself on delivering high quality candles that contain only the finest ingredients. They're still a family business, but their customers today include leading retailers, hotels and restaurants, not to mention the candle lovers of all persuasions – who can’t help but fall for the beautifully crafted candle collections.

We caught up 2016 Small Biz 100 Lavolio!

Thursday, November 16 at 13:30

We love to check in and see how our Small Biz 100 are doing and today we caught up with Investment Banker turned Confectioner, Lavolio and learned how her business has grown from strength to strength. 
Lavinia Davolio set up her business selling luxury Italian confectionary in 2014 after leaving her job in finance. Lavolio’s own range of boutique confectionary products are handcrafted with 30 natural flavours including nuts, real fruit, chocolate and spices.
She initially started selling her range of boutique confectionary at local food markets, before selling online through Amazon Marketplace where her sales have grown by more than 100% each year.
Her products are now stocked on the marble shelves of Fortnum & Mason, and on the back of her success selling online she is about to open her first high-street store in London.
“The inspiration behind my business came to me when I was experimenting in the kitchen – a lightbulb moment when I thought that I could make chocolate products that are more interesting and more remarkable that what is already on the market. Amazon has helped to grow my business by building my brand and reaching new customers, meaning I can offer next day delivery and export to customers around the world.” 
Shop Lavolio Now! To watch the full video of her journey and inspiration here: 

KTD Surveying - Celebrating 5 years of business

Thursday, November 09 at 09:00

What have you learnt in the last 5 years 
So much!  Having never run a business before, everything from marketing to pricing to IT issues were all new to me.  I knew my specialist area but quickly had to learn so much more.  Having always thought I hated networking, I found that actually it is really enjoyable if you find the right groups for you.  I also learnt that it was really difficult to price my service, because my target clients didn’t even know the service I offered existed, so I had to jump that hurdle before they could even consider whether to go ahead or not.  Five years on, and I still find that aspect difficult, but it seems most small businesses I talk to feel the same way.
What are your goals for the next 5 years
At the moment I’m working on producing video guides and talks to be able to help more businesses cost effectively.  I’m also aiming to be the first port of call for businesses if they are thinking of taking on commercial property, before they even start negotiations.  This way they can be sure of an even better outcome.
What has been the single most helpful thing to you (advice, support, finance, etc) over your business life so far? 
 I think this would have to be the support I get from my co-working colleagues.  As a group of businesses we rent offices together, and being able to share resources and problems, and help each other out has been amazing.  Sharing offices has also meant we get to know each other’s businesses so can easily refer work between us which is an added bonus.  Plus we’ve got people to have the traditional Christmas party with!
Kirsty is the founder and a Director of KTD Surveying, a property consultancy specialising in landlord and tenant issues, advising on and negotiating all aspects of commercial property leases and rental valuations. 
In September 2012 Kirsty set up her practice and advises a range of businesses to make sure that surveying services are accessible to all, whether that is finding the first premises for a start-up company, negotiating service charge disputes for a residential developer, or negotiating rent reviews and lease renewals for office and retail tenants. 
An advocate for small businesses, Kirsty is a member of the steering committee for the Small Business Clinics rolled out by RICS, and joined the RICS East of England Board in 2014.  She is part of the pilot mentoring scheme run by RICS, where female surveyors in the UK mentor those in South Africa, and also attends careers fairs to highlight Chartered Surveying as an attractive option for those who may not have considered it. 

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. 
[email protected]"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.

Spice Kitchen notice the difference with Small Business Saturday

Monday, June 19 at 17:14

"Small Business Saturday was amazing! We gave free mulling spices to customers who bought from us directly and we had a record number of sales. We were much busier than last year, as we were part of the Small Biz 100 this year and hence shouted more about Small Business Saturday. Online sales rose by 60% compared to a regular Saturday!"Sanjay Aggarwal, Co-founder of Spice Kitchen. Spice Kitchen is a family run artisanal spice and tea company run by mother and son team Sanjay & Shashi Aggarwal. Started over the kitchen table on Christmas Day 2012, the business is centered around Shashi's expertise and knowledge with spices and spice blends. 

Small Business Saturday 2015 - Stoke Climsland Village Market, Cornwall

Tuesday, December 08 at 11:09

Burton's small business Conga Celebration On Small Business Saturday UK 2015

Tuesday, December 08 at 10:37

Burton’s small business owners celebrated Small Business Saturday on 5th December with a kick and a shimmy through the busy shopping areas, led by the Burton Small Business partnership, who came up with the idea to form a flash Conga!
The fun idea was created to celebrate the diverse range of small businesses in Burton and with the intention to surprise Burton’s Christmas shoppers – which it did! The Conga was a great success kicking off at the Octagon Centre, shimmying through Coopers Square and cavorting into the Christmas Market in the Market Hall.Karen McElroy from FCM Associates spoke about the immediate buzz in the town and on social media: “The atmosphere in the three main shopping areas was fantastic as the Conga music started, the public were indeed surprised and were very happy to receive a free fabric shopping bag from the team! During the afternoon a frenzy of Twitter posts were sent via @SmallBizSatUK with retweets across the UK including The Guardian!”Successful local business man Mike Cherry, the National Policy Director from the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) welcomed the group at the end, he said: “I was absolutely delighted to be asked to meet the Burton Small Business partners Conga group to celebrate Small Business Saturday UK and offer some words of encouragement.
“The FSB’s mission is to help smaller businesses achieve their ambitions and to protect the interests of its members. Small Business Saturday UK is a perfect opportunity to recognise all the unsung successful small businesses across the UK who support their local communities and generate income for the local economy. Well done to the Burton Small Business partners for organising such a fun event!”Burton Small Business partners, established in 2014, are passionate about local businesses coming together to celebrate the diversity of what the town has to offer on Small Business Saturday UK – whether you are a retailer or professional services company.They have shared their expertise for the second year running in a FREE downloadable guide via their website - to help local companies put Burton firmly on the map as part of this increasingly popular national event.The four businesses behind the Burton Small Business initiative are freelance writing business Caittom Publishing, freelance PR and communications agency FCM Associates, film company Red Door Studios and human resources specialists HR Protected.Elaine Pritchard owner of Caittom Publishing, and listed in the Small Biz 100 for 2015, spoke about the Conga: “We wanted to do something fun to celebrate Small Business Saturday UK this year that would unite all the diverse businesses that are thriving in the town. Both local retailers and professional services were seen as shining examples in the region, using the campaign to promote their businesses, and to shop local too!
“The Burton Small Business partnership wants to help put our town's small businesses on the map on Small Business Saturday which is gaining real momentum in the UK each year."Small Business Saturday UK is a growing campaign which highlights small business success and encourages consumers to ‘shop local’ and support small businesses in their communities – with 64% of UK consumers being aware of the day in 2014.Special thanks to the Federation of Small Businesses, Burton & District Chamber of Commerce, Love Burton, East Staffordshire Borough Council, the Octagon Centre and the Coopers Square management teams for their support!Councillor Patricia Ackroyd, East Staffordshire Borough Council’s Deputy Leader for Enterprise and Environment, said: “It was great to see small businesses from across the Borough coming together to mark Small Business Saturday on the 5th December.“East Staffordshire is a great environment for SMEs to do business, with a fantastic network of support for businesses of all shapes and sizes! The event planned on Small Business Saturday demonstrates this, and we hope to see lots of businesses getting involved, promoting themselves, and inspiring others.”NOTES TO EDITORS:Burton Small Business offer a FREE guide for people to download, containing essential tips about promoting a business through persuasive writing, public relations, video and strong visual brands as well as advice about personnel issues that are essential to the growth of a small business.In preparation for Small Business Saturday 2015 an extended FREE guide has been offered, with even more free advice from local experts – with new contributions from:Sherwin Insurance Services LimitedElse Solicitors LLPThe Chartwell PracticeThe Growth Hub – Chamber of CommerceAny small businesses in the area or anyone thinking of starting a new business are invited to download the extended guide for FREE to get advice on growing their business.The Burton Small Business partners have a Pinterest account and will be asking local businesses to contribute images that promote their business, the products and services they offer before, during and after 5th December. You can also follow the team on Twitter at @BurtonSmallBiz in the weeks ahead, to keep up with the latest news about Small Business Saturday UK.Burton Small Business contacts:E: [email protected] W: T: @BurtonSmallBiz


Monday, June 29 at 13:27

"For Small Business Saturday in 2014, Enterprise Enfield ran bite-sized business seminars, free drop in advice sessions - and offered visitors the opportunity to view our new Let's Go! Business Hub (services include: hot desk and meeting/ training room hire, business lounge with free wi fi).
The event was very successful - 43 people attended the 3 free bite-sized seminars in Social Media, Raising Finance and Smart Start for Small Businesses and following it 30 people registered to become Hub users.We will be running a similar event for Small Business Saturday this year - linking it with our 30th Anniversary.
Enterprise Enfield will also have a Film London KinoVan outside the building on Small Business Saturday on December 5th. They will show a dedicated programme of film focussing on work, enterprise and industry in London over the decades."
By Sue King, Enterprise Enfield


Friday, January 23 at 11:20

Food and Drink Fair hit with businessFood producers lined up alongside a Father Christmas on stilts, jazz and guitar music and Grantham’s own Christmas ‘Cake Off’ baking competition to celebrate Small Business Saturday.A special council-organised Food and Drink Fair in the George Centre involved food producers from a local chocolatier to artisan bread makers, and even a child-friendly sausage from The Savvy Sausage Company  produced in a kitchen in Belton.
Grantham MP Nick Boles joined a panel of cake judges and praised SKDC’s efforts to celebrate Small Business Saturday, saying: “We are incredibly lucky at the range and quality of the small businesses we have in Grantham and right across this part of Lincolnshire.“I think it’s great that the council is doing so much to support them and it’s great there are so many businesses opening up now taking on empty shops and bringing people into the town centre. We want them to be busy and full of people full of Christmas cheer.“It’s been a really great day. I just think everyone feels better about life when they can see their town thriving.”Exhibitor Kathy Britton from Oldershaw brewery typified the event’s value for local businesses, saying:“Events like this are very important in raising awareness and without local customer support we wouldn’t be where we are. We’re very grateful to be here and we’ll do all we can to support events like this in the future.“This year we’ve increased capacity, moving the brewery to new premises at Barkston Heath.   In the last couple of months we’ve also taken on an apprentice and we try to support and promote local employment.”George Centre footfall was up 7.3% on the same day last year, with just over 6,000 shoppers through the doors. Manager Hilary Pearce said: “It was nice to see local food producers given the chance to sell direct to the public, particularly when people are looking for unusual gifts for Christmas and I am delighted that it went so well.  From our point of view it was an excellent day.”For organiser South Kesteven District Council Cllr Frances Cartwright, portfolio holder for grow the economy said:“As a council we are committed to helping small business grow. Staging a day like the Food and Drink Fair is essential to give producers a shop window and get them in front of the public. It follows our Shop Local theme where we constantly encourage people to support local retailers.”Photos can be seen HERESee the highlights of the Food and Drink Fair HERE and view pictures from the day through South Kesteven District Council’s Facebook page HEREBy South Kesteven District Council


Friday, January 23 at 11:20

We had an awesome day! Footfall to our High Street more than doubled to its highest every during one of our events and retailers reported significant increases in sales. It was an incredible team effort that saw over 100 artists selling work of all shapes and sizes on the street alongside two stages of music and performances, busking, free creative workshops, Father Christmas, pop-up shops, street food and market produce. All amazing little businesses in their own right!We're really proud of how it went and it certainly made a huge difference to the town and the way it's perceived. The pictures don't really do it justice, especially the bits you can't see, like the huge queues to the car parks, cashpoints running out of money, packed cafés and bars and the beautiful twinkling Christmas lights as the sun went down.See more HEREWe also tracked the event on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram, where we post regular updates on our events and activities!
By Marie Leonard

Barnard Castle - Chocolate Fayre

Friday, January 23 at 11:19

Maddest day ever!Business was incredible, with many of our customers knowing about Small Business Saturday UK and our little high street was buzzing!The balloons and doormat outside our door probably helped, Sir Peter Blake's High Street Heroes was definitely an exciting addition, but also the fact that you guys stuck me on BBC TV was a bit of an advantage!Unfortunately I didn't get any photos of the shop, as I was driving back from Manchester. However, I felt that nationally, it was a well presented, well coordinated campaign, that had a seriously positive impact on small business in our area (Teesdale, County Durham) - an area that is so unknown, you wouldn't believe it!Can't wait for next year!By Kenny Walker 

Mossley - Complete Forensics

Friday, January 23 at 11:19

Complete Forensics decided to share our Small Business Saturday UK by opening up our doors to local business in Mossley Greater Manchester. We we had a super turn out and a great day for trade and networking.View some pictures HERE
"The event I went to hosted by Gary, Howard, Lyla Stevens and the other guys of Complete forensics was different to most I have heard of they invited all small businesses in the area to get together and invited the public to come and meet us all in one place. This gave us a chance to network and bounce idea's of each other on how best to achieve our long term goals and not just concentrate on one days sales. It was good to put faces to some of the people behind our local businesses and meet up with members of the public who will one day be future customers!"By Gary Howard of Complete Forensics 


Friday, January 23 at 11:19

City of York Council has welcomed news that over 16,000 people visited the Small Business Saturday Market outside York Minster on Saturday 6 December.Organised by City of York Council and Proudly™, the market was part of the national Small Business Saturday campaign, which looks to support and promote the benefits of small businesses.Outside the historic York Minster traders sold items ranging from local micro-brewed beers to vintage clothes, unique gifts and homeware to pulled-pork sandwiches. Traders were able to take card payments on the day, thanks to iZettle® mobile payment systems who offered their services free of charge for the day. The payment systems used CityConnectWiFi, which is free and available across York city centre.
Cllr Dafydd Williams, Cabinet Member for Finance and Performance at City of York Council said: "It's good to see that so many people got behind Small Business Saturday and supported local small businesses. City of York Council is committed to continuing to work with partners to facilitate an environment in York in which small businesses can grow and create jobs in the city. We were pleased to be supporting the Small Business Saturday initiative, alongside partners and were delighted by the numbers of people who came out to support the event."Aliz Tennant, Proudly™ Project Manager, said: "Small independent businesses are the heart of York, both on the high-street and online, and are what make the city so unique both for residents and visitors. Being able to showcase and celebrate them on one of the busiest shopping days of the year, as part of Small Business Saturday, has not only provided shoppers with unique gifts for this Christmas but has also seen the traders supported by over 16,000 people who attended the event - showing thanks for the work they do all year round. We know from the feedback that the traders were truly touched."At Proudly we know how important these businesses are to York's economy and we're thrilled that the city came out to support the event, and Small Business Saturday as a whole"
Andy Herrington, Managing Director, Ainsty Ales who were one of the traders at the market "At the heart of the brewery are its local roots, ethics and morals, something which we at Ainsty Ales believe was echoed by all involved with the recent Small Business Saturday Market in York. The market not only helped to promote small and local businesses, but it did so in a way that was a great spectacle for the public visiting York,  a great networking event for all the small businesses participating and all in the backdrop of the magnificent York Minster! Being able to take credit-card payments at the event was a simple but great idea and the fact that these facilities were provided free of charge just proves again that support is out there for new businesses in the York area eager to succeed! Roll on Small Business Saturday 2015 in York!!"Article from York Means Business - credits: Ben Bentley / One&Other

Putney, SW London

Friday, January 23 at 11:19

Check out the day HERE


Friday, January 23 at 11:19

 M&O Fish – Darwin
Advance Music – Barking & Dagenham
Platinum Brides - SolihullWe were one of the Small Business 100 last year 2013. This year, we held a special accessories day for our brides, selling accessories from our UK suppliers Joyce Jackson Veils (North Wales) & Liza Designs (Skegness), who both provided us with extra samples.The Pirate & Bluebell Gallery (Heather McCulloch)We had a lovely day at The Pirate and Bluebelle gallery, met so many amazing people wanting to support little local businesses like ours. Was the best kind of day!
ICE Retail - EdinburghWe were very busy in the shop and delighted to showcase one of our lovely designers C.Watson and her workEllesmere - Shropshire (Ismay Evans)Well Done & Thank you! I had a fantastic day in Ellesmere Shropshire, with many customers supporting Small Business Saturday & taking advantage of offers I put on for yesterday. I only opened my ladies clothing shop in March & the support has been fantastic!
Leona Curtis Design – Trowbridge, WiltshireGreat day trading at Trowbridge, Wiltshire Christmas Market in support of Small Business Saturday UK

Tower Hamlets

Friday, January 23 at 11:19

How supporting local businesses is helping Tower HamletsIt didn’t take a national event like Small Business Saturday for us to realise that small businesses are the lifeblood of the Tower Hamlets economy. Yes, Canary Wharf is in the borough, and the City’s on our doorstep. But while they do contribute so much to the economy, we cannot forget that thousands of smaller businesses play a huge role in our economic successes.A recent Grant Thornton report found that Tower Hamlets ranked first for growth in the country and was among the top ten most dynamic local economies in the country. And why is that? Because our small businesses are dynamic, savvy, quirky, and they listen to the needs of their market. One small business that is doing really interesting work is Studio Film School. They work in schools to try and inspire the next generation of filmmakers through creative workshops. And of course, with Tech City UK springing up around us, we’re going to see so many exciting organisations doing innovative work, and disseminating their best practice to others.This year, we did a lot of activity around Small Business Saturday. Our team of officers worked tirelessly on a big marketing push to encourage people to shop locally. These included a number of publications sent to local residents in Bethnal Green, Mile End and these publications listed shops, restaurants, hairdressers, and all the businesses that you may need as a resident in East London. They also included exclusive special offers that people could use to get bargains, and to drive people to their local businesses.Small Business Saturday saw businesses coming together across the borough. For instance, we worked very closely with the Roman Road Residents and Business Association (RBA) to put on a Winter Festival, encouraging people to celebrate their road’s heritage, but also to shop locally. There were also a number of other events across the borough – including an event organised by local arts and community organisation Oxford House and the Bethnal Green Business Forum.Speaking to residents on the road, who were shopping and enjoying themselves, I heard a lot of praise for the shops, restaurants, hairdressers and many other businesses. The local businesses were also chatting away about the benefits that the guides we produced had for their businesses. Anna Pacikova from the Bethnal Green Business Forum said: “Small Business Saturday was a great success. The Business Forum was very pleased to support the launch the Special Offers Booklet. It was a great opportunity to show the residents of Bethnal Green, that our high street is full of interesting and independent businesses.”What we and other local councils up and down the country recognise and celebrate is that there is so much available to you on your doorstep. What you get when you shop at places around you is local knowledge and a friendly and familiar face.Shopping locally is so much more than that, though. Every pound you are spending is helping to grow the Tower Hamlets economy and the Tower Hamlets community. You’re investing your hard-earned money in your area. So head down to your local shops today – they’re here for life, not just for Christmas.By the Deputy Mayor of Tower Hamlets, Oliur Rahman


Friday, January 23 at 11:19

In Wrexham we decided we wanted to make real go of the day and get as many things going on as possible to encourage people into the town and into independent traders.
Everything was achieved on a minimal budget plus a lot of goodwill and hard work by many individuals and collaboration and full support from our Local Council, our MP and other parliamentary candidates.We also recognise in Wrexham that for towns to thrive Small Independents and National Brands need to co-exist, to provide a viable option to out of town development, the internet and the big 4 supermarkets, and to this end many national brands although they did not actively participate in the day promoted the day to their staff, families and via their social media.  The UK’s Healthy High Street Campaign proved invaluable in helping make this a great family event, and we also received help and support from the Federation of Small Business.The event was  fully supported by the local press.Free parking for the day really helpedWe also produced a pre-event animation - HEREAnd finally an event video - HEREWe also set up a Facebook event page and organisers group chat which is still running today with lots of ideas for next year.For me the day was summarised by one of our Councillors this week - “Councillor Bill Baldwin described the event as a ‘fantastic Saturday’, adding: “It reminded me of the 80s and what the town used to be like. People will come into town if there is something on offer.”By Nigel Lewis, Wrexham Town Centre Forum Chairman

Love from Indie Street in Edinburgh

Sunday, January 18 at 19:33

To celebrate Small Business Saturday Love from Indie Street (a virtual high street of Edinburgh's best independent businesses) teamed up with 'Higher Love' to run a free shuttle vintage VW camper van between the city centre and the hubs of independent businesses that exist around the city to show shoppers an alternative side to shopping in Edinburgh.We had a fantastic day and our 'indie shop hunters' all just loved the shops we were able to share with them which were full of individual and brilliant gifts for Christmas. The day was such a success that we will be running a fleet of VW Camper vans next year.

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