Small Business Saturday hits the heights again

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The gang from Great Bean Bags. "We loved Small Business Saturday"

With Small Business Saturday achieving a 63% increase in participants in 2016, 2017 was set to see this reach further heights. Here, some small businesses across the UK tell us how the day went for them and and what their ambitions are next year.

“Small Business Saturday is still growing, but I can see more businesses getting involved every year. This year in Nottingham the Council encouraged shoppers with a huge banner on the side of the town hall and with the independent business scene in the city being so huge, it truly pushed people to take a look at that quirky business around the corner instead of the standard chain. We like to highlight our local aspects all-year round as we manufacture in-house with locally sourced materials, perfect for bean bags with Nottingham’s rich history in fabrics. Small Business Saturday 2017 was aptly celebratory for its 5th year and we hope it becomes a bigger event in 2018.”

Patrick Tonks, director at Great Bean Bags

“Small Business Saturday is crucial for any e-commerce business as it is a time to excel and introduce your products to customers when they are most engaged. With this in mind, we truly encouraged people to support local businesses and people are becoming more and more engaged every year. Something that should be considered is that e-commerce stores that may not have a local base, need to emphasise their local aspect whether that be the family behind the website or the local manufacturing. We loved Small Business Saturday and hope it continues to encourage people to support local.”

Ian Blackburn, managing director at Hidepark Leather

“Even though we are predominantly an ecommerce store, we are also a family business who strongly believes in the importance of loyalty and personal relationships with both colleagues and customers. In our marketing strategy, we frequently conduct competitor analyses and are constantly creating out strategies and improving our site and online performance to compete with the big market giants. Events like Small Business Saturday are therefore a great opportunity for local businesses to show off their values. Even for me as a business owner to learn more about the local businesses is Banbury is crucial and something that I try to do through events like this.” 

Luigi Pannozzo, founder of Gazeboshop

“I have been a part of Small Business Saturday UK for most of the five years it had been operating. I have been part of the Brighton/SE and been part of the bus tour visits. I’ve encourage lots of other small businesses to sign up. This year I was one of the 100 #Smallbiz100 and had a very good event on November 30 at No.10. I meet Baroness Fairhead and now working with an SBC advisor from the Treasury. This SBS year I’ve worked on strategic planning with SBS staff to get going on exports which will be rolled out over 2018. This includes signing with a licensing company, securing a publishing deal and working with some new clients I picked up at the BLE this September.”

Brian Smith, founder of Popagami 

“Small Business Saturday is a great way to put a spotlight on businesses outside of the UK’s biggest cities. Boxtopia has always been based in Grantham and has no desire to move to the bigger cities in the East Midlands or the wider UK. The more that people can recognise the work that companies in smaller towns are doing through Small Business Saturday, the more vibrant and attractive those smaller towns will be. It’s perfect for the whole local community and we thoroughly enjoyed its fifth year!” 

Rowena Perrott, general manager at Boxtopia 

“I run LevelUp on Slack an entrepreneurship group dedicated to connecting world-class businesses specialists with others of the same or higher level with the belief that leaders create leaders for one purpose, that Each One, Teach One. We had an amazing day as we offered one payment for a lifetime membership to the group and helped so many people get a step closer to their goals by being surrounded by those that have done it.

“What was good about the day, was the focus on small business and how by simply hashtagging small biz you had eyes on your brand whether it was a brick and mortar store or online business like mine. We will definitely do it again, as it was a bigger day then cyber Monday for us and our business is about supporting small biz.” 

Jason Allan Scott, founder of Leve Up On Slack