When Chuka Umunna MP decided to bring Small Business Saturday to the UK in the hope that the success of the campaign in the USA could be emulated. In his column in the Daily Telegraph last June he said:
“Small businesses give consumers greater choice and contribute to the unique character of every area.”
One of the UK small business who embraced Small Business Saturday is the Budgens store in Whitstable in Kent. Its owned by Binny Amin and he put on tasting day with the support of some of his local suppliers. Because by early November Small Business Saturday was gaining growing media attention Binny decided invite 8 local producers to be part of his stores activity on the day. 5 were from his current supplier list and 3 were new to his store.
To help him select is small business partners for the day he looked at how his suppliers use social media to promote their business. Binny uses Facebook and Twitter and wanted suppliers who would positively promote the tasting day to their followers.
SBS was a huge success for Binny with a 23% increase in sales. But there were other significant benefits, the day was a team event with his staff being involved all the way through from chosing and negotiating with suppliers, promoting the day by word of mouth and then learning about the products they sell by tasting the food. It became a great training opportunity of all his employees.
Binny’s advice to other businesses is to get behind this idea and do it genuinely, many of your suppliers are small businesses too. Don’t forget you are in business all year and the Small Business Saturday mindset needs to be spread to the other 364 days as well.