We are incredibly lucky to have such a wealth of talented, inspiring, motivated and creative people in the UK who have turned their passion into a business. Be they bakers, baristas, artists, brewers, children's entertainers, honey producers, shoemakers, videographers, candlemakers, social media experts ... the list goes on and on ... they create a diverse range of original, innovative products and services of the highest quality, all created and delivered with the greatest of care.
Last year I was immensely proud to be selected as one of the Small Biz 100, that's us pictured above! It's an initiative run by Small Business Saturday UK to highlight the wonderful variety of small businesses around the UK during the 100 days leading up to Small Business Saturday in December. The purpose of the campaign is to encourage people to shop local and discover the small businesses in their community. It is an opportunity for us all to bang the drum, loudly, for small business.
As with anything you get out of it what you put in. By far the greatest benefit for me was meeting the other 99 small business owners, listening to their stories, hearing what challenges they have faced, how these have been overcome, picking up tips and generally being inspired. We also got invited to a reception at 10 Downing Street, which was an extraordinarily special experience!
There are many highs and lows when running your own business, at times I feel overwhelmed by all I need to achieve and other times I feel overjoyed by what I have achieved. Connecting with other people who can empathise, advise and remotivate me is invaluable and being part of the Small Business 100 alumni gives me access to an amazingly supportive and knowledgeable group.
My reason for writing this post, a slight diversion from my usual foot-related blogging, is to wholeheartedly encourage anyone running a small business to apply to be part of this year's group of 100 businesses. Applications are open until the end of this month, the process of applying is not arduous, it's a case of pouring your passion for your business and your community into a few paragraphs ... the outcome of which could be highly rewarding!
www.smallbusinesssaturdayuk.com ... go on, you know you want to!