Posts Tagged ‘small business’

Small Business Saturday

Friday, December 5th, 2014

You may have heard that tomorrow is the second annual Small Business Saturday. “And what may that be, exactly?” I hear you ask. Well, taken from the website www.smallbusinesssaturdayuk.com :-

“Small Business Saturday UK is a grassroots, non-political, non-commercial campaign, which highlights small business success and encourages consumers to ‘shop local’ and support small businesses in their communities. The day itself takes place on the first shopping Saturday in December each year, but the campaign aims to have a lasting impact on small businesses.”

Baby Feed Wheels

The ‘non political’ aspect hasn’t prevented the politicians getting involved, as indeed they should for a campaign of this sort that will hopefully be beneficial to local economies. There is even a Christmas Market with little wooden huts and stalls manned by small businesses outside Downing Street in London!

In a statement, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said “Last year, Small Business Saturday generated around £468 million. Together, we can top that. There are special events taking place all over the country – backed by cross party support and organisations like the Federation of Small Businesses, Young Enterprise, The Prince’s Trust and others.

So, good luck to all of the UK businesses throwing open their doors on Small Business Saturday and every success for the future.

On Saturday 6 December when you are shopping for Christmas or something you need – choose small, choose local.”

Baby Medicine Wheel

As I have mentioned before, here at Chiggs we are passionate about supporting small businesses,  (well, we are a small business!) and shopping local. So, we urge you this Saturday to buy a Baby Feed Wheel, a Baby Medicine Wheel or a Get Well Wheel: if not directly from Chiggs, then from one of our wonderful, supportive stockists– we have small businesses all over the UK and online who sell Chiggs Wheels!

Small Business Saturday-Get Well Soon cards made in the UK

‘Bye China, buy British.

Monday, February 4th, 2013

Chiggs Wheels Made in BritainThe Sunday Times business pages yesterday had an interesting article in their ‘small business’ section concerning companies bringing some or all of their manufacturing back to the UK. An increase in wages and raw materials in China has led to a spiralling of costs, narrowing the gap in production costs between the Far East and Britain. Companies like Trunki (who make the little ride-on children’s suitcases you may have seen on Dragons’ Den) are moving production to the UK, and discovering benefits other than financial- much shorter lead times, no language problems, easier to keep on top of quality control, and of course job creation.

I’ve mentioned before on this blog, because it’s something I am very proud of, Chiggs Wheels are all printed and handfinished in the UK. Our printers are a terrific family business based in Lancashire. The envelope each Chiggs Wheel is supplied with, and the cellophane wrappers they are sealed in, are made by a fellow Yorkshire business in Shipley (which, coincidently, is where my husband was born!). Even the sticky pads the embellishments are attached with are from a very nice company in Bradford.

If you’re a retailer who would like to join the British revolution, Chiggs Wheels are all available to trade at wholesale prices, or we can send you a trade price and terms by email if you fill in the trade enquiry form. Chiggs Wheels are also available from the Chiggs Shop.

Social media makes me go round in circles…

Friday, February 17th, 2012

..aka a facebook page for business. Now, I’m no business guru, but have learned the odd thing (sometimes very odd 🙂 ) over the last 6 years of running my own business, so I’ll be making a few blog posts about anything I come across that may be of help or interest to other small business owners. They’ll be grouped together under a new category- something along the lines of  ‘hints and tips for small businesses’ unless I can think of anything snappier!

 A business facebook page is really easy to set up- if you go to any other facebook business page, underneath the information, about, likes etc listed on the left hand side is a category ‘create a page’- click on this and follow the instructions through! Make sure you fill in the ‘about’ section, and have a link to your website (if you have one) near the beginning of your paragraph, so visitors to your page can see it at a glance without clicking on the ‘more’ button. The same thing applies to the ‘info’ section, this is a great place to really tell people about yourself and your business. Don’t forget to add photos if you can, they will appear in a row under the name of the page and will make your page pretty.

So far so good- and now for the hard part, attracting ‘likes’. You can just use your personal profile page to ask people to ‘like’ your page- friends and family in particular may well be willing to help out spread the word about your business. When trying to reach a larger audience, however, it’s not really enough just to ask people to like your page- you have to give them a reason (such as discount codes if you sell stuff) or make your page appealing- plenty of (though not too many!) interesting and relevant posts, and interaction with people is a good start. It’s not easy- heck, I’ve had a business page for Chiggs Wheels for yonks and I only have a couple of hundred ‘likers’, but it’s fun to do, and the only cost is in your time- so a great place to begin for start-up businesses who are watching the pennies!

For content I comment about Chiggs Wheels, and anything happening in the business like changes to the Chiggs website or new stockists. I also want to use the page to help Chiggs Wheels stockists, so I have ‘liked’ their facebook business pages, and will share their posts on the Chiggs Wheels page eg if they have sales, discount codes, are attending any events etc.

I also have this blog feeding onto my business facebook page, so that this blog post about facebook for business will automatically appear on my business facebook page, with a link back to the Chiggs blog. A case of social media literally making you go round in circles!

Feel free to come and have a look at the Chiggs Wheels Facebook Page, and leave a comment to say hello!

I’ve had a rash…

Friday, January 27th, 2012

…of trade magazines delivered this week, covering all the industry sectors Chiggs Wheels overlap- nursery, greeting cards and gifts. Mary Portas’s review into the future of the UK High Street, commissioned by the Prime Minister last May,  has created a lot of interest and debate. Greetings Today Magazine discussed the report in it’s leader, while Nursery Industry Magazine carried an in-depth article setting out Mary’s 28 suggestions- ranging from a National Market Day to encourage potential shopkeepers, to free parking schemes to help bring customers back in to town centres. There are a lot of sensible, and what seem to be implementable (might have just made that word up…) ideas, and it will be interesting to see what the Government response is. It seems the wheels of Whitehall turn slowly, as the official response is sheduled for “spring”.

Given the press coverage Mary Portas’s recommendations received, and the interest in small businesses and the future of the UK High Street, it seems pertinent to mention an email I received this week giving advance notice of Independent Retailer Month 2012, which will be running throughout July this year.  This campaign aims to encourage people to ‘shop local’ by highlighting the important role that smaller, local, independent retailers play in the communities they serve and the local economy they contribute to.

And in Chiggs’s unofficial role of Independent Retailer Cheerleader (self-appointed) we’ll be running a new series of blog posts- “Stockist Spotlight”- to give an insight into the businesses we are fortunate to work with, and supply with Chiggs Wheels. We hope it will encourage our readers to visit, support and buy from local or online ‘Indies’, or even provide the inspiration for someone to start their own business!