In 2010, entrepreneur and former Dragon’s Den star Theo Paphitis launched Small Business Sunday (SBS) on Twitter.
Designed to help small businesses thrive, the hashtag #SBS quickly became a weekly staple on the Twitter feeds of many budding entrepreneurs – myself included.
Each year I head to an annual event organised by SBS, which has awarded over 3,000 brilliant small business owners. Recently, I attended the 2020 event which celebrated ten years of SBS, and it didn’t disappoint.
The pick of the stats from the ten-year SBS event
As always, the day was superbly organised and featured a raft of big-name sponsors from Ryman to DHL, HP Square and NatWest.
During the event, we learnt some incredible statistics, including:
- SBS has been supporting small businesses for a decade;
- there have been over 400,000 SBS applications;
- we now have network of 3,000 SBS winners;
- 75% of SBS winners are female-owned businesses;
- 23% started their businesses aged 45 or older;
- 6% started their business when they were under 19; and
- 52% are sole traders.
The statistics above give just a glimpse at the breadth of talent and demographics found within the SBS community, which is another reason we at Modern Homes are so proud to be a part of it.
Another reason we’re so engaged with SBS is because of the people we get to hear from at their events.
Here’s who caught my eyes and ears this year.
Google: becoming more visible online
The first presentation came from Priya Chauhan, a Google expert, who explained how to become more visible on the world’s largest search platform.
For small business, this is of huge importance – particularly for those battling against big brands online. Chauhan’s advice was clear, simple and actionable, and focused entirely on how to enable potential customers to find your business more easily.
MIND: wellbeing matters, too
Mental health has dominated headlines this year, and for good reason. This is why it was so refreshing to see Faye McGuiness from the MIND charity take to the stage.
She was there to remind the SBS crowd that, as busy business owners, we need to take care of our own wellbeing as well as that of our teams. McGuinness explained that there were five important wellbeing steps we should all follow:
- Be active.
- Keep learning.
- Take notice.
The takeaway? We can all learn to thrive as business owners, but also enjoy our work and maintain good mental health. We just need to be kinder to ourselves!
LinkedIn: a social network not to be ignored
Hands-up – I don’t use my LinkedIn account enough, which is why Charlotte Davies’ talk was such an eyeopener.
For instance, did you know that we scroll 96 metres of content every day on social medial sites like LinkedIn? That’s more than the height of Big Ben!
Davies also taught us the importance of creating and maintaining a Company Account on LinkedIn and how to make the best use of this great business networking tool.
An appearance from Sara Davies
After lunch, we were treated to Theo’s special guest who was none other than Sara Davies.
Now the youngest dragon on BBC Two’s Dragons’ Den, Sara is also an inspirational speaker, MBE holder and founder of Crafter’s Companion – a company she started at the age of 19 while she was a student at the University of York.
During her talk, the audience learned how Sara was inspired by her parents who ran their own hardware business. Their hard work and family values gave her the entrepreneurial spirit she still has today, prompting her to “work hard, be you, and don’t talk gender”.
As Sara so eloquently explained, she’s in business rather than being a ‘businesswoman’. She was inspirational, as was the SBS event itself. It’s another reason Modern Homes continues to thrive, and we’ll once again be applying the day’s learnings to everything we do for our customers and the business itself.
If I saw you at the SBS event – thanks for taking the time to network.
If I didn’t, but you’d like to get in touch with us at Modern Homes, please do speak to us!