e-blueprint had the pleasure of attending The Good Business Festival yesterday, and one of our favourite talks was Unlikely Heroes – The Power of the Micro Business. This was an in-depth discussion about the reality of running small businesses in addition to their impact on today’s climate.

 

Kate Hardcastle MBE did a fantastic job hosting the event and championed the excellent panel of speakers, including Shalom Lloyd (Founder of Naturally Tribal Skincare), Haddy Folivi (Managing Director and Founder of Clarity Media), and Oonagh Simms (Owner and Founder of The Marshmallowist). All provided an honest portrayal of the work involved in starting and maintaining small businesses in today’s world. They gave inspiring, personal stories and advice to help others make their mark in an ever-growing industry.

 

Overall, the pivotal role that marketing communications play in making a small business successful led the talk. Many small business owners feel the pressure of juggling directing the business, creating rewarding marketing communications, producing products, and more. Due to this, small businesses can risk losing who they are and what their company stands for. Therefore, the marketing communications that they deliver can become confused and not achieve their desired impact. With a never-ending list of boxes to tick, a brand’s story can feel overtaken by other priorities. Folivi beautifully captured this in her poignant statement:

 

“We all have stories; we just forget to tell them.”

Brand narratives and stories play a vital part in business. They solidify a business’ standing in the market and provide consistency to the numerous audiences interested in your services or products. Rather than changing who you are whenever a new audience group presents itself, confidently presenting your story can welcome new audiences whilst maintaining your integrity. Lloyd emphasises this, stating,

“People are looking for something with meaning.

Your individuality is what will attract audiences. By building the “right foundation” for your business, Lloyd illustrates that this will lead to the right kind of success: satisfaction for what you do and long-term success.

 

Whilst individuality and passion are essential to brand identity, ignoring the pressure from competitors to conform to what is currently in the market can be difficult. Simms offered the following advice to fellow small businesses:

“Avoid comparing yourself.”

She reiterates that social media makes it easy for small businesses to compare their entire business and its process to others. When small businesses value their services, products, image, etc., based on their competitors, they can risk making rash decisions or losing their identity. The speakers unanimously agreed that confidence was the best approach to these situations. Whilst still being open to cater to growing demand, it was reiterated that individuality provided the real meaning behind the foundation of their businesses.

 

Finally, the speakers were asked if there was one piece of advice that they wished they had known before launching into small businesses. Supportive and encouraging answers inspired the audience not to give up if they encountered failure but to embrace it as part of the process. Notably, all speakers advocated asking for support, particularly for developing a marketing plan. Whether from marketing agencies or industry experts, Lloyd insisted that “having the right people [and] knowing your own strengths” is vital within the business world.

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Written by Tula Wild

Digital Marketing Manager with e-blueprint digital. MA., BA (hons). English Literature.

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