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 talk was an in-depth discussion about the reality of running small businesses in today’s industry climate.


Kate Hardcastle MBE did a fantastic job hosting the event. She 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 their businesses. In addition, they gave inspiring, personal stories and advice to help others make their mark in the ever-growing industry of small businesses.


Overall, the talk focused on the pivotal role of marketing communications in small business’ success. Many small business owners expressed feeling the pressure of juggling directing the company, developing marketing communications, producing products, and more. Due to this, many voiced concern over the risk of losing their business’ identity when trying to perfect their marketing. On the other hand, others worried that insufficient focus on their communications might not achieve their desired outcome. With the never-ending pressure of boxes to tick, a brand’s story can get overshadowed by other pressing demands. Folivi beautifully captured this in her poignant statement:


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

Brand narratives and stories have a vital role in business. They strengthen market standings and provide consistency to the various audiences interested in your services or products. Rather than changing who you are to match the interests of the latest audience group, using strategic marketing will build communications that match new audiences to you. Therefore, you can create a confident brand story capable of welcoming new audiences whilst maintaining a sense of familiarity that will keep your customers coming back. Lloyd emphasises this, stating,

“People are looking for something with meaning.

There may be hundreds of other businesses selling similar products to you. But your individuality is what will attract audiences. This individuality establishes your unique brand story, which should feel natural to sell and promote to customers. The speakers collectively agreed that trying to sell something you don’t believe in can lead to more obstacles in the future. By building the “right foundation” for your business, Lloyd illustrates that this will lead to satisfaction in what you do and long-term success.


Individuality and passion are essential to brand identity. However, ignoring competitor pressure to conform to current market trends can be challenging. Simms offered the following advice to fellow small businesses:

“Avoid comparing yourself.”

She highlights that social media makes it far too easy for small businesses to compare themselves to each other. If you evaluate your services, products, image, etc., based on your competitors, you can risk making rash decisions or even sacrificing your identity. The speakers unanimously upheld that confidence was the best approach in these situations. Owners shouldn’t have to forfeit their independence to cater to growing demand. Instead, delivering a foundation of authenticity and enthusiasm will invite and inspire new leads whilst standing out from your competition.


Finally, the speakers were asked if there was one piece of advice they wished they had known before launching into the world of small businesses. Supportive and encouraging answers inspired the audience to embrace failure as part of the process. Notably, all speakers advocated the necessity of asking for support, particularly when developing a marketing plan. Whether from marketing agencies or industry experts, Lloyd insisted on the importance of “having the right people [and] knowing your own strengths” within the business world.

Share this post

Written by Tula Wild

Digital Marketing Manager with e-blueprint digital.


Install e-blueprint App