On the 23rd of February I was honoured to attend the winners SBS Event 2018 at the ICC in Birmingham, hosted by Theo Paphitis!
Firstly what is SBS?
Small Business Sunday, also known as #SBS on Twitter, was created by Theo Paphitis in October 2010. Theo is best known for appearing on Dragons’ Den on BBC Two. He is Chairman of Ryman Stationery plus Boux Avenue lingerie, Robert Dyas and latest acquisition London Graphic Centre.
Each week, Theo rewards small businesses that tweet him @TheoPaphitis and describe their businesses in one tweet including the all-important hashtag #SBS. Only tweets made in the time slot between 5.00 PM and 7.30 PM each Sunday count.
Every Monday night at 8pm, Theo reviews and chooses his favourite lucky six who are then re-tweeted. As he has over 500,000 followers, this provides a massive boost to the chosen lucky businesses.
What happens next?
I had said to myself at the beginning of 2017 ‘this year I am going to enter and I am going to win one of the coveted retweets’ I had also decided that it was going to be a year full of positivity and optimism, hence my new found confidence! You have to back yourself and believe in what you do if you expect others to do the same. Positive thinking!!
I did start the year entering frequently and waiting on Monday to see if I was in luck, not quite but I happily congratulated the weekly winners on their achievement. Just because you’re not chosen doesn’t mean that your business isn’t doing something right, it just means ‘not this time’ but supporting fellow small businesses is important, as this is how we build business communities.
Then the general Sunday night rush, getting things ready for the week ahead meant that I missed the time slot to enter. Move along to November, YES… November! I remembered what I said to myself at the beginning of the year and began to enter again. I entered on the 27th November 2017 with the following tweet:
and thought no more about it. To my surprise, 8pm Monday night my twitter notifications went THROUGH THE ROOF! I was in a state of shock as I couldn’t quite believe it. The following week was intense, the volume of retweets was nothing like I had ever experienced before, the messages I received of support and congratulations were greatly appreciated and my following increased too. The #SBS family is a wonderful network of fantastic businesses that really do support one another.
It wasn’t long before I received my welcome emails and invite to the SBS Event 2018.
We travelled up to Birmingham the night before the event, I was a little nervous as I didn’t know what to expect yet excited at the same time. Friday morning we arrived nice and early, got our badges and entered the event. It was a great atmosphere and there were many business specialists on hand to give free advice for our businesses.
The event sponsors were Ryman, Robert Dyas, DHL, 123 Reg, ilaw, Western Union, HP and Square. Each company introduced themselves and gave a background of their services and how they can help us on the day. There were ‘Meet the Expert’ drop in sessions, break out presentations and ample chance to network. We were lucky to hear from a branding expert, words of wisdom from Theo himself as well as a chat with AO.coms John Roberts.
It was an eye opening, informative, enjoyable and hugely beneficial day. It really did ignite new ideas and ways in which I can communicate with my clients and grow in the industry.
One of the biggest surprises were the numbers behind #SBS. Since launching in 2010 there has been 329,000 #SBS applications and 2256 winners! It was only then I realised that I fell into the 0.68% of businesses that go on to win.
A huge thank you to Mrs P for suggesting that her husband put his Sunday evening to good use, to Theo Paphitis for creating such a fantastic network and for hosting this free event which really is appreciated by businesses like mine. Also to Theo’s team, as there is so much organisation behind the event and to the sponsors for supporting this great initiative!
You can win to!
So to all fellow business owners, get onto twitter, follow @theopaphitis and join him on Sunday evenings between 5.30pm and 7pm and shout out why your business if so great. I wish you all the best of luck and I hope to see you at the SBS event 2019!