A bright sunny day for June’s Small Business Breakfast meeting and our 9th birthday! We welcomed 20 local business owners to a very tasty breakfast at Blue Ginger Gallery in Cradley.
It was a nice informal chatty meeting and we had one new arrival, Nichola Brown who has just set up her own business Information Consultancy Services, Cradley. Nichola is a freelance information specialist, writer, researcher and charity consultant. This prompted a discussion later on of the things that each of us found most useful when we first set up our businesses.
Announcements came next, including those relevant for the month ahead. Sarah Saleh, of Unity Brewery in Suckley told us of their forthcoming barbeque and farm open day in June. Chris Baddiley, cosmologist from Mathon has funding to speak at a conference in North East Spain on his specialist subject Light Pollution. He told us he has studied the effects of the weather on light pollution in the Area of Natural Beauty (AONB), which no-one has done before!
Sue Lim, Blue Ginger Gallery, has a Marquee of Making from July 8th to 16th, a week of workshops run by specialist artists, including the opportunity to make mosaics with Amanda Anderson, wet felting with Celestine and the Hare, silk painting Shelley Faye Lazar, miniature bear making with Janice Waldron, rag rugs with Jenni Stuart Anderson and silver jewellery with Hannah Willow. Sue told us her current exhibition Out of the Quiet Places will end on July 2nd, when artist Kenji Lim will be exhibiting lots of his new work.
Carol Brooks, Silverfish Designs (Blue ginger little studio) and archaeologist was looking for volunteers for West Fest (West Malvern music festival that raises money for local organisations) on 1st July. She also showed us her very impressive new range of jewellery based on rock art creatures.
After the announcements we all looked at the key marketing experiences that helped our businesses when we first started up. These ranged from on-line networking to the printed word. For on-line sales Gwen Woodfield of Cool Sheepskin found that targeted Google and Facebook adverts were very effective combined with Instagram (visual importance) and meeting people at markets. Sarah at Unity Brewery found the Worcestershire Hour on Twitter very effective as well as Facebook. Face to face and trade shows got a mention from a few of us, and Julie Dent of Clover Mill Ayervedic Spa Retreat Cradley had her biggest breakthrough by inviting journalists who wrote about her business in the Sunday Times (Top 50 spas) and more recently in Waitrose magazines. Good websites and consortiums such as working together with other B & Bs to pass on clients during busy periods so that business wasn’t lost. Newspaper advertising has worked well for David Kitcat, Malvern solicitor.
Following our positive discussion, we thanked Sue for hosting and the delicious breakfast and thanked all for coming along to what was a very useful and interesting meeting. Many stayed for a while longer to have a chinwag before heading off for the day. Meetings are held on the first Friday of each month and our next is on Friday 7th July at 8.00am at Blue-ginger Gallery and cafe, Cradley (A4103). if you would like to come along please contact Sue Lim on 01886 880240 or Miles Meager firstname.lastname@example.org