In October 2018 it was an honour to be recognised by the one and only Theo Paphitis who is most known for his role on the BBC show Dragons’ Den and has a number of hugely successful businesses in the retail sector. The famous entrepreneur chooses companies he likes and tweets them to his 461,000 followers using the hashtag #sbs.
Recognising our unique wedding stationery designs and personalised prints as award-winning, the dragon chose Created by Magic as his #sbs winner. As a small business in Whiteley, Hampshire, this mention from a successful business person helped us to make waves with our unique designs.
Small business champion and Ryman Stationery, Robert Dyas and Boux Avenue Chairman, Theo Paphitis, said: “We are thrilled to welcome new #SBS members every week and highlight just how important it is to support our small businesses here in the UK. My vision is that everyone who has ever won an #SBS re-tweet from me becomes part of a friendly club; like-minded individuals who can share successes and learnings. The website will also give a valuable profile to the winners chosen and I wish Created by Magic every success.”
The yearly event at the ICC in birmingham is free for SBS winners, this year Theo Paphitis celebrated 10 years of SBS. It’s sponsored by Ryman, DHL, Robert Dyas, HP, Square, Western Union, Autumn Fair, iLaw and Nat West. Which means its professional and the presenters are world class.
Highlights of the #sbsevent2020
I took a seat 20 minutes before the ‘welcome presentation’ and was delighted to find a beautiful teal notebook from Ryman stationery on my seat. What a lovely little keepsake from the day ahead, foil embossed with the SBS 2020 logo and the 10 year anniversary.
Kypros Kyprianou opened the show this year and introduced all sponsors, he spoke briefly about the agenda, his relationship to the SBS family and then welcomed Theo Paphitis to the main stage.
It was amazing to get to see one of the most admired Dragon’s Den entrepreneurs in person, Theo Paphitis was just as awe-awe-inspiring as I’d imagined he’d be, he talked about why he began SBS, the SBS winner statistics and what to expect at the event.
Some Amazing stats:
- #SBS has been supporting small businesses for 10 years
- Over 400,000 #SBS applications
- A network of over 3000 #SBS winners
- Which equates to less than 1% of entries will win
- 75% are female owned businesses
- 23% started a business aged 45+
- 6% were under 19 when they started
- 52% are sole traders
Google Digital Garage
Priya Chauhan presented an epic spell-bounding presentation on tips for gaining exposure on google, reaching out to people online as well as showing us the best way to create a business listing and how insights and keywords work. So much information was given that I couldn’t write quick enough so took photographs to keep up, let’s just say my to-do list has grown 70%.
Faye McGuinness spoke to us about workplace wellbeing which is very important when running your own business and the happiness and welfare of your staff. I found the Q&A very interesting during this presentation, hearing the predicaments fellow SBS winners came up against and are working through. I found this stat very interesting:
On average, for every £1 spent on supporting their staff’s mental health, employers get £5 back on their investment in reduced absenteeism and staff turnover
Charlotte Davies spoke to us about the importance of linked in business, and how to grow your business on the platform
- Build your company story & show your brand
- Post informative content regularly
- Create a strong content strategy
- Avoid writing spammy messages and selling your business/services on the first connection
Networking hour for lunch
During the lunch hour, I managed to grab a glass of free bubbly and meet some fantastic businesses, including Pure Punjabi Cuisine, Dorset Tech, Elaine Gill and The Gift Fox, who is local to me which is fantastic.
…and my favourite part of the day
The fireside chat with Theo Paphitis and Sara Davies MBE
If you don’t know who Sara Davies MBE is, she’s a British entrepreneur and the founder and owner of Crafter’s Companion, a company she started while a student at the University of York – she was 19. She joined Dragons Den in April 2019 as the youngest Dragon. Sara spoke to us about her journey, challenges and tips in growing a successful business.
Theo Paphitis asked Sara questions about her new role on Dragon’s Den and what she thought about her fellow dragons. He then went on to ask Sara about where it all began.. let’s just say, for the next hour you could hear a pin drop, the audience were gripped.
Sara Davies spoke about her childhood and working at an early age in her parents hardware store. Her passion for business began at an early age and allowed her to become a young business mastermind. I won’t go into her story too much as I’m pretty sure this brilliant entrepreneur will bring out an Autobiography at some point.
Photos with Theo Paphitis
The first time attendees get a photo with Theo Paphitis after the fireside chat. I managed to speak to him briefly about my business and products and I gave him a pet portrait of his dog, Gladys. A few days later I received a little thank you message from Theo Paphitis which was lovely.
For anyone planning a trip to a future #sbs event, these are my tips:
Take business cards, flyers and sample products and get seated early near the front, the first few rows have the freebie notebooks from Ryman Stationery. For first timers, the photograph opportunity with Theo attracts a lot of businesses, so line up early if you’re in a rush to get home as the queue gets quite long. Don’t forget to look after your goody bag coupon, the goodies are fantastic, this year I received some earphones, a travel mug, pens, notebooks and more!
What a fantastic event #sbsevent2020 was and I most definitely will be making it a priority each year to attend.