When Lulu and Weasel Met A Dragon

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Children can have overactive imaginations but imagine my delight when I got to meet a real-life Dragon, seriously I did!

On Saturday 23rd February 2018 I won an invite to Small Business Sunday through Twitter #SBS and had the opportunity to meet Theo Paphitis of Dragon’s Den fame and British retail magnate and entrepreneur.

 

The following paragraphs explain what Small Business Sunday is and who Theo Paphitis is. Small Business Sunday, shortened to the hashtag #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 and Robert Dyas, as well as joint owner of Red Letter Days.

Theo is also a mentor and investor to many other businesses acquainted via the Den including Wedgewelly and Fit Mix Pro

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 8 pm, Theo reviews and chooses his favourite lucky six who are then re-tweeted. As he has over 450,000 followers, this provides a massive boost to the chosen lucky businesses.  You can read more at Theo Paphitis Small Business Sunday https://www.theopaphitissbs.com/

I woke up with great excitement the Twitter buzz was in full swing of who was looking forward to meeting who and who was going this buzz had been building up for a week.  Finally, the morning had arrived, after a speedy breakfast I started off on the extremely short 150-meter walk to the ICC where for once in my life I was early!

 

I was warmly greeted by the welcoming committee and given my badge, then I walked to the main arena where I was instantly greeted by the smiling face of one of the girls working on the Ryman stand who said “Hello, you’re from Lulu and Weasel”, we had a chat and turns out she has been following us on social media for years.

The next few hours were dedicated to networking all under a different balloon for your sector.  We left out our business cards and mine were very popular!

 

 

Later on, we all sat down to hear from the owner of super brands a massive branding company on the importance of sticking to your brand.  A couple of tips were:

A brand doesn’t live in the business; it lives in the minds of customers

  • You build your Brand every single day. You build it; you destroy it, even as a sole trader.
  • Ensure that your brand is not just a veneer.
  • Your brand needs to keep relevant, evolve and be refreshed.

John Roberts – from AO.com had the following tips:

  • Be resilient – always be nice. Never give up.
  • Everyone is lucky…everyone is unlucky – it’s what you do about it. ‘Identify the luck and then act on it.’
  • Twenty-four hours from going bust is when you are at your most INNOVATIVE.

There were so many more tips that were shared but I will be putting those on social media posts and blogs along the way so do watch out for them.

Theo summed up the event towards the end and this is what he had to say:

“The creation and success of SBS were due to the need for it.  Very proud of SBS 50% of new businesses fail within 2 years.  50% of the economy is made up of SME’s.  So if we can improve the success rate of new businesses by just a small percentage, this would have a significant effect on the country’s economy.

Stay positive.  It’s all out there to play for.  Go for it! “.

After the event, I went to my friend’s house in Bristol for dinner on the way home and what a wonderful way to end a fairly spectacular day.

 

 

Sprout Social has a very handy Ultimate Guide to Twitter For Small Business in 2017 and you can read all about it here:

https://sproutsocial.com/insights/twitter-for-small-business/

Don’t just tweet, vlog too –a staggering 82% of Twitter users watch a video and your reach may just be higher because of it.

Twitter is an excellent tool for businesses and a way of reaching a larger audience as long as you tweet frequently and don’t be afraid of trying something new.   Your customers are out there waiting to be found, you just need to put in the time and the effort to tweet to them! There are so many ways to pre-schedule these days to find the right tool for you and just do it!

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