Supporting Other Local Businesses
While the Christmas season is generally the busiest time of year for retailers, for the team here at SpeedStitch, we are just about recovering from our crazy Back2School season! The embroidery and print orders come through steadily throughout the year, but the need for school uniform reduces drastically to the occasional lost tie or two. This is when we place our pre-orders with our suppliers for the following year and work on the targets we make having reviewed our busy season.
Small Business Saturday UK falls on the first Saturday in December every year. The idea behind the initiative is to promote and support small businesses throughout the UK, especially in the lead up to Christmas. This year, we offered an exclusive in-store discount on all our products and services on Small Business Saturday. This went down a treat for the customers that did visit us that day; it’s always good to get a discount, right?! We also donated a £25 voucher to the local council in Waltham Forest for their Small Business Saturday Selfie competition that encouraged residents of Waltham Forest to shop local and support small businesses, and to take a selfie in the shops on Small Business Saturday and during the month of December. But we wanted to do something else to get involved in the day, something that didn’t just incentivise the consumer but that would still support the many small businesses in the area. This is where our Christmas tree idea was formulated.
Social Media is a powerful tool! We put out a plea on our various social media platforms for local businesses to help us decorate our Christmas Tree – the plan was to fill it up with colourful business cards and flyers from the businesses of Waltham Forest and beyond. The reaction to this was phenomenal! We have had almost 100 businesses get in touch and sending us their business cards. We bought our Christmas Tree locally from the lovely Edna at Petals in Bloom, in Walthamstow Village and launched it on Small Business Saturday. We are photographing, sharing and tagging each of the businesses on social media throughout December. Everyone who steps through our doors can see the tree and are noticing the wonderful businesses we have on our doorstep in Waltham Forest. We have come to know so many fabulous business owners and creatives as a result of this idea, many of whom we had no idea existed! We have received messages of thanks and messages praising our little idea. Take a look at our Instagram, Facebook and Twitter accounts to see photos of the tree and the many businesses that feature on it.
What’s in it for us? Well, of course, if we now know of 100 new businesses or individuals through this, they too now know our name. But to us, that is not the incentive. Being a small, family business, we fully appreciate the challenges and struggles of small businesses. We understand that every purchase or every bit of support can really help. We have met some fabulous entrepreneurs, designers and creatives through this idea and we now have an abundance of choice for where to buy our Christmas presents from too! This simple idea didn’t cost anybody anything, and yet so many have rallied together to make it happen.
Small businesses of Waltham Forest and beyond – thank you for getting involved! We wish you all the very best for your business during this lead up to Christmas and a well-deserved break in the holidays.