Since 1998, Gradwell has gone from strength to strength thanks to the individual efforts of our customers, team members, suppliers and even our own network of friends. We say that individuals helped us get here, but it’s more important to note that none of this would have been possible without the support of other small businesses. At a 70+ strong team, Gradwell is still considered a ‘small business’ and we believe that above all, small businesses matter most in our economy and business community.
To help encourage conversation and awareness, we’ve kicked off the #SmallBusinessMatters hash tag on Twitter alongside a charming new TV ad named “Meet George” which you can view here. It’s easy to say small business matters but the question is why?
While it may seem that the corporate heavyweights are running the show, small businesses make up 60% of private sector jobs across the UK and 47% of the population’s employment. The Federation of Small Businesses stated at the beginning of 2014 there was an estimated 5.2 million in the UK1, we are not a cultural oddity – we form a lot of bricks in a very large, profitable wall.
Large scale businesses will often find a winning formula and stick to it, even if this means consumer fatigue and market saturation. As a small business we can work in an intuitive, personal fashion that allows us to correspond more directly and personally with our customers. If we feel that you are displeased with the direction our business is taking, we’ll talk to our customers and we’ll re-evaluate our approach until we get it right.
Whether you’re a newsagent, an independent record shop, a florist, a baker or a new marketing start-up – you all have the value of the community in common. Small businesses bring an economic identity and new opportunities to the talented individuals that inhabit these areas. Without them, it’s arguable that a community risks falling into economic disrepair or worse, a product of faceless corporate saturation. Small businesses represent more than just a means to make a living; they are way to channel ideas, desires and ideologies into a beneficial, communal outlet.
As pointed out by Emma Jones for Mail on Sunday just this last January, “Today, one in seven workers is self-employed, while one in ten UK homes contains a small business”.2 That’s a lot of people and a lot of businesses. We will blog regularly about small businesses over the coming months – challenges we all face, solutions and services we provide, but more importantly, how we all connect as a group. You can find explore the chatter about #SmallBusinessMatters here on Twitter.
1 Federation of Small Businesses, Statistics obtained from the Department for Business Innovation and Skills, November 2014, http://www.fsb.org.uk/stats
2 Small businesses matter! It's about time the Government started really listening, This is Money, Emma Jones for the Mail on Sunday, 10 January 2015, http://bit.ly/1Hu7qOv