Cocktail Marketing, were invited to a small business event hosted by entrepreneur Theo Paphitis who is best known for appearing on the BBC’s Dragons Den.
The event held in Birmingham’s ICC, was put together for SME businesses by Theo to support, encourage and inspire small businesses around the UK.
Cheryl Graves, Cocktail Marketing’s Art Director said “As a winner of Theo’s Small Business Sunday competition, we felt very privileged to have been invited, it’s not everyday you get business advice from such an accomplished and well known entrepreneur.”
The day began with networking with all the invited businesses ranging from restaurants to 3d Printing companies. The main event began with an introduction by Ryman Stationary’s CEO Kypros Kyprianou, who introduced the day’s sponsors – DHL, Red Letter Day, I-Law and of course Ryman.
And then Theo Paphitis took the stage to talk about his passion and drive to help small business. His SBS initiative (small business Sunday) has helped so many businesses to date with increased PR opportunities and even access to investors. He discussed how the initiative will evolve, plans for a future, an upcoming initiative to help with investment, and even having possible lobbying power with Government on SME issues.
Theo’s passion and straight talking for business was evident: “We do it because we want to, we do it because we are privileged to be part of the business community. We’ve had good fortune to start, but it takes a lot of f**king hard work, I don’t want to belittle it. It doesn’t just happen [starting a business] I didn’t just wake up one morning and say oh s**t my business has grown, I’m so rich. No it doesn’t just happen. There are lots of tears along the way, things don’t work out, lots of uncertainties, some ups and plenty of downs. It’s hard work, it happened to me and it will happen to you.”
After lunch a question time session took place, with Theo, Judy Naake of St Tropez Tan, Rob Forkan of Gandys Flip Flops and Julien Callede of Made.com. Imparting their experience and knowledge on starting a business, growing it, and the ups and downs of making your first million.
Amanda Goodbun, who has been in marketing for over 18 years said, “It was refreshing to hear from the entire panel that the right marketing was key to their success. The crucial message was the importance of the marketing mix – don’t get sucked in to believing digital is the only answer, it can eat away a lot of budget and it may not be the right channel for every business”
The day rounded off with some one to one time with Theo, where the ladies from Cocktail Marketing had a photo taken with him and a brief discussion about the future plans for their business.