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  • Writer's pictureNat Sharp

Empowering the local business community through The Small Business Sessions

Updated: Dec 13, 2023


Tunbridge Wells Small Business Saturday takeover

On Friday 1st December, I organised a remarkable event at Sankey's in Tunbridge Wells that resonated with the local entrepreneurial community. As one of this year's 'SmallBiz100' recognised by Small Business Saturday UK, The Small Business Sessions surpassed expectations, providing invaluable support and insight to small business owners.

My goal which was inspired by my 'SmallBiz100' selection in September, was to offer practical advice to local businesses, creating a business clinic tailored to their unique needs all with minimal resources. By bringing a team of local experts from various business professions, people were able to pre-book short 30 minute slots for consultations, breaking down barriers for those who couldn't afford or felt intimidated by professional advice.

An innovative approach

The Small Business Sessions introduced an innovative and unprecedented approach. This free event brought together a diverse group of local professionals, fostering connections and encouraging collaboration. With over 30 business owners attending and 50 slots filled among seven experts, including Emma Jefferys (Action Woman), Lucy Ames (Smartist Social Media), Jack Sales (TN Accountancy), Jennifer Cooper (Jennifer Cooper Timesaver), Georgina Edwards (GE Brand Photography), Dominic Potts (Full Pivot) and Sharp Thinking Marketing, along with volunteers Angela Ward, Vicki Thornhill and David Smith, the event was a resounding success. You can find out more about my motivations behind the event in The Small Business Saturday Tour interview here.

100% satisfaction

Feedback on the day showed a 100% satisfaction rating, with attendees expressing immense gratitude and appreciation for the opportunity. Everyone that attended was inspired to implement the insights they garnered during their sessions, with many expressing a desire for more engagement. Comments included:

“Amazing opportunity, so grateful”.

“I feel inspired to implement everything I’ve learned today.”

“It was amazing the impact it had in 30 minutes.”

“Today has been amazing. The experts were so encouraging and helpful. I’ve learn't loads and have so many more ideas to grow my business.’”

Just over a third of attendees felt the event provided focus, while equal numbers said it motivated them and would help them grow their business. From start-ups to established businesses, a wide range of attendees filled the space, generating excitement and inspiration. The event surpassed objectives, leaving participants motivated and ready to take their businesses to new heights. From my perspective, it was a fascinating day where I gained a real insight into the world of solo entrepreneurs, helping them make informed decisions and prioritise effectively. Marketing can often lead to overwhelm and distractions, but having impartial advice makes it easier to stay on track. Strategy is an important aspect that often requires expert help, including ensuring a robust business model, identifying the target audience, understanding the true USP, and determining how much marketing investment is needed and how to allocate it wisely.

The online finale

The Small Business Sessions was then taken online on Small Business Saturday itself, where I continued to support a mix local businesses. A further seven businesses benefited from expert marketing advice, demonstrating the continued need for this style of event. A huge thank you to Times of Tunbridge Wells for featuring the event. It is incredible what you can achieve when you set your mind to something and with the help and support of the right people.


The power of collaboration

The Small Business Sessions delivered incredible insights and support to small business owners. This free event united a diverse group of local professionals, fostering relationships and offering valuable guidance. The high rating and expressed desire for more engagement highlight the power of collaboration within the small business community. I extend my best wishes to all the businesses that participated and the volunteers that made it all possible and hope to stay in contact to follow their progress.

Feel free to browse some of my 150+ blogs on my website for useful marketing and sales tips to help grow your business or read my FAQS.

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1 Comment

Georgina Edwards
Georgina Edwards
Dec 07, 2023

Nat, it was such an honour to be part of the day. I met some of the loveliest local businesses and they all came away smiling and with enormous motivation for their businesses. You are amazing to have put it all together and hats off to you for it! 👏🏻

Thanks again!

Georgina (GE Brand Photography)

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