A word from Emily – Our relationship with Small Business.

Emily Whitehead, founder of Simply Great Britain

I am dedicated to/obsessed by the world of small, micro, indie and freelance business owners. I am one of them myself.

Here are a few thoughts that have been gathering in my head for a while about our relationship with small business in Britain.

  1. Haggling: when talking to members and clients, it has become apparent that haggling is now a thing for most of them. This is leaving most of them very uncomfortable and feeling vulnerable. It appears that this is not just for the freelancer getting a proposal right but also in retail. Hearing one story about customers coming into a shop, loving the products and then asking for a different price got me thinking. What does this say about our relationship with small business? Do we feel that they are inexperienced in setting prices and negotiating another one is acceptable? Are we braver with small business in a way we would never be in say, an Apple shop. Do small business owners give off a vibe that says ‘I’m not worthy’. I think that perhaps now is the time to learn about value, pricing & costs. The price that is set is based on the costs involved and helps us understand the true value of what they offer. Haggling? Not for me. Not cool.
  2. Value: this takes us to the value of small business. What is that? 94% of all UK business is micro in size (less than 10 employees). 60% of those don’t employ. The value of what they produce, deliver and contribute can never be quantified in just pounds. For everything they sell, they give back to community, economy, families, supply chains & the planet.
  3. Planet: small, micro, indie & freelance are the pioneers and innovators in sustainable business. Their focus in on ethical sourcing, short supply chains, transparent buying, reduced waste and community. Buying from a business like this is buying the future we want to see. This is no longer just an artisan market. This is the future.
  4. Future: today feels wobbly. Drenched in bad news and anger, it is easy to imagine that the future is bleak. It’s not. Together there is power, potential and hope. Communities, shared knowledge, co working, innovation & open minds will create the future and small business is at the heart of it.