Posts in "Business" Category

Goodbye from Mimimyne

Dear customers and blog readers

It is with some sadness that I am writing this blog to say goodbye to my loyal customers and visitors over the years and announce that I am closing Mimimyne. It’s been a huge adventure and I have made many new friends, learned new skills and been lucky enough to work with some brilliant and creative designers over the years. 

However more recently I have moved from working as an entrepreneur to becoming a full time digital marketer working with first of all an environmental charity (Blue Ventures) and now an educational charity (Teacher Support Network). It’s been an exciting, fulfilling and time-consuming period, and I’ve had to make the decision – reluctantly – to downscale my home business and focus on my career working for charities. 

This blog may rise again as a personal project – this time dedicated less to ecommerce and more to my personal interests, loves and hates, so watch this space! 

 

Getting Social – a guide for small businesses

This presentation was created as a guide to small businesses. It talks about the demographics of users of different social networks (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Youtube) with data for 2012 wherever possible and includes information on measuring influence and ROI. All rights reserved to Tabitha Potts.

Small Business Sunday Event with Theo Paphitis

Twitter was buzzing with excitement recently because the organiser of Small Business Sunday, Theo Paphitis, the well known Dragon, was arranging a Winners’ Event where all the winners of the competition could get to meet each other. You may not know what Small Business Sunday is – every Sunday between 5.00pm and 7.30pm, small businesses are encouraged to tweet @TheoPaphitis with a link to their business and including the hashtag #SBS. He usually picks six a week to retweet and it can have dramatic results on their website traffic and ranking, not to mention sales! Sunday was picked as it is what he calls “thinking time”.

I won Small Business Sunday on May 15th 2011 and was thrilled with the results: a doubling of traffic to my website and a five-fold increase in traffic to my blog. It’s wonderful exposure for any small business and what’s particularly great about Theo is that he encourages a lot of green and eco businesses, like mine, by retweeting them on Small Business Sunday.

For the winners event, all of us were invited – by Twitter, initially! – to go to Edgbaston Stadium in Birmingham. There was a great atmosphere and I had the chance to meet a lot of people I usually only chat with on Twitter.

The new website for Small Business Sunday was unveiled: it’s a fantastic networking site for those who have won the competition and also anyone who is interested in learning more about them. I’m very impressed that it’s been set up so quickly and as he said, it’s all come about through the magic of Twitter, as the designer was one of the SBS winners!

Theo gave a great speech and also spent a lot of time answering questions so I’m only going to go through some highlights that stuck in my mind.

Asked about the environment, he talked about feeling about the planet as you might feel if you’ve not taken enough care of your body and you realise the damage you’ve done and decide to stop doing any more: it’s a vivid metaphor.

He also had some tips for people starting a green business – being green alone is not enough, you’ve also got to have a great product and a market for it, as well as the persistence to make it work. These three things, in his opinion, are essential for any entrepreneur.

Stand out quote of the evening? “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail” – he talked a lot about the importance of planning in business. Another point he made was you can’t afford to be shy – your competitor, even one with an inferior product, might get ahead of you. Also, you need to be passionate about your business – so passionate that you can spend hours boring your friends about it!

Finally, he had some pointers for people hoping to win the next Small Business Sunday. You’ve got to have a website, if a business doesn’t have one he won’t consider it. He likes quirky tweets. He might be more likely to notice you if you’ve tweeted him directly or outside of Small Business Sunday (that’s going to increase the amount of tweets he gets!).

Below is a photo of me with Theo, proudly clutching my certificate. Luckily I checked before the photo was taken, of course I was holding it upside down!

Mimimyne won the Greenest Trader 2011 Award from the National Market Traders Federation

Tabitha in Spitalfields Market with her award for Greenest Trader 2011

I had some wonderful news this year when I found out I had won an Award for Greenest Trader 2011 given by the National Market Traders Federation, the oldest trade body in the UK for market stallholders. I regularly run a stall at the famous Old Spitalfields Market on Sundays – it’s where the old fruit and vegetable market used to be, and I remember visiting it in those days when I was growing up in Spitalfields in the early 80’s. It’s a wonderful market to trade in as well nowadays as it’s enclosed, bright and spacious, has very enticing food stalls and restaurants and lots of exciting events and activities going on. The other stallholders are great fun and sell all kinds of interesting products, especially handicrafts, jewellery and clothing. I won the Award because of the nature of the products I sell and the fact that I transport my goods by bicycle – no carbon emissions there! I wasn’t able to go to the Awards Ceremony so the award judges were kind enough to visit my stall and present it to me in person this December: thanks again to the NMTF for doing that!

Mimimyne has just won the Small Business Sunday #SBS competition run by Theo Paphitis!

I just wanted to share with you the exciting news that Mimimyne has just been chosen along with five other companies to be retweeted by Theo Paphitis as part of his “Small Business Sunday” competition. Theo Paphitis the legendary retail Dragon needs, I’m sure, no introduction but “Small Business Sunday” may not be known to everyone. To support small business in the UK, Theo asks small businesses to tweet @TheoPaphitis every Sunday between 5pm and 7.30[, with the special #SBS hashtag somewhere in the tweet. Although this sounds as though it should be easy, it’s actually trickier than you’d think to remember to send a tweet at a certain time once a week, and on several occasions I’d actually tweeted too early and missed the slot, or left it too late, and ended up kicking myself on Monday. Anyway, last Sunday night I sent a Small Business Sunday tweet, but as I had an old friend coming round for dinner I turned my mobile off and didn’t look at my computer (I’ve learned my lesson now! Never turn off Twitter!). Anyway, to cut a long story short I woke up to lots of wonderful messages on my Twitter page from other people who’d seen his #SBS tweet and I am absolutely thrilled to have won and would like to thank Theo Paphitis for doing so much to support small businesses like mine and those of the five other winners. I’ve already seen some amazing results – doubling of visits to my home page and a five-fold increase in visits to my blog! So thanks again to Theo Paphitis and Small Business Sunday.

Mimimyne wins a Small Business Sunday retweet from Theo Paphitis
Screenshot

Being a mumpreneur

Today I’ve been writing a blog entry for Business on Twitter, Nikki Pilkington’s business blog. I write a post a month and it takes about an hour of work, which I decided to do this Sunday as it requires some thinking time. Blogging is time-consuming and can be exciting or dull depending on your state of mind. As well as blogging for Business on Twitter, I blog over at Mimimyne. Sometimes I love to write about my products and news at Mimimyne, sometimes I’m more interested in writing about social media, sometimes it will be an event I’ve attended which excites me and which I want to share. Sometimes I will have guest posts, usually from bloggers who are relevant to my readers. It’s important to blog regularly if you run a business! Anyway, today I was writing about Twitter and staring at the computer with what I remember calling ‘the writer stare’ when I interrupted my mother working and gazing into mid-air (although of course she used a typewriter).

While I was doing this, my six year old son kept running in and out. First of all he wanted the sellotape, which disappears regularly – I probably have twenty rolls of it in my house somewhere. Then he wanted scissors. Next, it was a black pen, then a piece of paper. After a while I asked him if he’d mind going out because Mummy was working and I couldn’t concentrate (I’d better explain here that his dad, brother and two dogs were also in the house, so I wasn’t being completely neglectful!). As a bribe, I said I’d feature whatever he was working on in my blog.

After an hour or so during which I carried on with my writing, and he carried on interrupting me, I’d produced my blog and he’d produced – this. It’s so wonderful! It’s his personal sticker book with various characters he’s invented. Sometimes I feel guilty that the kids have to share some of my attention and time with my business. But then I see what they can create, all by themselves with hardly any help from me, and realise it’s OK. By running my own business and working part-time, I’m not actually shortchanging them. They know I’ll be there to pick them up from school and that I will spend most of my time with them, and they’ve learned a million ways to entertain themselves if my attention is elsewhere for a short while. So I’m going to give myself a little holiday from that omnipresent mother guilt, and just feel proud of my talented son.

Virtual Business Awards results – Shortlisted!

Just a quick post to say thanks to all my newsletter subscribers, Facebook fans and Twitter followers who voted for me in the Virtual Business Awards – I was shortlisted along with many other fabulous companies but sadly didn’t get a prize this time. I really appreciated all your votes and will definitely enter again next year! Thanks again and I hope you had a wonderful Christmas holiday – and I’d like to wish you a Happy New Year as well!

Mumpreneur Awards 2010

I was nominated for Best Online Business at the Mumpreneur Conference and Awards 2010 and although I didn’t win, it was afantastic event as always with a lot of my favourite speakers, including Alison Rothwell of SEO Training Club, there to motivate, inform and inspire the audience of businesswomen. I went to two seminars, one ‘break-out session’ on SEO and listened to two motivational speakers. More info and links coming soon, meanwhile there’s an interview with me below by Family Friendly Working which talks about what I most enjoyed at the conference.