Minal meets Yvonne Gorman, Essential Print
There’s one date on the small business calendar that I really look forward to every year. That’s Small Business Saturday! I wanted you to feel as excited about it as I do because it’s such a huge opportunity for all small business owners.
But, rather than tell you why myself, I called on one of my fellow SmallBiz100s, Yvonne Gorman, founder of Essential Print Services, to share her experience with you.
Yvonne has made a huge effort to support Small Business Saturday, and in this interview, you’ll find more about her achievements. I hope you’ll also find the inspiration you might need to get involved yourself!
Minal: Tell me a bit about your business. What do you specialise in?
Yvonne: We are a printing company based on Pride Park in Derby and we pride ourselves on making professionals look professional, by offering competitive prices, exceptional customer service and spectacular print.
From business cards, brochures and leaflets, through to folders, flyers, banners and promotional items, we can handle anything from conventional full-colour print to some of the most bizarre print requests.
We deliver print all over the UK and we will look after you every step of the way.
Minal: When and why did you start your business?
Yvonne: I started my business in 2011. I started it because so many people told me that’d I’d be great at running my own business. I had no aspiration or desire to have my own business but with so many peers saying the same thing, I could not ignore the signs. I experienced how low customer service was being prioritised in the print industry and with my passion for service, I set out to change that.
Let’s talk about Small Business Saturday
Minal: You became a SmallBiz100 in 2013, can you tell us what impact it had on your business?
Yvonne: Yes, that’s right I became a SmallBiz100 in 2013, the first year the initiative landed in the UK and the opportunities keep on coming. When I find myself in a ‘wrist-pinching’ moment, and I think to myself, “how did I get here?” It usually tracks back to being a SmallBiz100.
It has raised the profile of my company and my personal profile, which in turn, instils confidence in customers to make an enquiry.
Minal: How has being a SmalllBiz100 alumni helped you?
Yvonne: The SmallBiz100 Alumni is a fantastic community. It is great to be able to post an issue or request on the Facebook Group and within minutes, several people are willing to help. I have been a member of several business groups over the years but not one compares to the support from the Alumni.
Minal: Small Business Saturday is on 4 December this year. Why is it an important date for small business owners?
Yvonne: Saturday 4 December 2021 is a BIG date for small businesses because, after such a turbulent year, it’s a chance to celebrate all those small enterprises that have made it this far. It is a chance to recognise all the small businesses who have thrived and those who still need our help.
Minal: You have built an amazing community in Derby. How has your focus on Small Business Saturday helped you to do that?
Yvonne: Every year since I was chosen as a SmallBiz100 in 2013, several fellow Derby small businesses have also been selected. My focus was to shine a light on my beloved city and its amazing small business community. From the beginning, it was all about collaborations; with Derby City Council, The University of Derby, Derby’s historic market hall and in recent years, a collaboration with a business group called Derby Hub.
I’ve been a member of Derby Hub since 2011 and many members have been SmallBiz100 companies too. Derby Hub feels like an incubation centre for future SmallBiz100.
Each year, Derby holds a big celebration for Small Business Saturday, which sees over 100 business owners take part in a free market, seminars and talks.
As well as collaboration, it is about inclusivity. If people want to get involved and join us on the journey, they are more than welcome.
Minal: Lots of B2Bs tell me that Small Business Saturday isn’t for them. But you have embraced it. How has it impacted your business?
Yvonne: It baffles me when small businesses are selected for SmallBiz100 but they fail to engage. It is an incredible opportunity – one not to be missed. Small Business Saturday is for everyone. From a local butcher offering a special discount on the day or to a painter offering free workshops to a group of businesses (like Derby) hosting a business extravaganza – whatever it is, large or small, everyone can get involved. It can take as much or as little time, effort and money as you wish
Minal: What are your plans for Small Business Saturday this year?
Yvonne: The plan for Derby this year, is to host a networking extravaganza. It will see the collaboration of several local networking groups and organisations. Similar to previous years, there will be a market, which will be free to stallholders and the BIG Talk; half an hour of inspirational talks from business leaders. The famous ‘Golden Ticket’ will feature again; delegates are picked at random and given a golden ticket for a chance to pitch their business in front of hundreds of people.
Minal: What’s your advice to any small businesses wanting to get involved?
Yvonne: My advice to any small businesses wanting to get involved is…DO IT!
If you want to do something big, you can’t do it alone. Find your local SmallBiz100 Alumni and team up with them. If anyone needs ideas or advice, they are welcome to contact me for a chat.
Minal: If they don’t have time, what is the one thing small businesses should do this Small Business Saturday?
Yvonne: If you are genuinely time-poor on the day, support those who are doing something by sharing their social media posts. Make a pledge that you’ll switch one buying habit from a large retailer to a small business (i.e. rather than buy milk and flowers from the supermarket, I pledge to use my local farm shop and florist). You may not have the time to be involved yourself, but that doesn’t stop you from spreading the word!