Tell us how #SBS has affected your business
On day one I was connecting with customers and business-owners and my profile grew through the increased Twitter followers that the #SBS visibility brought. Since then, I've had press coverage for my Babycup mini open cups and baby weaning cups. Ongoing, the support from the #SBS family is incredible. There is always someone to help with a query or a question - whatever the topic! And now, having been to my first #SBSevent, I am blown away with the passion and generosity of Theo Paphitis - such a champion for small businesses and an inspiration to us all. We are small, but we are growing! Onwards and very much upwardsl. Thank you #SBS!
Having been a wingwalker in my early working days, I have always been keen to see things from a different angle. Including upside-down! I like to question the norm and if there is a better way I am always keen to find it. My ground-based business background includes 20 years of marketing experience part of which was as Head of Marketing & Communications for Olympus UK with responsibility across the ranges from cameras to microscopes, voice recorders to diagnostic systems and also global responsibility for the Olympus Tokyo's F1 sponsorship of Scuderia Ferrari. From bi-planes and racing cars, via business development in a marketing agency, I then took time out from 'paid' work to start a family with my husband - whom I met when he was chiropractor for another F1 team. Voluntary work including co-chairing the local arm of a pregnancy and parenting group, deputy editor for a magazine and helping in a primary school all kept me busy alongside looking after my three young daughters. I then became Marketing Director for Even Keel Healthcare Ltd, my husband's chiropractic clinic.
But it was in weaning my girls that my own product idea came about and in 2012 I set up Babycup Ltd, a new cup brand for babies and toddlers. Each time I had encountered the weaning stage for my children I searched in vain for a cup that was suitable for little hands and little mouths and also did not require a suck that rivaled a vacuum cleaner. I felt that most cups for babies and toddlers were the equivalent proportions of an adult drinking from a bucket and I also could not understand why a child would need to suck so hard to get a drink. This led me to uncover countless health issues caused by the sippy cups, spouted cups and no spill cups dominating the market and by baby number three when I still could not find the perfect cup I decided I ought to get on and make it. Babycup was born.
Babycup launched to retail in 2013 and the feedback is excellent. Babycup is already award-winning, is recommended by parents and health professionals and is available from nursery goods retailers, department stores and pharmacies in the UK and worldwide.
Talking to other brands is invaluable. Most often you will find that people are happy and willing to help and give you advice and feedback. Trial your idea before you commit fully, to make sure there is demand/it will work/it's not just your friends or family who think it's good! Getting paying customers is very reassuring. Getting customers who return for more is the best testimonial. Social media is a great way to spread the word. Learn about what options there are - there's more and more virtual help every day! And of course, remember to tweet your #SBS message to @TheoPaphitis