Why I love helping small businesses to write better

Why I love helping small businesses to write better

Small businesses are a lot of fun, and have the entrepreneurial b*lls to take chances the major corporates would take years to approve.

Did you know that tomorrow is Small Business Saturday in the UK after the USA had theirs last week? I didn’t, either.

But it seems to me like a great idea to promote small businesses not only in the UK, but worldwide.

Even though many small businesses can’t afford to offer payment facilities via American Express, this is the company behind Small Business Saturday … probably we should learn something here. (Ain’t life grand? LOL…)

Also, I’m not quite sure why we here in the UK got bumped a week, when #SmallBusinessSaturday in the USA was held on the Saturday of the Thanksgiving Weekend. Mind you, after the frantic retail tsunamis of Black Friday, it’s probably just as well that we have had a breather before launching into yet more hot promotion.

But let’s not be picky: Small Business Saturday whenever

According to the UK’s Federation of Small Business in the UK alone, SMEs (Small To Medium sized Enterprises) as at 2013 accounted for:

  • 99.9 per cent of all private sector businesses in the UK
  • 59.3 per cent of private sector employment
  • 48.1 per cent of private sector turnover

They employed 14.4 million people and had a combined turnover of £1,600 billion. And small businesses alone accounted for 47 per cent of private sector employment and 33.1 per cent of turnover in 2013.

Hardly statistics anyone should sneeze at.

So what makes small businesses in the UK and elsewhere special from a writing point of view?

There are several things that make small businesses special to me when I help them with their blogging and other content.

1) Their brand is not up there in lights in Piccadilly Circus or Time Square. Their brands are either very close to the founding person, or else the brand is  the founding person. This makes it easy to share the ethos and culture of the business, because it’s there, living and breathing. It’s not locked into the origins of some Mom and Pop business started 100 years ago that has become a household name for all the wrong reasons and now pedals chemically questionable fluffy products to unsuspecting families, and – as their writer/blogger – you have to perpetuate that myth. With small businesses, as a writer you’re totally free from such restrictions.

2) You can get to know the brand very well because it’s there, unspoilt in all its glory. Leading on from point #1 above, as a writer you can get to know the small business very quickly because even if its founders have passed away, the culture has carried on in an obvious and powerfully one-directional way. You don’t have to try and reconcile the fluffy branding as mentioned up there ^^^ with a corporation that employs thousands, turns over millions, is quoted on stock exchanges everywhere and still expects you to give it a touchy-feely voice.

3) Small businesses are a lot of fun. OK, that’s not a significant point if you’re going to be boring about business and business writing, but if you’re like me you want to have fun with your clients and your writing work because that’s what makes it all come alive. Small businesses are flexible, creative, innovative and bloody-minded enough to do what they know to be right and to hell with the theory-preaching detractors. In other words, they’re entrepreneurs – small maybe, but still on the front line. That makes writing for them exciting and inspiring.

4) Small businesses do not feel the need to sign – and make suppliers sign – the Official Secrets Act before sharing business information. Large companies tend to be paranoid about sharing even which brand of toilet paper is used in their corporate restrooms, never mind the simplest of their marketing and other strategies that might help others in their field without giving much away. Small businesses aren’t so precious, and don’t need to be. I like writing for small businesses because most of them regard competition not only as healthy, but as comradeship. (That’s how I see it with my own competitors.)

On the eve of this perhaps contrived notion of #SmallBusinessSaturday, let’s actually take a moment really to celebrate the small businesses we know and love.

Good on ya, guys: here in the UK and I suspect in many, many other countries, you are the mainstays of local, regional and even national economies. I love writing for you, teaching you how to write for business, and helping you in any other ways I can.

So don’t let the grinning gargoyles of American Express or other mega-corporations patronize you: get out there and kick butt, as only you know how to do it … properly.

How do you feel about small businesses, and #SmallBusinessSaturday ?

Please share your thoughts.

photo credit: roberthuffstutter via photopin cc