O2SmartaBiz of the week: the monthly round-up

Small businesses are at the heart of our economy and we want to make sure everyone knows it. 4.8m small businesses keep 23.9m people employed, making sure Britain keeps on growing. We’ve teamed up with Smarta.com and decided to celebrate the success that our small businesses achieve, giving them the recognition they deserve. In our search for the smartest business, #O2SmartaBiz wants to hear from you.

Fancy getting your business featured? Follow @O2BusinessUK and @SmartaHQ and tweet with #O2SmartaBiz to get involved http://www.smarta.com/blog/2013/4/are-you-the-smarta-and-o2-business-of-the-week 

Here’s our round up of the businesses that were named an #O2SmartaBiz in August.

Owow Chocolates- We were really proud to name this chocolatier as an #O2SmartaBiz winner, who benefited hugely from being named one of our brilliant businesses. After demand for their luxury product exploded, they moved to new premises. Their branded mini Oreos impressed us so much that we completed an order of over 3,000 of their delicious chocolates for the launch of our 4G last week. Owow Chocolates are an example of the impact #O2SmartaBiz can have on your business. Try their scrumptious chocolates, they didn’t last long at o2!

What’s your smartest tip for other entrepreneurs?

“Network! Both physically and virtually. Build a band of followers, look to see who is well connected with the ideal customer for you and is likely to recommend your product.”

United By Fate – Fashion is very competitive industry, especially in the UK, with European brands dominating our market. That’s why we didn’t hesitate to name a British menswear label as a #O2SmartaBiz winner. United By Fate went global in style, landing their first exports to Finland, Germany and Singapore in the same week. Taking pride in their high quality, hand finished, clothing and accessories, they believe patience was the key to their latest success. We were thoroughly chuffed to name them as an #O2SmartaBiz and can’t wait to see them expand.

What’s your smartest tip for other entrepreneurs?

“Create something for yourself. Something that you, as a person, would love, get excited about, spend money or time on and it is almost guaranteed that there will be enough other people out there who feel the same way as you.

That’s how these adventures can start. Aim for the first 1000 true fans and the rest just needs passion and time.”

cloud.IQ– £250,000 is a huge chunk of money, right? That’s why we named cloud.IQ as our latest #O2SmartaBiz when they secured the investment many businesses would be envious of. This cloud based app business help small business utilise great technology. The funding from the Technology Strategy Board has allowed the business to develop their product, and cloud.IQ’s journey to success is only just beginning. A deserved winner of an #O2SmartaBiz and we’re going to make sure we keep an eye out for them. We think you should too!

What’s your smartest tip for other entrepreneurs?

Look after your first early adopter customers. If you can turn them in to fans they will be hugely useful in terms of spreading the word about the great work you do. Also, don’t feel you always need to invent something new from scratch. Often, tweaking something that already exists and making it simpler or better is a fast route to success.

Until around 1800, shoes were made without differentiation for the left or right foot, it took a bright spark to realise that there could be a better design than the one that had lasted centuries.”

First Response Supplies – We’re all for recognising businesses that make a difference to people’s lives, and that’s exactly what First Response Supplies are doing. Importing and exporting their own products, they supply paramedic, medical and first aid equipment online. Used by the NHS, private paramedic companies and a host of other businesses, founder Allan Withers and his company made page one on google for the first time. We were proud to name them our #O2SmartaBiz and hope they continue to make a difference.

What’s your smartest tip for entrepreneurs?

“Carpe Diem!!”