Last May, we were lucky enough to be picked out as one of the winners of Small Business Sunday. Created by Theo Paphitis – best known for appearing in TV’s Dragon’s Den – in October 2010, Small Business Sunday rewards small businesses that tweet him @TheoPaphitis and describe their businesses in one tweet. The tweet must include the all-important hashtag #SBS and only tweets made between 5pm and 7.30pm on Sundays count.

 

So what are the benefits of winning #SBS? Well let me tell you, there are plenty! For a start, our winning tweet was re-tweeted by Theo the Monday after we entered – putting Cureton Consulting right in front of his 500,000+ followers! Of course, this gave our social media presence a massive boost, and we immediately noticed more people following and engaging with us online.

 

But the best bit was definitely our invitation to the annual winners’ event, which was held on Friday 23 February 2018 at the ICC in Birmingham. We got to meet Theo and hear from him as well as other business leaders including AO founder John Roberts, who recently stepped down as the company’s World Chief Executive. He gave an incredible and highly motivating talk that we’ll remember for a long time!

 

Another highlight was a presentation from Stephen Cheliotis, Chief Executive of the Centre for Brand Analysis, Superbrands UK and CoolBrands. As you’d expect, he spoke about branding and what small business owners can learn from exploring the opportunities that branding has to offer. Another truly fascinating and highly memorable speech!

 

All in all, it was a fantastic day, with lots of time to meet and network with other #SBS winners and learn about the challenges they face and how they overcome them. It’s like being part of a big family, with many business owners attending the annual event year after year. Winning #SBS also gives you great opportunities for online networking, as your business is featured on Theo’s website, providing excellent exposure.

 

Being a #SBS winner is such a great experience that we’d love lots of other business owners to benefit from it, too! So why not get involved and start tweeting about your business every Sunday night? It only takes a moment and you can always schedule your tweet in advance if you’ve got other things to do. Don’t expect to win straightaway, though – it took us four whole years of trying before we got lucky!

 

Consistency is key to getting noticed by Theo, so make sure you keep the message the same each week. You can use different images or graphics, but it’s a good idea to keep the text the same. If you like, you can include a link to your website, but make sure it’s up to date and looking good. Theo won’t be impressed with links to sites that are under construction or haven’t been updated for several years.

 

The only rules that you absolutely have to follow are:

  • Follow @TheoPaphitis and @RymanStationery on Twitter.
  • Tweet about your business in 280 characters or less, directed to @TheoPaphitis and including the hashtag #SBS.
  • Tweet on a Sunday between 5pm and 7.30pm.

 

Here are some tips to bear in mind when composing your tweet:

  • Use humour and topicality if it feels natural to you.
  • Make sure your Twitter profile really sells your business.
  • Include colourful graphics or photos.
  • Include a personal touch like your name in the tweet.
  • Only tweet once in each weekly time slot.

 

Make sure you look out for the re-tweets, which happen every Monday at 8pm. But like we said before, don’t despair if you’re not picked in the first few weeks! Keep at it and, with a bit of luck, Theo will pick you out sooner or later. And if you do win, please let us know as we’d love to hear your thoughts about the experience. Good luck!

 

You can find out more about Small Business Sunday and search for past winners at www.theopaphitissbs.com.