Posted: Mon 3rd Jun 2013
Fresh from a Â successful first StartUp Saturday on Tour event in Manchester, Enterprise Nation founder Emma Jones this week reflects on the excitement generated by a roomful of start-ups and the power of niche businesses.
I don't know why it still surprises and delights me, but at every StartUp Saturday I'm blown away by the ideas people are coming up with to turn into businesses, writes Emma (left).Â In a beautiful oak-panelled room in Manchester Library on Saturday 1st June, it was no different.
I met determined and passionate people who are starting businesses to make children's hand puppets, decals for your home, salad flowers, a magazine to list northern entertainment, a school teaching English to European students, a clinical neuropsychologist planning to go freelance, a concept for a new on-the-go healthy snack, a nappycake maker, natural wedding organiser and aphrodisiac food blogger!
They were all spectacular and what it showed to me, for the umpteenth time, is the power of the niche; how the best businesses are those focused on delivering a particular product or service to a well-defined audience. That way, you keep marketing costs low and customer loyalty high. There is nothing more gratifying than seeing a room filled with 50 people who are taking their talent, hobby or skill and turning it into a viable way of making a living. They are embracing tech tools and social media and getting online to get known and make sales. They are popping up and heading out to sell on the High Street, through partnerships, at farmers' markets and, increasingly, overseas.
And there's time left over to help others on their way. At this week's session, the school teaching English met a man running a website for the Spanish community - a match made in start-up heaven? You could say! Everyone in the room was up for helping each other, whether it be advice on branding or immediate and on-the-spot crowdfunding to get a business launched! Thank you, Manchester, for keeping my faith in the power of niche businesses and, indeed, the power of people all across Britain to take a great idea and turn it into a viable business. It was a joyous way to spend the first day of June! Emma Jones is founder of Enterprise Nation and co-founder of StartUp Britain.Â StartUp Saturday took place in Manchester on 1st June. It was the first leg of the national StartUp Saturday TourÂ -Â with thanks to Penelope and ICAEW Business Advice Services for their support.Â
StartUp Saturday will be visiting six more UK cities between now and November. It's the chance to leanr all you need to start a business in just one day. Tickets are just Â£30 and include a FREE StartUp Kit worth Â£12.99. To find out more and book your place, visit theÂ Enterprise Nation Events page.