Sandra James the founder of premium cat care franchise The Cat Butler, recently met entrepreneur and former Dragon’s Den star Theo Paphitis, to receive her certificate after she was a winner through his social media initiative #SBS (Small Business Sunday.)
Every Sunday, from 5 – 7.30 pm, small businesses from around the UK are invited to tweet about their business to Theo, including the hashtag #SBS. At 8pm he chooses six lucky winners, which are then retweeted to his 500,000 followers and subsequently invited to the annual #SBSevent to meet him and other successful entrepreneurs.
Aside from the retweet, winning #SBS provides small businesses with huge brand exposure via a listing on his website https://www.theopaphitissbs.com/profile/the-cat-butler/ and automatic entry into the #SBSWinnersClubAndNetwork for former winners to network and communicate and support each other.
Of the 450,000 entries Theo receives every year only 0.8% of businesses become #SBS winners, and 76% of those who win are businesses owned and run by women.
Sandra launched her exclusive cat visiting service, The Cat Butler, in her hometown of St Albans, Hertfordshire in 2015 and franchised the business in March 2021 and now has five franchisees.
As a winner in April 2021, Sandra was invited to #SBSevent2023, which was held in Birmingham last week.
Days after the event, Sandra says she is still buzzing, so much so that she is already looking forward to next year’s event.
Sandra said: ‘It was such an honour not only to be an #SBS winner and receive my certificate from Theo but also to be invited to such an inspiring event with the other winners. Theo and his team put together an incredible day for us, including guest speaker ex-F1 driver Mark Blundell who told us how he started in motorsports, his journey, his successes and challenges and he offered us some business insights including embracing investment when the time is right. We also heard from psychotherapist and best-selling author Owen O’Kane, who talked about self-belief, dealing with stress and focusing on supporting ourselves rather than our businesses. I also attended a really interesting talk on digital marketing. All were so very relevant to me as a business owner.’
She continued: “Theo describes the day as ‘A chance to pause for breath, be inspired, talk to like-minded businesses’ and he’s absolutely right. I have come away from the event confident for the future but also remembering one thing he said to us, ‘Don’t be a busy fool’. My takeaway from that is that I’m going to learn to delegate tasks that someone else could do and focus more on my core job of supporting my franchisees and growing my business. I could not recommend anyone taking part in #SBS highly enough and if they are lucky enough to win I’ll see them next year.’