Sugru haven't fully, properly launched, but they still sent me this charming newsletter telling me they're 'almost there'. It maps all the boxes they've ticked already on their way to becoming a fully fledged, full-time trading company, and shows that there are only a couple left. And it thanks me for signing up to the newsletter. How does it make me feel about the business? Involved, touched, like they're a friend keeping me in the loop. It instantly creates familiarity - and it's so prettily designed that it totally charmed the pants off me too. It makes me remember their business and get excited about what's to come. And it hasn't done the Sugru brand any harm, either.
How much did this little bit of customer engagement and involvement cost the team? If they used a service like Mailchimp, then it's completely free.
Stuff like this is why we made Sugru a Smarta 100 winner, even though it's such a young business. Find out more.
I went into the tiny little fruit shop, and bought a banana, an orange, and a pear. It cost 50p - quite a bargain itself, compared to the Tesco a few doors down. And then, you know what? The shop owner chucked in another banana and two satsumas for free - basically doubling my order. And he gave me a lovely smile and wished me a great weekend.
In doing so, he's just gained a loyal customer - I'm never going to Tesco for fruit again when I can get friendly, personal service like that from someone who obviously really values his customers.
(If you're in London Bridge, tweet me @sophiehobson and I'll tell you where the shop is!)
I've just been checking out the Smarta Q&A, and I spotted a cockle-warming example of the smart way small businesses help each other out.
Business owner number one posted a question on Smarta. Business owner number two said even though he has been running a completely different type of business for the last 15 years, he used to work in that area and would be happy to help. He told business owner number one he can call for advice.
This is what we're talking about people! This helping hand isn't going to win business owner number two any new contracts - he's doing it just to be nice. But you know what? This is the start of a business relationship, and who knows where it could lead. Perhaps they can refer other people who need their services. Perhaps they'll collaborate on something in the future. Or perhaps other business owners will be inspired by the goodwill and start helping other people in the Smarta Q&A out too.
Whatever happens, it's this helping attitude that makes small business what they are, and makes them able to flourish and move forward even when so many other odds are stacked against them.
Keep it up, all of you! We salute you!