Over 500 small business owners from across the West Midlands filled Birmingham Town Hall to learn how to use social media to grow their business. Local businesses were given practical tips on how to use Facebook to reach new customers and improve their bottom line, as well as hearing first-hand experience from other successful businesses. Enterprise Nation were also on hand to offer 1:1 guidance and advice.
The Birmingham event was the fourth and penultimate leg of the Facebook Boost Your Business Summer Tour, a two-week roadshow in association with Enterprise Nation, which has already visited Leeds, Edinburgh and Cardiff and culminates in Manchester today. A key destination on the tour, Birmingham has the biggest number of new small businesses outside of London, with 18,337 registered last year (up from 16,281 in 2013).
During the day, local business owner Adam Choudhry took to the stage to share his tips for success and answer questions from budding entrepreneurs.
— Adam Choudhry started his business, Kings Barber Club, six years ago whilst he was a student. He has now expanded the business to 14 salons across Birmingham and the West Midlands. The salons are committed to delivering high quality service and providing a mix of barber services under one roof to service the needs of their multicultural audience.
— Over the past week, Adam has also launched a new venture with Sainsbury's – a barber salon pop-up in the car park of the Birmingham Sainsbury's branch. He hopes the venture will lead to fulfilling his dream of scaling nationwide.
— Facebook is now the business’ primary way of driving sales, have built a community of 12,000 people on the platform, and the company is now averaging 15,000-20,000 haircuts a month.
Adam Choudhry, Founder, Kings Barber Club commented:
“Facebook just works. It’s a great way to share personal stories and interact with existing and potential customers. The new Local Awareness tool is also really exciting for us and was particularly impactful when we launched our newest store recently. It allowed us to target an entirely new audience of people who lives and worked within a mile radius of the store. That kind of accuracy just isn’t possible through other channels.
“My advice to business owners thinking about using Facebook would be to just give it a go. You don’t have to spend a lot of money, and can easily monitor your spend while you test different targeting options and ad formats to find the best way to reach your goal”.
Ciaran Quilty, Facebook's SMB Director for the UK & Ireland, told us:
"It’s fantastic to be here in Birmingham on the fourth leg of our first UK Boost Your Business summer tour, and to meet fantastic local businesses like King’s Barber Club. King’s Barber Club is aperfect example of how Facebook can help turn a fledgling start-up into a bonafide business, complete with a ready-made mobile marketing strategy. And with over 18,000 businesses registered in Birmingham, it's clear that this is just the start.
"Facebook offers a huge opportunity for these businesses to talk directly to their target audience – at huge scale and with unprecedented relevancy. During this tour, I’ve been asking business owners to put mobile at the heart of their strategy and to think of themselves as 'mobile businesses'. Because the reality is that, with 25 million people in the UK coming back to Facebook on mobile every single day, mobile is where SMBs' customers - and potential customers - are spending their time."
Enterprise Nation founder, Emma Jones, commented:
"Mastering Facebook is one of the top skills start-ups and small businesses tell us they want to learn. Taking time to study simple Facebook techniques will help firms ensure their content is hitting the mark, targeting the right people, appearing in News Feeds more often and efficiently and connecting them with influencers.”