The Chocolate Cellar
14th December 2017
Founder: Bala Croman
Owning a small business can leave founders feeling isolated and wondering “Am I doing this right?”. Networks such as the Home Business 100 are one way to engage with like-minded business-owners, but the widespread utilisation of social media has enabled businesses such as The Chocolate Cellar not only to engage with customers, but also to extend their business networks.
Bala Croman, founder of The Chocolate Cellar in Liverpool, explains that she uses Twitter, Facebook and Instagram simultaneously. All three have been useful in extending her reach locally, and have given her team the chance to engage with Merseyside’s small business network.
It is, however, important to recognise that each channel serves a different audience and purpose. For, example, Bala finds that Facebook is best at generating product sales directly,, whilst Instagram and Twitter’s visual focuses sometimes result in users “admiring but not buying”.
This year Bala used Twitter and Instagram to take part in #smallbizsatukchallenge, a hashtag that allowed participants to share their approach to being a small business and in the process give other businesses in their network solutions to shared challenges. On last year’s Small Business Saturday bus tour Bala had connected with a small wine merchant and they now organise collaborative “Wine and Chocolate” evenings together – and this is just one example of how the campaign has helped to invigorate her business.
Bala explained that the feeling of natural isolation resulting from establishing a new small business can be a challenge. The Chocolate Cellar utilises networks such as the Mersey Etsy Team to share anything from supplier information on the more eco friendly packaging to helpful self-care tips during busy seasonal periods.
Bala Croman’s small business is a great example of one which makes great use of the social networks and resources available to it.