What does it take to become an SBS Winner?


What does it take to become a #SBS winner? I spoke to 3 winners from Lincolnshire to find out how they ‘made it’ and what the impact has been for them and on their business.

sbs winner badge

What is Small Business Sunday and how did it begin?

2015 winner, The Furious Engineer, Matt Osbourne kindly explains:

“#SBS was set up by former Dragon, Theo Paphitis from his kitchen back in October 2010. From the early days of running a fledgling retail business, Theo used Sunday evenings as the time to gather his thoughts and plan for the week ahead identifying key target clients to acquire over the ensuing days. Marvelling at the speed he acquired followers on his (then) new Twitter account, Theo quickly spotted an opportunity to use the strength in numbers of his following to the advantage of small business owners up and down the land. What started as little more than offering the ‘first 6 replies’ the opportunity of having him retweet their business has now morphed into an ever-growing legion of small business owners across the country

How did you hear about SBS?

Sandra: “I heard about it from Mindy during one of the Navenby & Cliff Villages Business Network meetings, she is a co-chair and I was a new member eager to learn more about social media”

Andrew: “I had seen a tweet sent from a business I follow and thought I would give it a go myself, not really thinking too much about it”

How many times did you enter?

Sandra:”More than I can remember! I nearly gave up a few times but was reminded by lots of people, including Mindy, not to give up, after-all it is such a small thing to fit into your Sunday evening routine.”

Andrew:” I had entered a couple of times about 3 months prior to winning and then gave it a break until the week I won. I guess I was lucky that I didn’t try that many times”

What was your winning tweet?

Sandra:”We are a small business, supporting other small businesses. We have the UK’s best range of candles #SBS”

Andrew: “Family business in #Lincoln producing #handmade #suits for half the price of #SavileRow #SBS”

andrew musson winning tweet

The image Andrew used in his winning tweet!

Where were you when you saw the retweet from Theo?

Sandra: “I was on holiday with my family and I could hear my phone going nuts, my husband saw it first and we then popped open a bottle of fizz and got into the spirit of it all. I couldn’t believe that it had finally happened and that I was able to celebrate with so many people that had helped me on my Glimmer journey”

Andrew: “I was at home! I had just taken one of my children up to bed and as I was walking back down the stairs, I could hear my phone going crazy in the lounge. It continued for most of the evening”


How would you describe the impact being a winner has had on you personally and professionally?

Sandra: “Overwhelmingly positive. Winning gave me a real boost and I have enjoyed the support and interest I have had from fellow SBS winners. The website has gained in terms of traffic and sales. Going to the event itself was fantastic, entrepreneurs are always learning and it’s great to be part of such a like minded and talented group.”

sandra glimmer candles

Andrew: “Professionally, it’s been fantastic. It’s widened our profile on Twitter immensely and has helped spread the word about our business! I have also made many friends through #SBSWinnershour which takes place on Twitter every Tuesday evening between 8.30pm-9.30pm”

Matt: “Enhanced Social Media presence, networking, support, mentoring, advice, and inclusion into a group of like-minded entrepreneurs. We got the chance to meet Theo and have fabulously cheesy-grinned photos with him, but there was a great networking opportunity with hundreds of fellow delegates”

furious engineer theo paphitis

The Furious Engineer receiving their certificate from Theo in 2016.

What advice would you give to someone thinking about trying out the SBS tweet game!

Sandra: “Just go for it and don’t give up. The investment is low but the rewards are potentially very high, most of which cannot be measured in numerical terms”

Andrew:”Definitely give it a go and keep trying. Don’t give up if you don’t get chosen straight away. Using an image also to promote your business looks more interesting, especially if your business is unique!”

andrew musson sbs certificate

Matt: “The benefits of winning far outweigh any reasons you can think of for not giving it your best shot so go for it, good luck and I hope to meet you soon; both on the cloud and in the flesh!”


So, there you have it. Seems as thought 140 characters could potentially lead to you meeting many many more and the benefits across social media and networking being too vast to measure.  I didn’t need convincing that it was a good thing, but I did need a but of inspiration to make me realise that ‘opting out really is missing out’ and I shall be beginning my campaign soon, will you?

Want to know more about these Lincolnshire Stars? 

Sandra Varley – owns Glimmer Candles – beautiful online candle boutique – try it you won’t be disappointed.

Andrew J Musson – is The Lincolnshire Tailor – and possibly ones of the nicest people I’ve ever met online. He is also rather good at making bespoke suits…..

Matt Osborne – is The Furious Engineer and a walking dictionary of wit and charm, rather good if you need help with anything wordy!

Learn more about entering and winning here.

Thank you to all 3 of you for letting me share your story and good luck with all your future endeavours. I will be watching, buying, reading and of course, tweeting. 


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