SBS Event 2015

Posted on February 1st, 2015

I’m on my way home from the most amazing trip to Birmingham for the annual Small business Sunday meet up.


#SBS Winners Event 2015


As a little background I won my tweet out from dragons den Theo Paphitis back in 2011. This is THE community to which all small businesses aspire to belong. It is friendly and supporting on social media and backed by the most inspirational business man.


A Photo of Fiona Cambouropoulos with Theo Paphitis at #sbs Event 2012


This is the third event and I’ve been lucky to attend them all as I won early in the process and the events fall in our January close down time. Each year builds on the last but a common thread runs through them all and that is sharing what it takes to be successful in Business:

Essentially this boils down to a real belief and passion in what you do. Yet this alone isn’t enough, it must be combined with a gritty determination, a self confidence to persist and a thorough understanding of your business money. The assumption here is of course that your business is a viable one in the first instance.

Perhaps not a revolutionary message but delivered as Theo does it reminds me what I love about having our own farm holiday business.

This year three successful business people joined Theo to tell their story of how they made their millions and take questions from a huge expectant audience. Each made me realise how much is possible for those prepared to run with an opportunity.


sbs question time panel

Reflecting back on this in the car as I travel home these are the gems that will stick with me back into my working day next week. 

  1. If you’re not boring all your friends and family about your business you should be! I always worry about this one, perhaps I shouldn’t. This was Theo’s tip that resonated with me.

  2.  We are all masters of our own destiny, Theo is an incredibly motivational and supportive of our individual businesses, but it is us who must use that and create the success for ourselves.

  3.  Success rarely comes from your 1st business venture and it’s ok to learn and change. Judith Naake didn’t make St Tropez her first business; in fact she didn’t acquire the brand until she was 47, my age, and made millions in the 13 years she owned it. How amazing is that? It does inspire me to keep progressing and developing what we do here at Coombe Mill and adapting in line with modern trends.

  4.  Out of disaster can come real compassion and business acumen – Rob Forkhan and his brother lost their parents in the horrific Indonesian tsunami, his story and business success in Gandys flip flops was born from this, moreover his business helps others who were orphaned just as he and his siblings were. I’d rather not experience the disaster but it is a real example of how positive thinking can generate success and that successful business people like Theo and Rob can be compassionate in helping others. Food for thought for me at Coombe Mill and the experience we have to offer children.

  5.  You don’t have to be first to market to make a success, it’s OK to copy someone else and do it better. The “lovely” Julien Callede from did just this and took online affordable furniture into a multimillion pound business. Tenacity and perseverance and marketing are all important here. Julien marketted online as his point of difference to start his road to success in furniture.


In answer to Theo’s Tweet:


A tweet from Theo Paphitis about #sbs event 2015


The question time was the highlight of the event for me. However there was plenty more too.

Networking is a huge part of the day, on a social and business level. It was great to catch up with fellow business friends and meet new contacts too. The formal time set aside for this was much appreciated and of course it spilled over in to some evening fun.


Networking at the #sbs event 2015

The Cornish Contingency

#SBS the Cornish Winners

Day time to Night time fun with #SBS 2015

The website for SBS winners has had a makeover from Metal Frog Studios and I’m excited to update my profile in here and use it more proactively as a member. Joy from AP Bassets Solicitors who is still waiting to win herself says it makes her even more determined to win and enter this website community, I must make my membership count.


New #sbs website


I have a headache from typing in the car on my phone, but I really wanted to capture my renewed motivation for Coombe Mill while it all so fresh. I vow to keep making Coombe Mill Farm the best holiday experience for families of young children.

Finally thank you to Theo, for his support and desire to see others succeed and for to the speakers and the whole SBS organisational team for putting on such an inspirational meet up all fully funded. It is a pleasure to attend. Now to explore my lovely goodie take home bag!


Goodie bag from #SBS 2015


If you have a small business and would like to get involved, look out for this tweet on a Sunday and make your pitch, it could be the best tweet you ever send!

A tweet to Win on #SBS with Theo Paphitis


I am making this post a blog link up for others who attended to link up their posts from the day as I know many have business blogs too and I’d love to read your take out. Grab the code here to share the badge on your site and the link below.


sbs blog hop from coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays