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A brief overview of (and good riddance to) 2020

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Are we the only ones who are feeling a little bit sorry for the year 2020? Yes, it’s been the worst ever, and we’re not going to dwell on the hardships we’ve come across in our customer’s stories, our own business and our private lives. No, we want to remember that it’s been an incredible year for innovation, diversification and even new business…

Growing business

UK Business Buddy works with independent Business Associates across the UK, all working towards helping other independent businesses save money on their card payments and POS machines. By the end of 2020 we had welcomed five new Business Associates, a new Marketing Manager, a new Admin Manager and many new partners and customers.

And it wasn’t just us that grew

Steph, owner of SO Sustainable whom we met in November opened her zero waste refill store during 2020 and it grew significantly during the pandemic.

The Brasenose Arms in Cropredy, Banbury opened in November of 2020 just as we were going into Lockdown v2. December was a bumper month for the popular pub with live music and takeaways which continue through January. We only expect even greater things from them in 2021.

Love Health and Wellbeing in Ormskirk literally doubled their productivity last year. Despite the massive restrictions in place they opened a second store, selling healthy foods, sports nutrition and all the vitamins and minerals you could ever need.

Growing networks

Rather than missing out by not meeting people face to face in our usual networking meetings, we actually increased our productivity by making new connections through the wonder of Zoom. We found some people would visit as many groups as humanly possible, just because they could reach all the corners of the UK, but we stuck to our area, encouraging all our Business Associates to do the same in theirs. This way we could develop genuine relationships with new connections so we can go and meet them in person eventually and stand a real chance of being able to help them or their customers within our business community.

Developing our services

We help independent businesses save money on their customer card payments. We will always do this and the only thing that will change is the acquisition of more banking partners and new technology as it emerges. We did welcome one new banking partner last year taking our total to seven acquiring banks so we can offer an even greater breadth of choice for our customers, but our best developments came in how we add further value to our customers.

We buddied-up (pardon the pun), with Perks Direct to offer our customers a high-street voucher discount membership so they can begin saving on all manner of shopping and entertainment.

We developed our marketing assistance so we can write case studies, blogs and social media posts to help promote our customers’ businesses and…

We grew our partnership with Independent Oxford, now making regular contributions to their blog with marketing advice and tips for local indies.

2020 wasn’t so bad after all

We did manage to have some conversations that proved to be very valuable to those customers last year.

We were, we’re pleased to say, able to support those who were experiencing an unwelcome quiet period by switching their card services and energy providers to gain average savings of up to 20% for when they did reopen.

Yes, we all had a bit of unexpected time off and yes, business did drop for a while, but in retrospect we’ve had a great time meeting businesses and organisations that were unaffected by lockdown such as dentists, chiropractors and even some churches! So, rather than dwell on what a rotter 2020 was, we invite you to search for the positives and give the year that almost had us on our knees a bit of kudos for shaking us up and broadening our minds.

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