For Mia Williamson, the national lockdown in March could not have come at a worse time. Having worked in the bar industry for 5 years, she had decided that 2020 was going to be the year of change for her, and had just packed in her full time job to concentrate on her newly registered business ‘Shaker Shaker’ specialising in a bespoke mobile bar service. She had joined the Enterprise Hub programme at the Wirral Chamber and was busy working on her business plan when the announcement came.
Mia was faced with two choices, to call last orders on her new business or to take the plunge and adapt to survive. Fortunately she decided on the latter and, realising that her target customers were now confined to their homes and unable to socialise, she took to social media and launched #14CocktailsIn14 Days. “I decided to capitalise on my cocktail-making skills and post a video a day for 14 days showing people how to make a different cocktail each day!” By keeping people’s spirits up – literally – and posting engaging content, Mia soon saw her number of followers increase. She says, “I totally underestimated the power of social media. Initially I found it very daunting taking and posting videos of myself, but I soon realised that my posts were triggering engagements and people wanted to see what I was up to each day!’
Having built up a healthy following on social media, the ease in lockdown restrictions enabled Mia to launch her cocktail delivery service. ‘I announced it on the Wednesday’, says Mia, ‘and by Friday my week was fully booked’. Unlike other competitors, Shaker Shaker’s delivery service provided DIY cocktail kits containing all the ingredients and instructions, so clients were buying the experience as well as the drink – and this quirky twist went down a storm.
The combination of her products and her social media activity soon attracted the attention of other businesses within the catering and events sector and Mia found herself networking and collaborating with other local independents who provided support, cross-referrals, re posts and friendship during the difficult summer months.
Mia’s advice to other start-up businesses would be ‘to focus on the journey and not the destination, move out of your comfort zone – challenge yourself and explore every opportunity!’ She admits that when she first started, she didn’t know how to run a business but through the Enterprise Hub programme she not only enjoyed the workshops that were on offer but felt that she particularly benefitted from bouncing ideas around in the one to one sessions and the encouragement she received from the advisers Heidi and Paul.
So what does the future hold for Mia and Shaker Shaker? Well the support she received over the summer from her client base and fellow independent businesses has left her in no doubt that it is only a matter of time, when restrictions regarding gatherings are lifted, that the full potential of Shaker Shaker will be realised. She already has bookings for next year for her all-inclusive mobile bar package and cocktail making classes, but in the meantime, she’s back to her DIY cocktail deliveries – adding a bit of sparkle and fun to her client’s lives!
For more information on Shaker Shaker you can contact Mia on: email@example.com / 07708 777 990 or follow her cocktail making antics on https://www.facebook.com/shakershakerbar or her Instagram page.
For more information about the Enterprise Hub programme please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org