Karen Jinks is the Creative Director at UK Handmade, an online community of individuals who have their own home-based creative businesses. Karen is supporting Get Britain Trading because she hopes that the campaign will encourage the general public to think about the contribution that small firms make to their communities and choose to support them.
Why have you joined the Get Britain Trading campaign?
"We're big on little businesses and helping creative individuals to turn their hobbies into businesses. Since the start of the recession, we've been thinking about how we can help ourselves as well as other businesses. There is a huge amount of creative talent in the UK and a lot of it isn't being seen. We've recently launched our own Buy Handmade campaign. With all of the government cuts coming through, Get Britain Trading is an important issue for us all and we are keen to add our support."
What is your key message to the Government?
"We'd like the Government to acknowledge that there's a whole hidden economy of small businesses and individuals that continue to sustain local economies during times of recession and it's important that we do all we can to support them."
Do you have any Get Britain Trading advice for other businesses?
"I would advise small firms, especially those that are retail-based, to look at streamlining their business in order to 'get trading'. Look at your costs and try to reduce them. I used to try and do a bit of everything but I've found over the years that if you concentrate on a few products or services and do them really well, you will be more successful. It's important to think about quality and value and the way that you present your goods and services. Excellent customer service is vital."