When someone says the word ‘business’ to you, chances are you think of people in dull grey suits pointing at pie charts about the year’s thirty-first-quarterly-earning-majigs, or some such nonsense. Thanks to constant portrayals by the media, many of us view the world of business as being synonymous with a corporate mentality.
And yet that’s rarely the case. In towns and cities across the UK there are thousands of flourishing independent businesses, and many of them are more reliant on imagination than pie charts.
The cultural sector, although it’s been known to require a graph or two, relies much more on the human sum of ingenuity than your average brick-and-mortar stockbroker or shop worker.
To prove our point, here are a few indie businesses that rely on the creativity within themselves or others to keep the profits coming in.
The arts and crafts sector will always be a niche, an enthusiasm reserved for art students, primary schools and anyone who loves to smear themselves in glitter and Pritt-Stick of a weekend. And yet this sector, which caters to a very specific creative audience, contains an array of success stories, chief amongst them being Wild Warehouse.
This family-run craft material provider has been successfully shipping arty products online for some time and remains one of the most trusted names in the business, providing proof, if ever it were needed, that a relatively small niche can be enough to propel an SME to success.
Glasgow Film Theatre
The Glasgow Film Theatre – affectionately referred to as the GFT by its patrons – creates an ambient welcoming atmosphere for any visitors looking to sample the latest in cinema.
This indie business opened its doors in 1939 and has enjoyed great success ever since, boasting multiple screens, a cafe and a variety of special screenings for its creatively bent customers.
The icing on the cake for the cinema is the Glasgow Film Festival, of which the GFT plays an exclusive role. Here’s a cinema that’s held its weight in the local community for an incredibly long time.
Dundee has enjoyed a complete regeneration programme over the past decade, with the installation of a V&A museum on the waterfront, a new commitment to park life and greenery in the city centre, and a spiffy facelift for all travel links into the city.
Riding on the coat tails of these improvements is Creative Dundee, a facilitator of the arts in the city that’s grown exponentially over the past decade.
This SME has distributed zines and podcasts across the city regularly to boost its profile, and hosted wildly successful Pecha Kucha evenings, in which speakers have 10 minutes to deliver a presentation on a left-of-centre idea to a live audience.
These events show that the creative sector is thriving in this city and many others.