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Thinking Outside the Box Results in Success for Small Businesses

Shoppers in the UK need to be really diligent when it comes to ethical and eco-friendly shopping.  Many people nowadays don’t have the time to shop local, finding it more convenient to visit a large, out of town supermarket where they can buy all they need under one roof but some businesses in Bristol Collection Agencyhave joined an initiative to make it easier than ever to shop local by doing it online.  Good Sixty is a shining example of businesses using the internet to offer a modern way of supporting local businesses.  Shoppers order online from local high street shops which will then prepare their order for pick up or delivery.

One of the main challenges faced by local retailers when taking their business online is logistics – how can a small grocery shop compete with the service provided by large supermarkets which allow customers to order online so that their shopping is ready to be picked up at their convenience or delivered to their home?  The large supermarkets use a fleet of delivery vehicles, employ armies of staff and are able to offer these services and still make a profit.  A local greengrocer probably has one van available and a limited workforce, making this type of service seemingly impossible to provide.  When it comes to the logistics of providing small businesses with a platform on which shoppers can order food and other products, one of the challenges faced was how to offer a delivery service that can be relied on.

This is where it pays to think outside the box and that’s exactly what a young Bristol entrepreneur did.  Web developer, Chris Edwards, noticed a sharp increase in the number of national food company delivery vans delivering supermarket shops to homes that were within walking distance of “some of the best greengrocers in the country” and saw a business opportunity that would be good for local shops, good for customers and good for the community (keeping the money in the local economy).  His brainchild is Good Sixty, an online marketplace for quality independent food retailers and producers to showcase their products to shoppers in their local area.

Debt collection processThe delivery problem was solved with some pretty smart thinking – using a local, independent delivery service which takes 100% of the delivery charge, making sure that those who deliver are not low-paid freelancers (though some of the retailers take care of delivery themselves). 

Good Sixty’s vision has created an ethical way of shopping online from local, independent artisan food shops, cafes and producers.  Ethical shoppers can choose from responsibly sourced meat and fish “bundles”, satisfying consumer demand for a convenient but socially responsible way of shopping online.  With more than 50 local retailers on board and around 1.000 registered customers who can order and pay online, this initiative has been so successful in the Bristol area that Good Sixty is now planning on expanding to other cities in the UK.  The company is ready to expand and offer its services in Bath, Cardiff and London and recently raised growth capital via Crowdcube, the world’s first investment crowdfunding platform.

This business model is a great example of local businesses using technology to stay in business despite competition from the big boys – the multi-national corporations.