The rise of the artisan SME

Starting up

29 September 2016

Setting up shop in the shadow of a big business isn't easy. While you’re likely to lose in a price war, that doesn't mean you can't compete when it comes to quality, craftsmanship and service.

With more people than ever looking to support local, artisanal companies, several industries have shown just how successful this tactic can be.

Local grocers

The recent rise in popularity of artisan bakers, cheese makers and craft brewers has created an opportunity that small food and drink retailers are grabbing with both hands. As well as the potential to specialise in high-quality craft products, grocers have also been tapping into nationwide trends that favour local or organic produce. Once you've chosen your niche, you'll need to tailor your food shop insurance to protect your advantage.

Boutique stores

Among high streets filled with mass-produced fashion, independent retailers have been quick to tap into shoppers' demand for unique pieces. Ethics have proven important too, with fair trade clothing and ethical supply chains gaining a bigger following. A little market research will tell you where your customers' priorities lie.

Jewellery specialists

The independent jewellery trade is thriving, thanks to a rising demand for one-off designs. Bespoke wedding and engagement rings are particularly popular, and with advances in computer-aided design and manufacturing it's easier than ever to jump on board.

If you're new to bespoke jewellery, you can always trial the service with an online store on popular sites like Etsy or Not On The High Street.

Coffee shops and tea rooms

Coffee shops are still booming, and with tea rooms returning to fashion there's never been a better time to offer your customers a memorable experience. As well as working to deliver speciality teas and rare roasts, you might want to consider a pop-up store to bring your brew to a whole new market. If you do expand to a temporary location, you'll need to ensure your tea room insurance covers the move.

Setting your business apart with craft products and service allows you to strengthen your business identity, attract a loyal customer base and tap into growing trends. Make sure you adapt appropriately and, whether you're in need of grocers' or jewellery store insurance, choose an insurance package tailored to your business needs.