Beating a record-number of entrants, local holiday letting company, Sally’s Cottages, has been shortlisted in The Small Awards, which celebrates small businesses in the UK.
Competing in the category of Digital Star, the family-run company will be judged on use of digital channels to engage customers, innovation in web design and functionality, and growth in audience.
It’s a suitable category for the organisation, which has over half a million followers on its Facebook page and more than 37,000 fans across other platforms including Instagram and Twitter.
“Social media is really important to us,” explains owner and founder, Sally Fielding, “because it allows us to speak to our customers and share with each other a mutual love of the Lake District. We’ve found that people don’t want to just buy, buy, buy, but like to chat and see more of the Lake District, too, and social media is a great way to reach out to people in this way.”
The awards will also look at the design of Sally’s Cottages website and how well it works for modern-day audiences. Having spent over half a million pounds on an upgrade in 2018, Sally feels confident that they will hold their own in this part of the judging process.
Sally’s Cottages is no stranger to high praise and recognition from both award-givers and their customers. Independent reviewer, Reevoo, shows that 99% of over 2,000 guests who visited in the past year would book again, and they boast 4.8 out of 5 stars on Google. In 2018 they won both the Natwest Great British Entrepreneur Awards North and Gold in the coveted British Travel Awards.
“We believe that customer service is number one,” says Sally, “and we work hard to make sure our guests and owners know that they can get quick and helpful advice and support from us. We have a really fabulous team of staff and freelancers who make this possible.”
Sally Fielding set up Sally’s Cottages 16 years ago with just one cottage and £1,000 in the bank. The company is now the largest independent holiday cottage letting agency in the Lake District, outshining national, equity-backed organisations in the same industry. It has shown that local, family-run businesses can be successful through hard work, innovation, and creativity.
Winners of The Small Awards will be announced at a glittering black tie event in London on the 9th of May.