Today, 1st December, is Small Business Saturday – a day for celebrating and promoting all the small, independent and family-run businesses in the UK, and encouraging everyone to “shop small”.
The Snoopy meme on the left made me laugh – because it really is true! I don’t expect any of the managers at Amazon or Tesco really care that much when someone shops with them – I mean, they’re happy to be making money, but I doubt they think too much about individual shoppers as they’re more focused on overall profits.
But here at Go Cotswolds, a small, independent business run by husband-and-wife team Tom and Lisa Benjamin, we get so excited every time an email pings into our inbox to tell us that someone has made a booking! It means so much to us that someone has chosen our little company over the variety of big- and small-name coach and bus tours available.
I think sometimes people think Go Cotswolds is bigger than it is (which is a nice problem to have!). I have to laugh every time we get an email asking to be put in touch with “someone in our Marketing Department”, or when our phone rings in the middle of the night, perhaps because some customers abroad expect us to have a 24-hour sales and customer service team!
But just because we’re small doesn’t mean we aren’t good! Over the last 5 years we have built Go Cotswolds from nothing but an idea, to a multi-award winning tour company, rated the #1 “Tour in Stratford-upon-Avon” on TripAdvisor, and “Best Tour Company in the Cotswolds” for 4 years running. Recently, we also won ‘Warwickshire Tour Company of the Year” in the 2018 Travel & Hospitality Awards, too.
While we understand that some people may prefer the security of travelling with a known brand on a big coach with lots of other people, there are many benefits to touring with a small company like ours. Here are just some of them…
- The small size of our minibus means that we can access some of the smaller, prettier villages where big coaches cannot travel.
- Our guides get to know each passenger on board the minibus, and indeed our passengers can get to know each other. Many new friendships have been formed on a Go Cotswolds tour over the years!
- Tom guides most of our tours himself, but when we do use other guides and drivers at busy times, they are all personally hand-picked and trained by us to ensure you still get the genuine Go Cotswolds experience.
- Rather than being herded around like lemmings en masse, or only having enough time to take a photo before being hurried back onto the bus, we allow you plenty of time to explore parts of the Cotswolds for yourself to make it a truly personal experience.
- The people you correspond with by email or phone are the company owners themselves, Tom and Lisa Benjamin – not customer service operatives who copy/paste or read from a script. Flexible and friendly, we really care about the business and its customers!