No sooner had Harry popped the question, small business owners up and down the country were scratching their heads for Royal Wedding ideas. According to research from GoDaddy and YouGov, 3 million Brits will hold a celebration for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding day, and at least half of those people will be searching online for Royal Wedding themed products and memorabilia.
Here are five GoDaddy UK businesses who have embraced the Royal Wedding in unique ways.
If what Meghan Markle wears has become the subject of online fascination, that’s largely because of the work of website Meghan’s Mirror.
The plucky business took a risk a few years back. They had achieved success with their venture What Would Kate Do, launched in 2012 and devoted to all things Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge.
When Harry met Meghan four years later and rumours of a relationship began to surface, WWKD’s Amanda Dishaw and Christine Ross sensed Harry may have finally met his mate. They followed their gut and launched Meghan’s Mirror, quickly growing the site to become the leading online resource about Meghan Markle’s lifestyle and fashion choices.
Now with the Royal Wedding upon us, the founders of Meghan’s Mirror are seeing a surge of traffic to their site. The international media want to speak to them, they are planning a book, and are already kicking around ideas for a new venture. “The additional traffic is great for us as it gets our content, links and ideas in front of more potential customers,” says Amanda Dishaw.
You might say their bet has royally paid off.
Another business hoping to benefit from the royal nuptials is the aquatically inspired HotTug. This London business offers a truly unique experience: floating hot tubs on the capital’s waterways.
With the help of GoDaddy UK, the HotTug team sent one of their boats down the Thames with Royal lookalikes aboard. While some might call it a publicity stunt, others consider it a stag do for the ages.
“The response to HotTug in London has been nothing short of exceptional’, says the company’s Sophia Wallace. “We have seen even more interest after our excellent ‘Royal Stag Do’ down the Thames. Maybe we will even be able to tempt Prince Harry into hosting his real stag do in a HotTug.”
You never know. The prospect might just float Harry’s boat.
One business that is poised to cook up a storm on the Royal Wedding is Heidi’s Bakery, set in the shadow of Windsor Castle where the happy couple will tie the knot.
Located in a family-owned department store, Heidi’s Bakery prides itself on its high-quality produce: everything it sells, including the two varieties of their special miniature Royal Wedding cakes, is baked with love.
“The sheer number of visitors coming to Windsor in the lead up to the Royal Wedding hints at how busy it will be on the day itself, and all this footfall is sure to benefit businesses locally”, says owner Heidi Rolfe-Daniel, whose business has been getting the attention of the international media.
Maybe Harry and Meghan will find time to stop by Heidi’s for a crafty coffee and croissant before heading off on honeymoon.
Either way, the prospects for Heidi’s bakery appear as sweet as the pastries her team serve fresh each day.
Want a frontside pew at the ceremony but not on the guest list? Royal Central has you covered.
Starting life on Twitter in 2012 as @RoyalFactsUK, Royal Central’s website now attracts over six million unique visitors a year.
Offering extensive live coverage of the Royal Wedding, Royal Central anticipates the demand for news about Harry and Meghan’s big day will bring thousands of new and returning visitors to the site.
The company attributes a good portion of its success to the strength of its website.
“Setting up a business can be a daunting prospect”, it says. “But with the amount of advice - both available freely and for a fee - it has become so much easier. A good-looking website and co-ordinated branding are the key to building customers’ trust and will bring them back to you time and time again”.
If you secretly aspire to become a member of the British royal family, Meghan Markle may have pipped you to the post.
But do not fear because you can still play at being royal to your heart’s content with Mask-arade’s hilarious range of cut-out masks.
Mask-arade itself began as a side hustle, one of the growing band of people kickstarting a mini-venture in their spare time.
“William and Kate’s Royal Wedding in 2011 was instrumental in making Mask-arade a nationally recognised business, and Harry and Meghan’s wedding is already having a positive impact on our sales”, the company’s Ray Duffy explains.
Turning your side hustle into your main job needn’t be a pipe dream if you have the right level of drive and self-determination.
“There is nothing quite so rewarding as creating a viable business from nothing more than an idea”, Duffy says.
Taking Your Chances
Running a small business or launching your side hustle can feel daunting at times. But don’t let this put you off.
“We've always maintained that the best way to start a business is to just go for it”, Heidi Rolfe-Daniel of Heidi Bakery says. “The first step is making sure you've got an idea or offering that people will love, the rest follows on from there”.
Amanda Dinshaw of Meghan’s Mirror agrees. “We took somewhat of a crazy chance in starting the Meghan’s Mirror venture of our business, counting on a royal romance to continue. So while we can read all the advice we wanted, sometimes it pays to take a chance on something you’re unfamiliar with and passionate about”.
You’re certainly not alone in wanting to make it your own way. According to research by GoDaddy, 20% of Brits are seriously considering starting a “side hustle” alongside their main job.
And it’s getting easier. Barriers to entry continue to fall. The internet has erased physical borders. And online tools allow budding solopreneurs to build and publish their website in under an hour, which is the same time that the service inside St George’s Chapel is expected to take.
The Royal Wedding has already given rise to thousands of quirky British business ideas. Kate Cox, chief marketing officer EMEA at GoDaddy, applauds the army of entrepreneurs who are using their skills to capitalise on this national celebration.
“I don’t think there is anything quite as British as celebrating a Royal Wedding”, she says. “GoDaddy supports plucky entrepreneurs, business owners, and side hustlers in choosing their domain name, creating their website, and managing their online presence to help them grow their ventures. We are really excited to help celebrate the biggest party of the year”.
One last thing. If you end up watching proceedings from the comfort of your local pub, keep an eye out for Four Kings Windsor Ale, the brainchild of the Cheshire-based Four Kings Brewery and specially brewed to celebrate the royal nuptials. Brewer Paul Ashworth says the Royal Wedding provides an opportunity for small businesses like Four Kings to get creative with its products.
Whatever your plans for Harry and Meghan’s special day, let’s raise a hearty cheer to the happy couple and to all the businesses they serve.