INVESTOR MEETING & DESIGN COMPANIES
I’ve got my 1st investor meeting set up in Huntington in a couple of weeks, business plan – check, video – check, powerpoint presentation – check, what I want to say – check. I don’t have any issues talking about The Bounceroo as it’s coming up to a year! I’m starting to know everything inside out. I’ve read up on birth rates within the UK, USA & world. I’ve even looked into flat head syndrome, sleep deprivation. I know about the latter, I’m hoping that the meeting goes well.
I’m now looking for a design company to take the concept further, I’ve written to over 20 companies nation wide to get quotes for taking the Bounceroo to prototype stage, just waiting to hear back. I’ve been told it should take about a week. Other than this, I’ve got to work on my main job for a week.
Well that’s got to be the widest spread of quotes / costs I’ve ever seen! There’s a difference of nearly £50K from the cheapest quote, to the most expensive! I’d suggest you look around as well, you can buy a small house for £50K! Might as well go into property development! Lol.
I’ve narrowed the list down to 3 design companies. I intend to go and visit them to see if they tick all the relevant boxes. This is one recommendation, I would meet the design company and see if you get on with the person who’s going to look after your project.
Everything is done, business plan, designs, layout. I’ve even found the company to design the website when required ( wwww.webcreationuk.co.uk ). The site will be E-commerce with multiple pages and have the video listed to the front page. It’s a waiting game from this point on.
Over the next week, I’m visiting the 3 short listed design companies but 1st port of call is the investor meeting. Will update at the end of the month.
Well my 1st investor meeting went really well, was there for over an hour, covered all the areas I needed to mention, costs, project plan, the product itself. I’ve got a follow up meeting in the first week of Feb which is a good sign. Another investor has also come forward and I’ve set up a meeting a week after my 2nd meeting. I can then compare the outcome of both meetings? One major obstacle I can see that seems to be cropping up, investors wanting a working prototype of the finished product. A catch 22, need the investment to pay for the design concept & prototype.
I’ve just got back from my round robin of meetings and I’ve narrowed it down to 1st, 2nd & 3rd place with the designers. Just waiting for the final quotes to come back now. It’s worth meeting the designers on their home turf. You can see where they work, see any examples of products they have already completed but also meet face to face with the designers. Will have to wait and see what comes back with regard to the final costings, now the designers know exactly what I’m after.
I can’t believe it’s coming up to a year for both my baby girl and the Bounceroo. Even more so my eldest 2 are growing up so fast.
The guy who I mentioned earlier ( no financial payment required ) you know who you are! Has become a really good friend now! Who’d of thought that a guy I met through Linked in ( trying to find an investor ) has become a close friend in such a short time, thanks for the support and kind words!
MEET INVESTOR No. 2 & 3 – DESIGN COMPANY
I’ve had another enquiry about another investment group meeting in Nottingham, I’ll get that organised after I’ve had my 2 other meetings at the beginning of the month.
Had the quotes back from the design companies and the company that I wanted to work with has come back the cheapest so that’s some good news ! Just need need to get the investment money?
The 2nd investor meeting went really well, a 3rd meeting has been set for a weeks time, proving to be very positive, I do believe we’ll be talking about a share holder agreement at the next meeting. I’ll confirm what happens at the end of the month.
My 2nd investor pitch / meeting was in London and was a complete waste of time in one sense! They loved the product, loved the pitch, thought the work and presentation was well thought out but the end result was, they weren’t prepared to invest unless I had a working prototype of the finished product? They knew the reason I was there, I wanted investment to get the product to manufacturing stage, this would include a working prototype, have they not heard of Skype? I guess I can chalk this up to experience but I’d recommend double checking with all investors before attending any meeting, save on the fuel costs as well as time.
My 3rd investor pitch is tomorrow & in Nottingham, a lot closer to home. All ready for the presentation.
All I can say is, how many investors! I was dropped in it from the deep end, stuff dragons den, I had to put my pitch to 16 investors, certainly made me sink or swim. I can say I did swim but they were a tough crowd! It didn’t help that I had to set up my computer and link it to some projector? It would have been nice and pre warned that I had to do this? Overall the meeting went well but my gut reaction is, they’ll say no. The same reason as investor Number 2!
Been a busy month and we’re coming up to 1 year of the Bounceroo and you never know I might have an investor by the end of next month? That would be a nice thought!
I’ve had a reply from the Dragons Den investors and they say NO! As per my gut reaction, they would need to see the prototype before they could invest. It’s such a catch 22! Oh well I’ll have to see what investor number 1 has to say?
Meeting number 3 with investor number 1 went really well, met all the family and a share holders agreement is being sent with an offer of investment! WHOOP!……..I’ll have to read it over but I intend to get a solicitor to read it over, get their honest opinion. Not even a year and it looks like we might have an investor!
It’s now the last few days of the month, celebrated my youngest’s 1st birthday and my eldest’s birthday, it’s all done. A triple celebration as such, my daughters as well as the Bouncroo’s 1st birthday!
BAD NEWS! The overall conclusion from the shareholders agreement that was sent over was “ we want your company “! As soon as I received the agreement, I got a solicitor to check it over and unfortunately they told me that if I signed the agreement I was left open to me being kicked out of my own business within a year. Here’s another recommendation, get any shareholder agreement checked before signing anything, you could be signing your own company away! Back to the drawing board again! Onwards and upwards.
It’s been a very busy month for my main work and IBP is all up to date so it’s just a matter of trying to find this allusive investor! I’m sure he or she is out there, I have every faith in my product. I keep plodding away and applying to investor groups, if you believe in your product then this will come across when you talk about it!
Just had a chat with one of my work colleagues and they’ve suggested I have a chat with one of my clients that I’ve just done a job for. They invest in all sorts of projects.
Had a quick chat with my client and we’re meeting up in the next week after I’ve finished with a job on site. Looking positive again!
That went really well, met a really decent guy, very enthusiastic about the product, showed so much interest, understood that the money would be used for design and prototype purposes. I have a gut feeling about this investor, we got on really well!
I’m happy to say that we’re having a 2nd meeting on home turf and we’re all meeting to discuss the product and what we’re hoping for! Would be a nice thought that we have an investor on board one year after starting this journey!
It’s so nice to meet an investor who is on the same page as me! The 2nd meeting went so well, great couple. My parents baby sitting while we discuss the in’s and out’s of the Bounceroo. Running through the business plan, setting out our future goals and where we see the product on the coming years. I’m happy to say an offer was put on the table and we have accepted it! EXCITING TIMES. VERY HAPPY THAT THE BOUNCEROO WILL BECOME A REALITY!!!!!!
MEET 3 X FINAL DESIGN COMPANIES
While the share holders agreement is being typed up by my new business partner, we’re off to see the final 3 designers. The joy of this new investor is we’re both the same, very black and white. If we could, the share holders agreement would be 2 pages long, sign it, witness it and jobs a good one! Alas things have to be done by the book, as such it’s like a marriage, we could last years or when we get to the 7 year itch, everything could be over! Lol
Work is keeping me busy but next week, the IBP design tour kicks off, go and meet the designers again and hopefully decide who we are going to use for this project.
We’ve only got 450 miles round trip to clock up but it’ll be worth it. As mentioned before, it’s better to meet the company in person and my new investor has to feel happy with the company he’s going to invest with.
That was an interesting trip out, was great to have a chat just “ man to man “ as such. My new investor and myself are very similar in work ethic, family orientated and both wanting to succeed. The design companies did their best to sell themselves but unfortunately only one design company can do the work and on the way home we both agreed who would do this. When the shareholder agreement has been signed, we can instruct the company to crack on. Design concepts, leading to finial design and prototype. Plenty of work in between but at least we’ll be on our way to a complete Bounceroo!
AGREE DESIGNERS AND WAIT FOR SHAREHOLDER CONTRACT
Not much happening this month until we get the shareholder agreement signed, taking longer than anyone thought it would? We’ve already told which design company we’re using and hopefully we can start sooner rather than later due to the fact time is passing and we’re not getting anything done? The proposal is, all the research and development is started now, due to the fact that all of this is office based and takes the first 4 weeks off the design process.
We’ve had the first draft of the shareholders agreement sent over, this has also been sent over to my solicitor to read and comment on. With what I can tell, most things have been covered, just need to clarify a few things. I’m hoping that we’ll get this all signed off soon and weeks are passing rather quickly.
It’s now the end of the month and we’re at the mercy of the solicitors yet again! It’s so frustrating that we want to start this project but until everything has been signed off we can’t do anything? When you are relying on other people to do their work, and people drag their feet, it makes time go by even slower!
DO WE EXCHANGE CONTRACTS
We’ve had the 2nd, 3rd & 4th draft of the shareholders agreement sent over, this again has also been sent over to my solicitor to read and comment on. With what I can tell, most things have been covered yet again but we need to clarify a few things. I’m hoping that we’ll get this all signed off soon and weeks are passing rather quickly. Mmmmmmmmm sounds familiar?
It’s now the end of the month and we’re at the mercy of the solicitors yet again! It’s so frustrating that we want to start this project but until everything has been signed off we can’t do anything? When you are relying on other people to do their work, and people drag their feet, it makes time go by even slower.
I’m getting a real case of Deja vu!…..lol
WE DO EXCHANGE CONTRACTS & PREPARE BACKGROUND CHECK WITH DESIGN
I must admit, the shareholder agreement is taking a lot longer than I thought it would but my solicitor has confirmed that all the T’s have to be crossed and all the ducks are in a row! I think all of us just want to crack on and get the product under way! I can’t believe it’s month 16 already? I can’t believe how quick the time is going?
WHOOP, WHOOP! We’re literally about to exchange but we’ve agreed with the design company to start the research and development now, as this will save us about one month. We’ve all agreed that the share holder agreement is now right, we’ve all got sign and send over, it’s just a matter of waiting for the money to be transferred and we’re cooking with gas! It’s all becoming a reality, I’m looking forward to the next part of the journey.
One thing I’ve learnt over the last 4 months, when things are not controlled by you, things seem to take a lot longer. When you control everything, the only person you can blame for not getting anything done is yourself. I’ll be looking forward to the time when all we have is stock and it’ll be my responsibility to shift the Bounceroo.
In a couple of weeks, we’ll be having our 1st meeting with the designers. I’ll be interested to see what they’ve come up with. I know it’s going to be better than the 1st attempt last year! It’s such a weird feeling to know that this product will take on a life of it’s own.
I’m now starting to look at the design of the logo of the product. While I’ve got some time waiting for the designs, I can take my time to make The Bounceroo logo look right. I don’t want to rush the overall look. I’m messing around with different ideas, using Giraffes, letters and words! I’m using a company that allows you to change your logo as many times as you want until you are happy with the end result ( www.loogodesiggnguarantee.co.uk ). I’m hoping it works but for £25.00 you can’t complain! Lol I’m enjoying designing again!
That was a very surreal meeting. Sat there looking at 3D images of the Bounceroo, it’s taking shape. I’ve narrowed the design down to a whole mixture of ideas and concepts, by next month we’ll be concentrating on the finished look of the Bounceroo.
I’ve had numerous logo ideas sent over to me with regard to the product and they’ve done a cracking job for their 1st attempt. I’ve designed and created our own Giraffe image with a selection of lettering. Need to develop the overall look but I think we’re on the right track. Everything is taking shape!
1ST DESIGN CONCEPTS
Now everything is out of our hands and waiting for the design company to put the final presentation concepts together, it’s trying to do other things in the back ground that can be completed.
The product logo has had 38 changes so far and we’re still plodding along, I’ve now removed the Giraffe from the design and I’ve included my 4 children within the word Bounceroo. They are one of the main reasons why I’m doing this product, it’s only right that they are included within the logo. I’ve decided to make the lettering look like it’s bouncing and design my children / characters to lay on the letters asleep. Enjoying this process, trying to make my babies look cute!
We’ve just met the design company half way between where we live and where they work, as they do work quite a distance away, maybe we should of picked a company closer! Lol….
I’ll suggest that we use Skype from this point on as it’s easier to have a weekly update.
The meeting went well and we’ve decided on the final design and we’ve put forward the idea of the character. The Giraffe needs to look cute, soft and adorable We’re waiting to see what the design company comes up with. I’m putting some ideas together with regard to the packaging, we might as well have a good think about that as well. As we’re future proofing the product ( highly recommend this ) for other versions we know it’ll add time onto the job but in the end it’ll save money and when it comes to tooling we know everything else we want to put into the product will fit!
Now we’ve fine tuned the design of the product and we’ve agreed the overall design, the weekly meetings are working over Skype but we’re not getting any minutes to cover the work that we’re agreeing to? I’m typing my own minutes each week to cover any changes that we agree or make. I’ve only picked up this skill of writing minutes from my project manager days. Slightly disappointed that the design company isn’t doing this. We have mentioned that the communication could be a lot better and we need to make sure that we cover everything, be it by email or minutes? Another recommendation for all future projects, make sure you get minutes!
The design is slowly taking shape, longer than the original schedule. We should have the prototype by December! This means we could start tooling in the New Year! WHOOP!…..It’s starting to look really good and the Bounceroo is becoming a reality! I sometimes have to pinch myself that this is actually happening. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the last 18 months, hope it stays like this!
2ND DESIGN CONCEPT
The logo for the Bounceroo has been agreed! It’s taken 45 attempts but we got there. Looks really good if I don’t say so myself. We’ve finally chosen the colour, lavender ( using with sleep products ) grey to match with the IBP logo. One of my next jobs is to get this logo Trademarked. For the £25.00 it cost me I think it looks fantastic. My children will be apart of the product forever or as long as the product lasts on the shelves, this is if the retailers buy it! Here’s hoping! Lol….
We’ve booked in our final meeting of the year next month, we should finalising the product ready for the prototype. It’s so nice to have a business partner and have someone else to rely on, instead of it just being me, I’ve now got a business partner who takes some of the responsibility! I could get used to this, not just me myself and I.
The communication and minutes is starting to get crap again! It’s so frustrating that you don’t get the quality of service that you’re paying for or is this just me expecting too much? Whenever I used to project manage a bar, I’d make sure that everyone involved with the project would receive weekly minutes from the meetings held? It’s always best to cover your back.
We’ve made a few minor changes to the main structure of the product and we’ve also suggested some other ideas for the plush cover. As we’re using a Giraffe, we need to make the character stands out. Being a world first, the Bounceroo needs to make a statement. I hope he looks cute when he’s made, nervous times!
3RD DESIGN CONCEPT
Just applied for the trademark for the Bounceroo logo, the name was given the all clear as a trademark when we applied for the IBP logo, I think I mentioned that? That’ll mean we’ll have 4 trademarks in total. At least as a business I can say we’re covered.
Just had the design meeting, tension was quite high as we’ve just been told that we’re now 2 months behind and we’re not going to get the prototype till next year. I’m very disappointed to say the least, I was hoping that 2014 would be the year to start selling the Bounceroo ( I really need to give he Giraffe a name ). It’s so frustrating that you have a schedule but you don’t stick to it. I’m starting to loose faith in the design company! Well I should say the design side of things is great, it’s the project managing and contact that really needs looking at. I’m going to change the motor within Gerry, I’m not happy with it.
I’ve now closed for Christmas and we’re going to have our 1st IBP xmas meal, we’ll celebrate the fact the Bounceroo will become a reality! Shame we don’t have a prototype to show for the last 22 months of hard work! Overall though, very happy with the product becoming reality.