THE SLEEPYBOBO

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“Gerry” the Giraffe, is the first member of the Sleepybobo family. The patent pending Bounceroo has been designed to appeal to all parents, being tactile, endearing and cute but most of all providing a solution to a problem that has existed in today’s hectic lifestyle raising a new born and has not been solved, until now.

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The Sleepybobo has been designed in such a way that it will attach to existing Car Seats, Swinging Cribs, Baby Bouncers, Baby Rockers and rock / bounce these products for a maximum of 30 minutes at a time so you as the parent / carer / Grandparent can do other things, help another child, help your spouse, answer the door, go to the toilet in peace and quiet.

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The Sleepybobo has a internal motor to reduce noise level. Gerry has a multitude of functions, safety being the main criteria. Timer button that can be set to a maximum of 30 minutes, switch off when complete. Variable speed buttons to control how fast Gerry does his important job. A lock button that will stop little fingers pressing buttons by mistake. A flip out base that can be used with Bouncers, Swinging cribs to help weigh Gerry down. Hidden inside Gerry’s neck, is the unique adjustable strap that allows you to adjust the length of his neck so Gerry will fit to different height Car Seats, Bouncers and Cribs. If too much weight is used with Gerry (maximum 24 lbs) he will automatically switch off. Gerry is a fully portable, with his own carry bag (sold separately). Gerry uses 4 x D batteries (not included). Designed by a parent, a world’s first, adorable but most of all, solving a common problem that new parents have.

crib 8  head  stability base

The Sleepybobo is a product that parents / friends / Grandparents will love as a gift, helping in those early stages of bringing up a new born baby. Please enquire for further details.

FINAL CHANGES – WE GO LIVE

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WE GO LIVE

Patent was lodged today, I can finally talk to people about Gerry and not worry about letting the cat out the bag! I can’t believe I’ve kept this quite for 3 years, so glad it’ll be out in the open for the world to see. I just hope that when people read back over the past 3 years, that I’ve given some good advice and learn from my journey. I might write a book on how to take a product from initial concept to selling to the general public/ retailers. If anyone wants to write my autobiography, just let me know! Lol

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I’ve completed my final checks on the website, all the links work, U-tube, Linked In. This is one thing that needs to be checked and double checked, take your time and make sure you have all the correct pages, contacts. It’s taken me 5 months to complete IBP’s website, that’s me being a perfectionist I guess! Not long till I make everything live for the world to see, I’ll then see what other parents have got to say!

Holy crap ( pardon my french ) but Gerry is out there! The U-Tube video is live :-

I’ve also launched the crowd funding site, I don’t expect to get anything from this being an american site but it gets the word out there:-

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/a-world-first-the-bounceroo/x/9918315

So far I’ve had a positive response! Thanks to all the kind comments. I’m now launching the website and making that go live. Transferring all the blogs that I’ve made and uploading them. It’ll probably read more like a diary but hey, it gives you guys the full history of what I’ve been through! I promise that future posts wont read so much as an instruction manual.  I cant believe it’s been 3 years years! Thanks for reading! :)

PATENT / CROWD FUNDING & RETAILERS

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PATENT / CROWD FUNDING & RETAILERS

Meeting with the patent attorney this month, sorting out the website, making sure all the social media sites are linked in together. Also thinking about looking at crowdfunding.

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/a-world-first-the-bounceroo/x/9918315

Had a great meeting with our patent attorneys, Adamson Jones in Nottingham ( www.adamson-jones.co.uk) we’ve covered everything with the Bounceroo, as the saying goes, all the T’s are crossed and I’s dotted, down to a tee. We’ve also covered future prospects that we can use with Gerry. It’s worth spending the time running through everything with your patent attorney, when you lodge your patent, it’s the process of amending and changing. Don’t forget you have 12 months from when you lodge the patent to make any major changes to the product. If you make any modifications or have any other innovative steps, make sure you lodge them and tell your attorney.

I now know this product as Gerry? Lol…It’s been such a long journey with him, he has become a big part of my life. I hope other parents can see all the hard work that has gone into him. I’ll stick to calling him Gerry, he’s worth it!

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Had 2 x meetings with two major retailers, very happy with their comments but I must admit I’m leaning more towards one of them. I love to work with like minded people, it’s not all about the money, even though it does help. Don’t get me wrong, the last 3 years have been mainly for my 4 children and wife, making sure they have a secure future and hopefully Gerry will provide that.

FILMING THE SLEEPYBOBO & PHOTO SHOOT

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PROTOTYPE

As so much is happening this year, I’ll just upload blogs as and when they happen. It’s the year that Gerry is released to the world, exciting times ahead!

We finally received the prototype this month, just in time for the video, I’ll blog about that separately. Wall Breaker Productions ( www.wallbreaker.co.uk ).

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I can’t believe how good Gerry is looking! I’m glad I spent the time to make him look so cute and adorable! I’ve got to think that parents all over the world are going to see him and pick him up. The material is very tactile, I wouldn’t change anything about him. The manufacturers have taken everything on board, even the fine detailing, this certainly finishes the Sleepybobo off! It’s better to take your time and make sure that your finished product is exactly what you want, if it takes further time, it’s cheaper to do it now than spending all your money on tooling costs and changing this at a later date. I’ll be getting everything ready for the photoshoot later this month, disguise the car seat, bouncer & crib. We’re also using some real babies in the video! Having weekly updates regarding costs, I’m still thinking about the motor and if this is the “one”?………..thanks to my project manager for all her help and advice, without her I wouldn’t be where I am now!

FILMING

The day started early as per normal, kids getting up at the crack at dawn! Even the birds hadn’t woken up! We had prepared rooms in the house ready for filming the day before but we had to check that everything was still in place. You know how quickly a 3 year old can enter a room and make it a mess under 10 seconds flat!

The guys shooting the film arrived on time, very professional! Their business is calked Wall Breaker Productions ( www.wallbreaker.co.uk ). They spent the next hour setting up, getting ready for the arrival of the babies. We decided it was better to have real live babies in the film rather than dolls to show how easy The Sleepybobo worked.

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We are very fortunate that we have fantastic friends who were more than happy to help with the filming and let us use their little bundles of joy for the day and they were so Good! Very proud!
Filming went smoothly throughouy the day, working around the babies wasn’t that difficult at all.

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We found the day to be such a great success and help to us. We found some small teething problems that were easily rectified. This also proved that having a prototype to work with helps the design process. If we hadn’t of had the filming day, we wouldn’t of picked these up until further down the line. I’m biast but the overall finished film is brilliant, gets the message across in the 1 minute film. A Fantastic job!

 

YEARLY EVENTS 2014 – MONTH BY MONTH RUNDOWN

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6th January

4TH DESIGN CONCEPT

 

For the first time ever, I felt despondent about the product! New Year 2014! Great!…..not!

Just had the 1st attempt of what the Giraffe should look like! OMG…….FRANKENSTEIN WAS BETTER LOOKING!!!!! I would say crying was at the top of my list quickly followed by burn him at the stake! I’ve had to put together a fools guide to what the Giraffe should look like! Cute, fluffy, soft and adorable. Words repeated from the original brief, I’ve also drawn my attempt of what he should look like. Starting to loose the will to live! We’ve got a meeting to discuss unit costs as well as choosing the material for the giraffe.

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While having a few drinks over the festive period, I actually called the giraffe Gerry. From this point on, he shall be named Gerry the Giraffe! Bless him, it’s only taken nearly 2 years to name him. Good job I don’t have to go down to the registry office! I’d be shot for taking so long!

I’ve explained / told the designers, in a kind enough way, the Giraffe looks poop! Start again. I’ve got to wait another 3 weeks before I get the 1st prototype of gerry. I hope 2nd time round is better. The packaging is looking ok, I’ve chosen a design and this will be developed for the next Skype call. I know I’m repeating myself but when you’re at the mercy of other people to produce the goods and the time scales / schedule fall behind it drives me mad! I’ll be glad when it’s just IBP & the Bounceroo

We discussed how many batteries we should use for the product and I’ve been told it’s got to be 8? I’m not sure about this but they are the product designers. As a parent I am questioning this? I’ll have to keep an eye on this for the future, note to self! Lol…. It’s like having my own minutes in a diary / blog.

 

 

3rd February

CONTACT LINCOLN UNI & WAITING AGAIN

 

Yep, you’ve guessed it, I’m still waiting for the prototype! I’m starting to get really frustrated about this whole process now. It’s one thing after the other, I wish the truth would come out, I feel that things are being kept a secret? DEVA VU!………

There’s not much I can do until we have the prototype. I’ve got all the contact names for the retail stores. I need to get Gerry in front of the buyers and get their honest view of him. A lot has changed since Nov 2012! Where did those 2 years go?

I’ve seen the 2nd attempt of Gerry and he’s looking a lot better, he’s starting to get that cute look! I’ve made some modifications to fine tune the overall look.

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When I was at Uni, I was given an opportunity to design for a real project, I think it’ll be great idea to approach my local Uni to see if I can get any students so help film gerry / prototype in a short video?

Just had a reply from the Uni and I’ve got a contact for the media course, they’re happy to help. Watch this space!

 

 

3rd March

MODIFICATION TO GERRY

 

Yep, you’ve guessed it, we’re still waiting for the prototype! I’m starting to get really frustrated about this whole process now. It’s one thing after the other, I wish the truth would come out, I feel that things are being kept a secret? DÉJÀ VU!!!!!!!

The prototype is being made or so we have been told. The biggest issue is communication or the lack of it? I feel like I’m head butting a brick wall!

Make sure that you keep the communication flowing, meetings, minutes and emails. Keep all correspondence, we had an issue this week saying that a change we asked for was never agreed. Luckily within the minutes and emails I kept, there it was, that put an end to that! I feel things are going to explode soon, it’s in the air?

We’ve been given a date for the prototype, 2nd week of April, watch this space.

 

 

7th April

PROTOTYPE DELIVERED TO THE UK

 

HOLD THE PRESS!!!! Gerry has arrived and we can now look at meeting some of the retailers. To start with I need to organise a few focus groups over the coming month. The packaging isn’t what I was expecting, printed out A3 sheets isn’t a great solution but it shows people what we’re going to do.

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The design has slightly changed from the initial patent that we applied for back in 2012. We’ve got to get some quotes for another patent application. We think we’ll use the designers patent company as they can deal direct. My business partner is going to meet with them, a trip to London! I’m going to meet with another patent company in Nottingham.

Both patent companies were really good but we’re sticking with the company who work with the design company, should make it easier to control? I’d prefer to use a more local firm but we’ll see how we get on?

I’ve Set up several focus groups next month, I finally get to see what parents think of GERRY?

 

 

5th May

FOCUS GROUPS

 

We’ve had over 10 focus groups with approx. 5-6 people at each session and the feedback has been over whelming. They could see Gerry working and doing his job. The nibbles and drink helped matters. The things we do for Gerry! We had some construction comments, good ideas about price points and suggestions about future products. Gerry’s look has hit the mark and his cute cuddly feel won’t be changed. Gerry was very happy at how the focus groups went.  Spending most of his time being clutched to mummy’s bosoms and being stroked.  It a hard life for plush giraffes!!!

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The main reason for the groups was get feedback and know how if we could improve The Bounceroo but also see what the parents finally thought about the product. The feedback was very positive and we appreciated all the comments that we received. Numerous topics were discussed, how to be in 2 places at once, sleep deprivation, coping with more than one baby, managing a house hold and even just nipping to the loo. During the focus groups we found that one reoccurring comment kept cropping up was time, just having that extra 30 mins in a day would help parents no end. This time frame guided us along the path of length of time to use the Bounceroo. As mentioned in the focus groups, we made it clear that it is still your parental responsibility to look after your baby but if using The Bounceroo it can give you some freedom during the day to help others, collect thoughts, have a power nap, he’s done his job. What are your thoughts on sleep deprivation?

 

 

2nd June

FAILURE AND RETAIL MEETINGS

 

The prototype has completely broken, nothing works and we have a major failure! I know prototypes are there to find flaws but the motor within the unit has stopped working? We’re meant to be having retail meetings within the next few weeks? Gerry has gone back to the designers to get fixed? Another frustration to add to the list!

We have Gerry back but he doesn’t seem right? I can’t put my finger on it but he’s noisier than he was when we first got him? I don’t think Gerry feels very well! Lol

Just been told that we’ve got a completely different motor in the unit? Doesn’t help with the sales pitch but when we’re with the retailers it’s the overall view of the product. I know we can sort the motor, that’s why you have prototypes made, find their weakness and fix it!

Just had confirmation that we’ve got 5 meetings set up next month with all the major retailers in the UK! Thanks to Linked In!

I’ve just bought Gerry his own private carry case, he might as well travel in some style! He deserves it.

We’ve requested all the information from the designers, CAD, spec, costings, ready for our meetings next month. This is the normal, hand over pack you should get when the job is complete. You’ve guessed it, we’re not getting the info sent? We’ll have to make do with what we’ve got.

 

 

7th July

RETAILERS

 

Gerry’s carry case turned up this week and he’ll be travelling in luxury! Maybe I should put some windows in it so he can see where he’s going?

I’ve got 5 meetings to attend over the next few weeks, I’m starting to get nervous and this is the first time I’ll get the honest opinion of the retailers.

Still no information from the designers! FRUSTRATING & WASTING TIME!!!!!

WHOOP WHOOP!!!! I’ve got a big smile on my face. The meetings went really well, so positive! We’ve taken on board constructive comments and feedback on RRP. This journey is taking shape but as a business we’ve got to look at how the design is being handled and the communication isn’t working. We have information missing, I think we need to change designers. I’m taking some time out to collect my thoughts as we need to make the right decision. The project is 6 months over due and I need to get this back on track!

 

 

4th August

NEW DESIGN – PROJECT MANAGER

 

While on my break, I had an enquiry from a project manger, Jessica Cornwell / Lentune Manufacturing ( www.lentunemanfacturing.co.uk ) on Linked In and she takes products to market. I’ve sent a message, I’ll see what response I get. I have my fingers crossed! I believe in fate and things happen for a reason!

Just had a phone call from the PM ( Jessica Cornwell ) and I’ve sent over all the information that I was given from the designers to see if I do have everything to complete Gerry. I’m waiting to hear back, I hope it’s good news as I’ve already spent the money to get this info!

CRAP!!! I have quite a bit of info missing from the hand over package! Jessica has been kind enough ( at no cost ) to list everything that’s missing. She even had her colleague ( Nick Smith – www.pettechnologystore.com ) check over the contents and detail what the cost will be to replace this info! I’ve written to the designers to request this info?

I’ve had no response so I’ve taken it onto ourselves to instruct Jessica to work for IBP. She’s also given me the heads up about MAS funding which will help pay towards her fees! To date I’ve had 3 sets of minutes and she’s not been paid a penny! THIS IS HOW YOU RUN A PROJECT / BUSINESS!!!!!!

It’s only been 1 week and the communication skills and content in minutes is astounding! I’m still in shock that for so long I had put up with such a terrible service? I HAVE A GOOD FEELING ABOUT OUR NEW PM!!!!

Note to self, make sure you request minutes and keep those communication lines open!

I’ve sent the existing prototype to Jessica to check out any concerns about the construction and internal working, electronics and build, this will be interesting.

 

 

1st September

NEW PROTOTYPE & ELECTRICAL ENGINEER

 

I had a 2 hour meeting with Jessica and Nick the electrical engineer and listed everything needed for Gerry and what’s required at the end of the process. A working prototype, packaging, costs and hand over pack.

I was saddened after the meeting, Jessica & Nick showed me the internals of the prototype and the construction quality? It was shocking! Someone on a GCSE course could of done better. Tape holding wires, glue sticking plastic together, terrible. This was constructed by a company that have several baby products to their name,  my wife has even bought some of the products they designed.  If one of the retailers decided to ask to see the internal working of the prototype, we could of looked like complete idiots! I feel let down. Jessica has been working with baby products for over 10 years and she had confirmed that the quality of the construction was one of the worst she had ever seen! Not what I wanted to hear.

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From this point on though she assured me that the quality of work produced will be 2nd to none! I just hope she is right. I must say, so far she has pulled out all the stops and gets 10 out of 10 from me!

It’s the end of the month and we have completed the full check list for the electrics, design of Gerry, the plastics. Packaging. The costing’s are out for tender and now it’s waiting for the manufacturers to come back with a list of components. Jessica has also sent over a schedule to work to, this includes tooling time and manufacturing, to delivery in the UK. Very slick indeed!

I’ve now been in touch with Lincoln Uni and I’m having a meeting to discuss how they can help.

 

 

6th October

WEBSITE & DESIGN MODIFICATIONS

 

The meeting with Lincoln Uni went really well and they have a group of lads who will be just right for the job. I’m meeting them later in the month to discuss what I’m looking for. It’ll be better than anything I could do.

I’ve also instructed Web creation to start putting some ideas together, now we’ve got some time to kill, I might as well take some time to get the website sorted. One thing I learnt from the logo’s, take some time and make sure you get a good job!

Jessica has changed the motor in the unit, the DB level is much quieter but we’re still thinking that the way forward is a brushless motor. The motor has to be right and we’ve all said we need to keep an eye on this to make sure it’s correct. Everything else is falling into place. Nick has even improved on the unit. The batteries that I mentioned all those months / years ago, his words are RUBBISH! The unit has now been reduced to 4 x D type batteries! Much better and sounds so much better than 8 x C!….Nick doesn’t know why these were spec’d in the first place. The control panel has been modified to utilise less LED’s, this has reduced the cost, we’ve gone from 24 LED’S down to 6, big saving! The functionality has been improved 10 fold, Nick’s even written in additional code, battery indicator and auto weight cut off safety feature! Why I didn’t have this in the first place! Astounding. The look of the control panel has been changed again, I was told that it would cost too much to have a colour background? This reasoning has come back as ridiculous, I now have a full colour panel with soft buttons and company logo. This then lead me to ask a question about the packaging? I was also told that I would have to have monochrome due to the cost ( originally told $3 ). This has now come back to $0.75 for full colour. In turn we have aged to reduce the unit cost but also gain more features! Brilliant! It’s still going to be a long slog as I’ll have to refine so many details along the way! It’s just a waiting game now to get all of the info together, so much to do in such a short time but Jessica has told me that she’ll do it. I must admit I have every faith in her.

CONTROL PANEL (2)   IBP Box03 29-09-14

I’ve just spoken to the MAS contact and I’ve started the ball rolling to recoup half of Jessica’s fee through a grant. I’d recommend this to anyone. Contact your local MAS contact and see if they can help you?

 

 

3rd November

PATENT & WEBSITE DESIGN

 

Having a chat with our new patent attorney, yep that’s right, we’re using the firm from Nottingham! Close to home! Instructing them to start the patent but know it’s going to be quite a few months before it’s lodged but it’s better to take your time and make sure it’s right.

I’ll also be starting on the website, making sure I’ve got all the content covered, contents page, product page, terms and conditions. I’ve also got to start the instructions for how to work the Bounceroo, never done this before either but Im sure with some help from friends and family I’ll get there!

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It’s a waiting game for Gerry at the moment, it’s a good job I’m patient! Lol We changed the structure of Gerry’s neck at last minute, he’ll now has the ability to stay upright. I’m getting weekly updates and minutes sent over from Jessica. It’s so nice to be kept updated on the progress of Gerry and his journey over in China.

I’m so glad that I had that message sent to me on linked In, Jessica is doing a fantastic job and making my life so much easier!

Still learning about twitter but I think I’m slowly getting there! This month is mainly paper work, preparing for next year.

 

 

1st December

MODIFICATION TO THE BOUNCEROO

 

It’s been a quiet month really, Christmas just around the corner, happy that I’m seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

I’ve just been told that Gerry will be sent in the next few weeks and I’ll have him for the New year. Costings have come in and we’re still on track, of course with any project we can make the costs cheaper.

I’ll be closing down early and spending time with the family. Meeting with some retailers in the New Year. It’s always good to remind them that you are there!

We’ve made some changes to the main structure of the product, never be happy with that’ll do, always look at the project and question, is that the best. You always have to work to your budgets but think about the bigger picture. I know I can’t make everyone happy but if I can make the majority smile and help them as a parent, then I’ve achieved one of my goals.

I’ve been working on the website with the designer, changing the logo, images and moving text around. Very important that potential customers can move around the website with ease and not get lost. I think it’s very important that “contact us “ is easy to find.

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YEARLY EVENTS 2013 – MONTH BY MONTH RUNDOWN

7th January

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.

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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!

 

 

4th February

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.

 

 

4th March

MEET INVESTOR

 

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!!!!!!

 

 

1st April

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!

 

 

6th May

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!

 

 

3rd June

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

 

 

1st July

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.

 

 

5th August

DESIGN STARTS

 

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.

2F  1ST DESIGN

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!

MY ATTEMPT AT BOUNCING EFFECT

 

 

2nd September

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.

EWFV

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!

THE BOUNCEROO LOGO - FINAL VERSION WITH R

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!

 

 

7th October

DESIGN AGREEMENT

 

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!

EWFV

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!

 

 

4th November

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….

THE BOUNCEROO LOGO - FINAL VERSION WITH R

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!

 

 

2nd December

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.

MAIN LOGO WITH R

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.

YEARLY EVENTS 2012 – MONTH BY MONTH RUNDOWN

Slide2

6th March

LOOKING FOR OTHER PRODUCTS

I’m spending the next few days looking for other patents on the market, hopefully I won’t find anything and I can start this long journey. Looking forward to designing again, it’s been a few years since I’ve sharpened the pencil! ;) I hope it’s like riding a bike! The question is, can I remember how to draw?! lol

patent

I’m just about to put pen to paper and start brain storming, apologies for the terminology but I’m old school, to be PC “ Mind Mapping “ but before I start and find out if this journey is a none starter. I’ve already written to a few Patent attorneys, I’ve asked for their advice, I’m just waiting to get some replies.

While I’m sat here in the lounge at stupid o’clock in the morning, I’m currently looking at patents within the UK, so far I haven’t found a single product that matches my idea, diddly squat! There’s some similar ideas out there but nothing exact, it’s starting to look promising. When I’ve finished with the UK searches it’s on with the USA & ROW. A big part of me is hopeful!

I would say that this part is useful in other ways as it makes you aware of other products that are either patent pending or granted patents, it even highlights patents back in the 1800’s! I don’t think they had car seat’’s back then! Lol on with the search!……

 

 

8th March

PATENT SEARCH – U.S.A & R.O.W

 

Well I’ve spent 2 days ( well night and evenings ) looking for patents and products within the UK and I haven’t found anything! Whoop! Starting to get excited about the prospect of designing this product. I’m now looking in the USA and ROW and again I can’t seem to find anything? I’m hoping that this particular idea can fall in the category “ A World First “! I’ve had a reply from some patent attorneys and their advice is spend time looking for patents now and they can do this as well for a small nominal fee of £500.00 and see if your idea has already been filed. If you / they can’t find anything straight away, then it’s worth starting the design process. I’m giving this patent search another 2 days and that’ll be 4 full days of looking and trawling for patents. I’ll have to consider this £500.00, it’s a lot of money but if it stops you in your tracks straight away, that’s a lot of time and money saved. Even though I was told that a patent can still come out the wood work later but you can then pay the person who owns the patent rights a license fee. To me that’s game on! Lol onwards and upwards.

patent 1988

To date I can only find a few products that have a similar background but they either rock just a crib or just a car seat. There isn’t a product that I can find, that will attach to a car seat, crib, bouncer or mosses basket and is fully portable. I do believe I’m at that stage where I can look at designing this product. I must admit, my eyes are square, looking at the screen for so long but I‘m hoping I can say, A world first here I come! Time to get the pad and pen out!

 

 

12TH March

JOBS TO DO – PATENT SEARCH & QUOTES

 

I’ve decided to keep a monthly diary, not weekly, as time is flying by but I’ll update each week and put down what I’ve been up to, noting any comments, choices, concerns. This way, other future entrepreneurs can follow and read what I had to do and any decisions I would change, I’m hoping not too many! Lol

I can finally say, without a shadow of a doubt, I’m blind! I’ve finished all the searches that I can do and I can confirm that I haven’t found any products like for like or patents that match my product / invention. Whoop whoop! I’ve also listed and come up with all the innovative steps that will make my product different to any other products that might have had a patent filed against it. This is one of the most important parts on any patent application, make sure you have that “ inventive step “.

patent 1936

Now I’ve completed the searches, I can start the design process, think about what the product should look like. I’m going to reply to some of these patent attorneys and get some further costings, how much does a patent cost to file?.

I’ll still have to juggle my main job during the day and design and run this project in the evenings and weekend. I’ve already spoken to the wife as previously mentioned and she’s supporting me 100%! One recommendation to other entrepreneurs / parents out there wanting to do this, make sure you get the support of the family! I think it’s going to take some time to get into a routine to juggle so many balls but it should be worth it!

Jobs to do:- design for this week and wait for quotes from patent attorneys.

I’ve just had some costs through and they do range from £1k up to £8k! There’s a big difference, I’d recommend shopping around and get those quotes in. I think I know who I’m going to use in the future but always work to budgets and stick to them. I used to be a project manager in my past life before I started my own business and this has helped run this project so far, control money and time keeping.

 

 

19th March

THE DESIGN PROCESS STARTS

 

I’ve put pen to paper, looking at how the product will look and work. I’ve noted the sizes of car seats, cribs and the angles needed to rock / bounce each of the apparel. Looking at the old 60’s radio for inspiration and shapes that keep the centre of gravity low to the ground. Had a late night with the little one not sleeping, I could do with a product that will help, right now! Lol

Slide2

I’ve got some good ideas and shapes that will work, a round base seems to be the way forward. I’m also looking at how I attach the product to the car seat. Looking into baby products, safety legislation, I’ve got to take into consideration the length of the cord, it can’t be over 220mm ( strangulation reasons ) maybe have to look at having it in 2 halves. Writing out a brief of what I’m looking for in the product, how it looks, ease of use. It’s always good to note your thoughts about the design, mainly so I can pass this onto designers in the future.

Slide4

I’ve got to admit, being a project manager in my past working career has helped me manage how I work now. I’d recommend a plan on what work you have to do and when you can do it? I’ve had a busy month with my main job, getting work back on track, as well as looking after my baby girl. The designs will continue….

 

 

2nd April

FIRST PROTOTYPE & JOBS TO DO

 

I’ve now got some ideas on paper, I need to find out if the theory can be turned into a practical 1st PROTOTYPE. I’ll have to use things that I can buy from the shops, find in the garage. The product has also taken on a new lease of life, I’ve created different versions, looking at safety and what other products we could sell along side this product. It’s starting to turn into a real business. Existing times.com

scan0036

I’ve put a brief together for some CAD designs and professional product designers. Ill have to look into companies that could do this, I’ll just add it to the list of jobs to do. So far I’ve narrowed the list down to 12 design companies, only a few then! lol

I’m now putting a list of questions together for parents to answer, I can then get feedback about the product concept and see if parents would buy a product like this, if there was one available in the shops? I’m hoping I get a good response from the parents as this will give me an indication if this product has a good commercial prospect. I have my fingers crossed, as well as everything else! lol

questions

Starting to look into my business plan. I have to think about future investors and what I’ve got to include. Looks like the business plan could take some time, plenty of work in that itself. I could do with getting a helping hand to do some of the work, I guess it’s just me myself and I. I’d better just crack on and get everything down on paper. I’ve enjoyed the journey so far!

 

 

7th May

PATENT COMPANY & DESIGN IDEAS BECOME REALITY

 

I’ve got a meeting set up with a patent company and hopefully I’ll be sorting out a possible patent application when we’ve designed the product. I want to make sure I’ve got a priority date for this product, main recommendation I was given by all attorney, I would agree with this.

I think I have a design company lined up. I had to write to over 12 design companies to find a company that seems to fit within the specification I was looking for, do your home work and see if you can find any reviews or other projects the design companies have worked on.

I’ve now met up with both companies ( patent & design ) and everything seems to be on track. I’m getting the patent company to do their checks on other patents as well. I might as well invest the £500.00, they are the professionals and know what they are looking for and seem to know what they are doing. This only takes a few days so I should hear back very soon. I just hope I don’t have bad news waiting for me! “ Sorry Mr newton but………”

GOOD NEWS, THE PATENT ATTORNEY CAN’T FIND ANY SIMILAR PATENTS EITHER! That’s a double Whoop!

patent 1988

I’ve also spoken with the design company and we’re going to put some of my design concepts into CAD and check which power source we can use. They are also developing the overall look of the design & future proof the product. The design company will take my design ideas and put something together. Things are slowly coming together.

Starting to write briefs and content for the business plan. I’m also looking at what to call the business. I’m either going to use the names of the people involved or just call the business what it is. So many things to do but not enough time to do it all in! Do they have a 36 hour day? Lol

I can’t believe that my little one is 3 months old already, still not sleeping very well, my wife and myself have our routine down to a tee, one night on and one night off. While I’m up with my baby girl at night, I’m working on IBP. Killing 2 birds with one stone, looking after my baby while developing a baby product ( multi tasking ) I’m just hoping that all of this hard work will pay off! Positive thinking! :)

 

 

4th June

CHOOSING THE BUSINESS NAME & PRODUCT

 

I’ve decided to call the business IBP – Innovative Baby Product Ltd. I’ll have to check with companies house and make sure no one has already taken this name and check that all the websites names are free? Hoping that no else has thought of it, otherwise it’s back to the drawing board.

I’m looking at what to call the product as well, I’m thinking of using words like rock, bounce, bouncing, jump? There’s something also missing from the product that I think needs to make it stand out? This is the designer in me coming out. I currently have an animal shape / cover that goes over the base but I think it needs something else to make it completely different, stand out in the shop, make those mummies say, argh, how cute or isn’t that fab! lol Thinking cap on.

Just checked if ibp.co.uk is free online and someone else has it, there’s no way I’m paying £10k for the name, ridiculous! I’m sure I can find an alternative. Also looking at the .com range.

Managed to find innbp.co.uk & .com! Result! I’ll have to make sure that they are free next month and get everything booked in. For the cost I might as well get it now, even if you don’t use them, it’s only cost £5.00 and there’s no “ I knew I should of got it ‘.

I’m looking at using a multitude of colours for the IBP logo, possibly use some grey to make it contemporary. I think the font should be round, to stand out existing new born baby products, make the font look soft. I’ll start to mess about with some ideas. I’m glad I can draw to a certain degree, a close friend of mine is currently putting some ideas together ( graphic designer / illustrator – very talented ).

LOGO 14

I’ve narrowed the product name list down to Rockeroo, Bounceroo seeing as another major baby company has already taken “Jumperoo” – will be checking which names are free for the product. Hopefully have the final name of both the business and product by the end of the month. I’ve now got my working schedule / plan all sorted. Working during the day and in the evening drop onto IBP, touch wood, it all seems to be working fine!

 

 

2nd July

FIRST DESIGNS & WEBSITE

 

I can confirm that I’ve decided on Innbp.co.uk & .com for the main website, just need to register the names for future use. Probably going to be a few years before I’ll need them but it’s better safe than sorry. It’ll be sods law that when I need the website addresses, someone else has taken them. I refuse too pay over £10k for a name! lol I’m also going to register Innovative baby products.co.uk & Bounceroo.co.uk, for the cost of a fiver, it’s worth to have the names as a back up. That’s over 6 names to register with the business. I can then decide at a later date which website address to upload the site to. I’ll start to look around for web designers as well, an E-commerce website.

MAIN LOGO WITH R

I’m meeting with the design company later in the month with regard to their findings, I’m hoping its some good news. They’re making a basic prototype to test the theory! Watch this space!….

I’ve been working on costs, things I need to list for the business plan, It’s very in-depth. Looking at future PCT patents, design costs, prototype costs, tooling and many other items that I’ll have to look into. This is my first Business plan I’ve ever done but I want to make sure I do a good job. I can certainly say that every day is a school day, it’s a learning curve with this product.

I’m attending a seminar in Nottingham later this month, I think the guy leading the presentation used to be on the 1st Dragons Den series on the BBC ( American dude ). I’m going to see if I’m on the right path, as I’m doing this all on my own ( get those violins out ), I need to make sure I’m doing everything by the book. I don’t want any major mistakes along the way!

I have to report that disappointed is an under statement! I’ve just had the designs through from the design company ( not mentioning any names ) but in one word, Crap! I could of got an A’LEVEL student to prepare better. The only good thing that has come out of it is the basic working prototype. I have now put together a package to prove that the theory works. Even though the motor is very loud and would keep most adults awake, let alone babies! Lol At least it proves my concept works! All is good! Lol. Note to design company, there is no way I’m paying the full amount of money they are asking, I’m so peeed off! I’ve even approached some of the other designers to get their comments on the work provided.

SKETCH 26  SKETCH 23  DSCF4174

I’ve had confirmation through from the other design firms that the work provided is sub standard for the money they are asking for! I’ve sent the design team my concerns in an email and proposed a final payment. Ggrrrrr……..

The design company has agreed to the sum that I proposed and now we have parted company. I’m not a happy Chappy! I’m going to access the situation and collect my thoughts. You think you’re paying a professional to do a job right and you get stuffed! Note to self make sure you keep control of the design process at all times!!!!!!

I’m glad I attended the seminar in Nottingham, I’m on the right road and not making any major mistakes yet. I’ll chalk the crappy presentation designs by the design team as poor judgement on my behalf but I’ve still got something positive from it, a working prototype. The main item that I’ve got to check and organise is the SEIS scheme. If I’m wanting to get an investor on board, this scheme will make it more inviting and means less of a risk. I would recommend this to any entrepreneur starting a new business prospect. Make sure you check this out as one of your main priorities, this is if you want to get an investor on board.

seis

Now I’ve got the proof that the theory works, I need to confirm and narrow down my questions for my in-depth questionnaire next month. If there’s not one thing to do, there’s half a dozen, it’s all go!

 

 

6th August

REGISTER BUSINESS NAME, PATENT & QUESTIONNAIRE

 

Now I’m set on IBP, I’ve got to register the name with companies house. That’ll be done over the coming weeks.

The Patent attorney is also applying for my very 1st patent! At least I’ll get a priority date for the application. I’ll have to put a small sketch together of the product so this can be lodged with the patent.

I’m also going to take the prototype and modify it so it looks more like my design sketches.

I’ve had a good chat with my wife and we think the cover of the product should be the main character itself. I have narrowed this down to 12 characters, I have my favourite but I’ll add it to the questionnaire and see what parents say. We’ve decided to ask 200 parents next month, get a true representation of what parents think about the product. My personal view is, I think it’s daft when you see out of 75 people asked? I’ll have to be careful not to give the game away too early!

Well that’s done it, I’ve registered IBP with companies house, I now have another business to look after, even though I won’t be trading for quite a few years! Lol..

It’s taken some time but I’ve printed out the 200 questionnaires for next month, we’re going to split the 200 into 2 groups, 100 in Lincoln and 100 in Nottingham. I hope I get a positive reaction. I’ve got to work on the prototype in the evenings and get that ready to complete next month.

questions

The prototype is looking like a real blue peter job but at least it looks better than the 1st version. I would say it needs something else and I’m hoping the character that we’ve got planned will set it apart from the current design ideas. I’ll be working on this next month so hopefully I’ll get a better understanding. We’ve also contacted China to get prices for parts to the product, it’ll give me a better unit price for the product, even though this is based on wholesale. I know it’ll be cheaper when we buy in bulk.

Slide7 (2)  Slide8 (2)

I’ve had the recommendation of getting all the designs that I’ve drawn and put on paper to be signed & stamped by our bank manager! Must have been good timing as I’m going to open a business account this week, ready for our investor. I’ll get this all done by the end of the month. The whole point of this is instead of sending the designs to yourself in the post and the envelope has the date and time. Each page will have a signature, time stamp, and have a priority date. All of this to try and protect yourself from people steeling your idea but this could happen! Sad world we live in! :(

That’s summer just about over and I’ve gone from theory to practical within a 6 month period? Where did that time go? My little girl is growing up so quickly, I hope all of my kids will know when they’re older, what I’m putting into this, just for them. My wife knows as she has lived it for the past half a year!

 

 

3rd September

MARKETING STARTS, PROTOTYPE & SEIS SCHEME

 

I can’t believe we’re about to ask 200 parents what they think of my idea? I’m hoping it’s going to be positive! Being a father and business man, I’ve got to have my sensible head on. If I get nothing but no it’s rubbish, then I think it’s time to give up. We’re visiting baby groups and chatting to parents outside retail stores.

I’ve just about completed the business plan! When I read that it could take a long time to complete, I didn’t think it would but to make a business plan thorough and believable, it does take a lot of time. Rereading and making sure all the stats and figures tie up. I’ve just got to add the results from the questionnaire and I have a complete business plan. I must admit, it looks good! Smile on my face.

The only thing left this month is the SEIS application and finish the questionnaires. To date I can’t believe how positive the parents we are asking are responding. You’re always going to get the parent who won’t like it or agree but so far I’ve currently got 5 parents wouldn’t buy it out of 125 parent/parents asked

That’s the SEIS applications filed, can take up to 6 six, leaves me plenty of time before my first meeting with future investors. Another string to the bow!

I’m about to send off the trademark application for the IBP log & Bounceroo name, it’s always a good idea to protect the name of the business but also the logo design you want to use. This way no one else will use it on their packaging / boxes or letterheads. I’ve been told the process takes up to 6 -8 weeks to complete. The application is very easy, I’d recommend you do this yourself as some companies charge up to £250.00 for something that takes 30 minutes at max!

MAIN LOGO WITH R

Well it’s taken nearly 4 weeks to complete but that’s 200 parents asked about where they shop, age of their children / babies, what apparel they bought, would they buy a portable product that would rock or bounce a car seat, crib, bouncer. I’m astounded to say that 87% of parents would buy a product if it’ was on the market. This has given me even more get up and go to complete the product. We’ve also decided on the character that we want to use – A Giraffe!

 

 

1st October

FINAL BUSINESS PLAN & VIDEO / SOCIAL MEDIA

 

Now I’ve got all the information together for my business plan, I need to complete the graphs, check my spelling and make sure I’ve got my 5 year plan down to the last letter! It feels weird when you have completed something and you know you’re not getting paid for it but will hopefully I’m create something out of nothing. Heres hoping!

I’ve put the feelers out there to see if I can meet some investors to back the next stage of the product. This will cover the final design stage of the Bounceroo. I’ve also got to think of a name for the character. At the moment he’s nameless, poor guy!

Just bought 2 x Giraffe plush toys off Ebay, I’m going to make my 1st working prototype to see if I can get everything to work. I’m going to use the parts and motor from the 2nd prototype and build a 3rd but you could say this is the real 1st PROTOTYPE, as it’s starting to look like a real product, the real deal, even though he’s a Frankenstein!

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That’s all the social media created, Twitter, Linked In and Facebook. I haven’t got a Scooby on how to use Twitter but it’s on my list of to do’s “ How to use twitter “. Also a new thing called blogging, to me it looks like a diary but to make it sound kewl, they’ve labelled it “ Blogging “. Lol. I’m hoping the above can be put under this new category?

My youngest son walked in on me sewing and cutting up the 2 Giraffes ( yes I was using a needle and thread ) – he looked horrified! “ What are you doing daddy ” ? he asked, I just said creating your future! Lol…..

I must admit, the Giraffe does looks brilliant and works a treat! I intend to film him working with a car seat and crib, try my best to make a decent video. I’ve got to teach myself how to edit the video & add music. I think it’s the best way to show potential parents what he does. I’m no Steven Spielberg but I’m hoping to capture the story within a 45 second video.

I’m starting to get a good contact list on Linked In, met one guy who has shown in interest in the product just because he likes the product. It’s a sad thing to say but it’s very few and far between that you meet people who offer advice and help for no financial gain. Hopefully I’ll get some investor contacts over the coming months.

 

 

5th November

INVESTOR MEETINGS & RETAIL CONTACTS

 

I’ve written to numerous retail companies and I’m fortunate that I’ve had a great response. I’ve decided that the product has come to a cross roads and I need to know if the product is commercially viable. The businessman in me needs to know what the retailers think of the Bounceroo. I’m hoping to get some meetings set up for next month.

It’s only been 4 weeks and I’ve got 3 leads already interested in setting up investor meetings. Just putting everything together with the business plan. I must of used at least 100 ink cartridges, printing and reprinting the plan out. It has to be right and look the business. To say I haven’t done one before, it certainly has enough information in it!

I Started the day with an email from one of the major retailers agreeing to meet with me to discuss the product. I’ve been upfront with them and told them that I only want their honest opinion, show them my video and see what they have to say, their honest opinion. I’m looking forward to next month.

Just had another response from another major retailer! A 2 bagger! And guess what, another one! A Turkey! The guy I mentioned earlier ( offering help for no financial gain ) has a friend who works within another major retailer and is showing them the product for their comments. Interesting times for me, it’ll either be “ give up now “ or “ crack on”. I’ve got to admit, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the last 10 months! Where has that time gone?…….

WHOOP! Just had confirmation through that my IBP logo & Bounceroo name has been grated, I have some Trademarks! This means I can use the R next to the images instead of TM. That was a painless exercise, another string to add to the bow.

MAIN LOGO WITH R

 

 

3rd December

RETAIL MEETINGS & INVESTORS

 

Not long till Christmas but in the interim I’ve got some meetings to go to. I’m as prepared as I can be, without designing and having a fully working prototype the video will have to do, it’ll show the main concept. Until I get an investor on board, my video gets the message across. I have to admit I’m disappointed with what the initial design company provided so I think I’ll have to look at producing my own designs., if you want a job doing right, do it yourself!

I’ve had my first investor meeting set up in the New Year, I’ll be interested to see what they have to say.

I’ve spent the last week putting some designs together for the presentation, hope it gives the overall package. Only one week to go and then it’s my retail meetings…..

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I’ve just had confirmation that IBP has been accepted for the SEIS scheme! Result. It’s such a good idea to do as many things as once that can run in the background while you wait for things to happen.

It’s Christmas next week and I’ve just come back from both retail meetings. I’m flattered that both retailers think the Bounceroo is a very commercially viable product. This is what I needed to hear to spur me on! The next stage is find an investor and finally design the Bounceroo. Has it been 10 months already? WOW!

INTRODUCTION TO OUR JOURNEY

INTRODUCTION – THE START OF A NEW PROJECT

 

I thought I would write down my thoughts or I should say type them down in this journal / diary. I’ve decided to design and develop a new product that I hope will help other parents in the early weeks of having new born babies.

Before I get into the full ins and out and nitty, gritty of my journey, here’s a very small paragraph about me, I am known to waffle so be warned! I’ll try and keep this as short as possible.

I’m born and bread from Nottingham ( Robin hood country ), Graduated from Manchester Uni, married, I’ve got 4 gorgeous children, live in Lincoln UK not America :-

lincoln 3

Run my own surveying business of ten years:-

www.epccommercialsurveys.co.uk

I’m a designer by heart and have a passion to succeed. That was short and sweet!

This leads me nicely to the issue at hand, designing a world’s first baby product.

All of my older children had an issue with sleeping, when they were babies. I’ve just had my last child, a beautiful baby girl and like my other children, she doesn’t sleep very well. She is exactly the same as her brothers and sisters so no DNA test required. To keep her asleep, I currently have to constantly bounce her in the bouncy chair or rock her in the car seat or crib and this is normally at 3 o’clock in the morning! Yes those rings around my eyes are very dark, good job I have a pair of sun glasses. The other problem I have, like most parents, is being in two places at once. I run my own business, house, have my other children to look after and when I’m there rocking / bouncing my little girl, I hear in the other room her older brother shouting “ daddy “. I would like to help my son, go help my wife with cooking, cleaning ( any excuse not to ), answer the door but I know, if I stop bouncing or rocking my daughter, she would wake up.

This is where my mad plan comes into effect!……….

I’m going to solve this problem by designing a product that helps you as a parent rock / bounce your new born baby in that stylish looking car seat or one of the other baby apparel you buy for your little one – a 3rd pair of hands / aid to help. I’ll have to start looking into other products on the market, see if there’s anything out there but currently I can’t seem to find anything online. The web is a huge place, this isn’t going to be a quick 2 minute job! Late nights here we come, oh yes I’ve got a new born so I’m awake anyway, feeding, rocking, bouncing so I might as well add another job to the list.

I’ve had a good chat with my wife and we’ve discussed the if’s / buts / maybe’s and what could happen with this product, it could turn into a full time job. A lot of time and effort will be needed to make this a success but most of all support! We also know we would need to look for an investor further down the line to cover the design costs as we don’t have the funds to take this project over the finish line. Luckily I have a very supportive wife and we’re going to see what happens with this product. The start of my journey begins! I hope what I write helps other future entrepreneurs and is informative for me to read back in years to come so I can see what I went through. Please enjoy the read and journey! If you have any questions, please send me a message at info@innbp.co.uk and I’ll be happy to reply.