Tim Warner has been running a successful van rental business for some years. But alongside that he had another idea for a totally separate business: Tim’s good idea was a replica football stadium kit customized to a favourite team. He had one hand-crafted model and a burning ambition but, realising that he was going to have to move into areas beyond his experience, he sought advice from WLP.
Three main issues presented themselves: how to move from a prototype to volume manufacture, how to raise finance for development without selling the idea and how to get the product to market.
The DTI had a scheme for evaluation of innovative ideas – a robust process which looks at everything from design to marketability. One of my colleagues was involved initially as an approved consultant. The product emerged well from the review and received a grant for development as a result.
Working with WLP’s Martin Bonser and a colleague, a more detailed business plan and cash flow forecast was developed and innovative finance plans arranged to ensure that progress would not be slowed by shortage of funds.
At the same time, Peter Cook was working with other suppliers to optimize the design, reduce component costs, get tooling designed and source reliable production capacity in China.
Marketing and distribution outlets were arranged and licensing deals concluded with Manchester United and Chelsea, ensuring worldwide interest for the first versions of the stadium kit. Continental football clubs were interested as were American football and baseball teams.
The whole business was set up using outsourcing and the internet to keep staff and overhead costs to a minimum. Tim saw his dream in stores and available for direct sale.