I’d paid for some t-shirts to be printed with a simple ‘G Bomb’ logo on the front to spur the blokes to back the project. This was probably my best move as they loved them and pledged no end to make sure they got one. Thanks guys, you’re the best. Back to the video. Bribed with a t-shirt each, I managed to get a cameraman and two on camera volunteers for comedic effect. The video was awkward and cringe-worthy, but it served it’s purpose. To add some, honesty and personality to the project to let people know I wasn’t a Ugandan Prince trying to give away my fortune. I think one of my mum’s mates commented to her that although it wasn’t a cinematic masterpiece it was honest and most importantly, existed, and I was happy with that.
Enter, Tom. Tom was a bloke in a different Battery at work who I knew had a business mind. He had owned a business before and was good with numbers, I’m shit at accounting and would never trust myself to do it and you’ll be glad to hear a trusted accounting firm takes care of that for me now. So I thought he could help with that side of things and be a general asset to GKE. He was great and had some brilliant ideas for the direction of GKE and i’m glad he did otherwise it’d be in a very different place than it is today. Unfortunately Tom had to leave recently due to mounting work commitments which is a shame but that’s one of the problems that come whilst still serving and founding a start-up.
Halfway through the Kickstarter campaign our Battery took part in a cycle charity Coast 2 Coast cycle. This was the second time i’d done the C2C even after expressing, ‘never fucking again’, after the first one with my good mate, Dan. That was fun and although it was a lick we all got a photo at the end wearing the ‘G Bomb’ tops which was sick. The Kickstarter was coming to a close and thanks to everyone that shared and talked about it managed to raise £1005. It was a mixture of family, friends and complete strangers who pledged varying amounts and i’ll forever be grateful to those who did. Thanks again! (I hate using exclamation marks but I think if you don’t use them it can look like you’re trying to be sarcastic or a bit of a dick and I actually mean ‘thank you’ here so i’ll use one.) Here’s a link to all of the 52 backers. So that was the rollercoaster of emotions that went into funding the project and I had the start-up capital needed, coupled with personal contributions for the solicitors fees. The next part was to actually create Gen Kit Exchange.
– From left to right, Myself (half a face), Karl, Steph, Mark, Martin and Ash at Tynmouth, the end of one of the C2C routes.
By this time i’d amassed quite a bit of crowdfunding knowledge and it was time to replace that with Sharetribe, marketplace knowledge. I bought a tutorial on the ins and outs of it which was extremely useful and set to work creating what is now GKE. It wasn’t exactly easy to create but Sharetribe has done a great job of making it as easy as possible for the average Joe and with a little perseverance I managed to get it all sorted in a couple of weeks. Whilst this was happening, Tom had sent a set of criteria over to a graphic designing firm to have a go at a GKE logo and that’s the one you see today, that came back shortly after and was inserted neatly into the social media aspects and the actual site. Fuck. I haven’t spoken about social media.
Social media is fucking ‘UUGE’ (Trump was elected whilst I was writing this), really huge and can be the make or break of any new brand. I know for a fact that I haven’t even scratched the surface of social media knowledge but i’ll keep going until I do. Get it wrong and you’ll have to wipe the slate clean and even then, it might be too late. I set up a Facebook Page for the site a couple of days after the Kickstarter went live and invited everyone to give it a precious like. Instagram came soon after and coupled with Twitter it’s formed quite nicely. There are loads of different social media tools that can be used, some great and some not so. My favourite is ‘HootSuite’, it allows you to post to multiple platforms from one dashboard and is another Godsend, I use it all the time and highly recommend it for anyone with multiple social media platforms they have to manage. I’m nowhere near a social media guru but it’s an art from that can be researched until the cows come home and that’s what I have done and continue to do so. I’ve found that a lot of this journey has been started with me having no clue about certain subjects and having to go and teach myself to become as near a subject matter expert as I can possibly get and to just not stop learning. If I can learn this sort of shit, then so can anyone.
This Kit Pest Review article was written by Alex Miller. Hopefully you enjoyed it and if you have any thoughts or comments related to this article then leave a comment!
If you’d like to visit Cooper’s Kit Corner, you can find it here.
If you’d like to visit Gen Kit Exchange, you can find it here.