…Back to the actual site. Whilst all of the above was happening I’d spoken to countless potential business’ and retailers who I thought would be interested in GKE. One thing I found is that for every 100 e-mails I sent to various people/business, only 5-6 would reply. Was this down to poorly written e-mails or were people simply not interested?
Being super naive, I didn’t factor in that I’d have to develop a relationship first with potential users, that’s something I quickly learned to do and it just involves being as honest and sound as possible.
I decided to move my means of contacting potential, new users, onto Facebook Messenger. Although this might not be the most professional of platforms, in my personal experience I’ve found that a huge percentage of people actually reply to messages sent on it rather than an e-mail. I rate it so highly purely for the fact that you can see if they have read a message and I’m sure this has something to do with the subconscious guilt tripping them.
I can’t thank the great businesses and individuals that have supported this from the beginning enough, just a simple ‘Yeah, sounds cool mate.’ goes a long way and still does today. I decided to focus on the business side of supply for GKE at the start as it’s always going to be a problem of the ‘chicken and the egg’ with supply and demand for a marketplace. How can a business justify using a new sales channel with little demand in terms of customer and how can I entice new customers to use GKE if there are no cool bits of kit? Slowly, that’s how.
Every business that loads kit onto the site is a resounding success, and with each sale that they make, the trust they have in me and GKE furthers (I hope). Through extensive Googling and research a couple of the bits of information that stand out are that it can take up to 3 years for a new marketplace to gain real traction and that around 60% of marketplaces fail for the simply reason that the creators of them give up on it.
So with that in mind I’m as focused on making this a success and doing everything humanely fucking possible to further my knowledge of the market, social media and general business knowledge.
One of the coolest features of GKE is Kit Pest Reviews which is a review blog collaboration of Cooper’s Kit Corner and GKE. It’s basically a handful of self-confessed kit pests reviewing down-to-earth kit in a way we all understand and know. It’s slightly refreshing as a lot of the ‘gear’ reviews out there are aimed at ultra turbo complicated spec equipment and confusing terminology. KPR just keeps shit simple whilst being as informative as possible. Ben O’Toole, Callum J Bickerton, Tom Cooper and it’s also attracted another Tom and Sam, I can’t thank you enough for the effort you put in and i’m looking forward to prying as much information out of your massive kit pest heads as I can.
I wrote the everything above this line on a night shift and I left it to settle for a couple of weeks before revisiting it. A lot has happened since then, as it usually does…
I applied for another business accelerator programme around the same time as the Ignite one, only this time I was successful. This one is called Entrepreneurial Spark and is backed by NatWest. It has ‘Hubs’ in most major cities in the UK and I am on the 3 month ‘Sprint programme’, which is the first of a series of programmes/courses/enablements. It’s a little difficult to explain but I’ll try my best; So the actual application process was simple. Just apply using an online form about you existing business/idea/start-up and you’ll find out if you’re successful or not. If you’re successful your first date is the ‘GoDoBootcamp’, which is basically a day of essential briefs to explain more about the E-Spark programme, what you can expect to do and what you can expect out of it. This was a little daunting as i’d not actually put my business model under the scrutiny of any outsiders yet.
After the Bootcamp you’re put into either ‘virtual enablement groups’ or ‘physical enablement groups’, (basically a group including yourself, 5 other business/individuals and a ‘entrepreneurial enabler’, this group is your support over the 3 month sprint and they’re your go to people if you need any kind of support. These enablement groups meet once a month over the Sprint, (I missed my first one due to a fucking course at work), and include different workshops along the way on a bunch of different topics, all business/start-up related…
Thanks for reading and look out for the next instalment of the GKE story. Stay Frosty – Alex
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.