Introducing: Chris Goodwin & Scott McCrickard
Chris & myself had worked together for several years in the same department or team managing Public Sector clients on their framework agreements for a company that supplied office products nationwide.
One night we both attended a works night out in Leeds with one of our suppliers. It was quiet a good night helping celebrate the achievements of fellow colleagues who had won prizes as part of an ongoing 3 month promotion. Later on in the evening when visiting the gents we came across some faulty urinals. The management team at the venue decided to stick up a large piece of cardboard with the words ‘Out Of Order’ written onto the temporary sign with a bit of sticky tape holding it to the urinal.
Normal people would generally take that as a clue not to use, but subsequently a slightly inebriated patron did, thus causing the urinal to overflow onto the surrounding floor because the urinal was blocked. I can tell you the toilet attendant was not happy!
Afterwards back in the bar myself & Chris started telling our colleagues what had just happened & then a little light bulb of an idea went off in my head, Eureka!
Next day I called Chris up to chat about the previous nights events & tell him about my little idea. (Now some people out there may not have done this!) ‘ I said Chris there must be a better alternative solution to what we saw last night available somewhere & he agreed ‘
The reason I told Chris is because he would always talk to me about his own business ideas, so there was a level of mutual trust here.
This got us thinking & doing some research on the Internet & after a few days we found JohnnyCovers Inc (from the USA) – I know the name still makes us chuckle.
After weeks of correspondence between ourselves & JC we approached them to secure exclusive distribution rights for their product, this was given after negotiations based on costs, qtys, rebates & finally we had secured the deal.
During this time we embarked on upon getting our friends to take pictures of any faulty urinals they came across, we contacted local authorities under the Freedom of Information act to gage their spend on repairs to urinals per annum, we made due diligence checks on the potential market we could target & we decided that the name JohnnyCovers would not work in the UK so brainstormed some ideas for a new company name to trade under.
Disposable Urinal Covers is the official name of the product so in the end we came up with DUC & that is how our business was hatched.
We quickly registered the business & name with companies house & used any spare money we had to invest in the start-up business & set up a low cost website.
Since we formed in December 2011 we have secured a new distribution partner who have purchased 18,000 units to resell onto their customers (Plumb Center UK – a Wolseley Company, Cat No B39005) & are in the process of hopefully securing new clients within the Office Products Industry & Leisure & Entertainment sectors.
DUC are now also going onto social network sites IE; Facebook, Twitter & LinkedIn. Our website has been re-designed & re-launched. We are in the process of developing our e-commerce site ready to use in early 2013.
We would welcome any new distributers wishing to stock our covers to contact us by visiting our website www.ductm.co.uk/distribution-partners
As a new company we would encourage any entrepreneur to develop your ideas & if you need any help & advise to contact people who have themselves been successful in launching their start up business.