The Perks Of Crowd-funding

As I’ve mentioned before, recently I’ve been on the lookout for new investors for BODO and have been exploring several different avenues in order to bring a new injection of funds into the company. Something that I’ve looked at closely is crowd-funding because I feel it has a lot to offer a company or people trying to raise funds to bring their ideas to fruition. Indiegogo pic
Not only is there the rather obvious funds you can bring in, funds that you may not necessarily have been able to get elsewhere, but when people have been involved in the launch and the success of a company in such a way that they are with crowd-funding, it also gives them a sense of importance and involvement, potentially creating a large, incredibly loyal user/fanbase (dependent on what is being crowdfunded). There’s that feeling of, ‘well maybe this little group of people with this amazing idea, might not have made it if I hadn’t chipped in and helped out’ and that gives many people a greater sense of satisfaction, than say just buying something off the internet or chucking a couple of quid into a charity bucket.

There’s also the independence that it offers, if per se you were to get the funds you needed from an investor, they will, more than likely expect something in return, whether it’s the payback of funds once a profit has been made, or an involvement in executive decisions that is not always welcome. Unlike a bank loan, (another option people looking to start their own business have), crowd-funding offers a freedom from high-interest repayments that can often be utterly overwhelming for start-ups and small businesses.
That’s not to say that it’s not without its downsides however, making it can take a lot of hard work and you do need a really good idea to capture the imagination of the public and convince them to part with their hard-earned cash, especially in the current economic climate which has seen many people suffer a huge cut in their disposable income. There’s also the “all or nothing” policy that some crowd-funding platforms like Kickstarter for example operate with. Some will opt for a smaller target figure than what they really need to try and minimise the risk of not making anything at all and there is also the chance that you will raise a substantial amount, an amount that could get your idea/company going places, but just fall short of that mark you need to get it all!

In saying that though, I still think crowd-funding is worth the risk and a great way for the public to get involved with those who are inventing, innovating and trying to make a difference!

Kickstarter pic

Achieving Your Full Potential With Fulfilling Employment

Recently I have been volunteering with a private organisation that aims to help people get into employment by offering assistance with CV development, interview technique improvement, personal development, confidence building and the like. I was also asked to give a speech about what it was like setting up my own business with BODO. It felt good to be able to share my experiences with others who were thinking of doing the same thing and I can only hope that I was able to offer some good advice and inspirations to those who turned up to listen to me!
It’s something that’s always been a passion of mine, whether through the employment decisions I have made, (many of the roles I have worked in over the years, in the private and public sectors, have been primarily focussed on helping people gain long-term fulfilling employment) or stuff that I do in my spare time. I’ve always tried to help as many people as I can, from looking over CV’s for friends and acquaintances or offering tips and guidance about what to expect and how to present oneself in interviews.
I think finding a job that you love and that is fulfilling is a big part of being happy in life and I’ve always been determined to help as many people as I can to achieve this. Sometimes a job is just a means to an end, a way to feed the kids or pay the bills, but I honestly believe it can be so much more. Helping people to believe in themselves, hone their skills and achieve their full potential is something I believe is so important if we are to beat poverty and combat the negative effect it has upon society and the individual!

The Ramblings Of A Recently Married Man!

As my regular readers and close friends will know, on Tuesday 6th May, I married my fiancé and girlfriend of 6 wonderful years,Wedding4 Nadir Ismail. It was a small ceremony, which as I mentioned last week, we did because we wanted to tie the knot before our baby came along.

Saying our vows

Saying our vows

Our actual wedding party is scheduled to take place in Tobago next year and so on Tuesday, we said our vows with just a few close friends and family members in attendance.

We didn’t want to make a big fuss about it, as we don’t want to detract from our Caribbean wedding (watch out for party pics of guests in bikinis, shorts and BODO sandals!)

That being said, it was still an amazing day and now I am a happily married man! It feels strange when I think about it, but at the same time, nothing that much has changed if you know what I mean.

My fiancé and I have lived together for the last 6 years, so we are pretty used to each other’s habits by now, it’s not like the olden days when after getting married you moved in together and were in for the shock of your life (especially if your other half’s toilet training wasn’t up to scratch)!

But still, it does feel good to have made my commitment “official” so to speak and for those of you who enjoy looking at wedding snaps, I’ve included a few pictures of the day!

Exchanging rings

Exchanging rings

Preparing To Tie The Knot!

As I write this article, my mind is going a million miles an hour as I try frantically to schedule in all the things I have to do in the next few

Me & My Fiance Nadir just after I proposed in Tobago!

Me & My Fiance Nadir just after I proposed in Tobago!

days. Those who know me well, will know that being busy is standard practice for me these days, since I started the social enterprise BODO, I don’t really get much of a chance to sit still.

But this last week has been even more hectic than usual, for in the next few days, I will be marrying my beautiful fiancé! Since my proposal during an amazing holiday in Tobago a few years ago, my fiancé and I had planned to have a Caribbean wedding – but as is often the case, life got in the way! We were unable to arrange it for the time we initially pencilled it, in February of 2013 but had planned to do it this year instead. However, when my misses discovered she was pregnant, everything changed!

We both decided we should marry before our child came into this world and so we set about arranging to get registered – for we still want to tie the knot in the Caribbean and have the actual ceremony on the beautifully picturesque island of Tobago. It’s not that I think having children out of wedlock is wrong, I’d never judge anyone for making that choice, but this is just the way we wanted to do things! To be honest, I’ve been so busy, that I haven’t had time to feel nervous, but as the day draws closer, the excitement is creeping in! It feels strange to think that by the time I post this article on Friday, I will be a married man and I’m really looking forward to it!

The Quest For New Investment

As any CEO will tell you, setting up your own startup can be an expensive business with lots of hidden costs. Since the turn of the new Investment picyear, as well as putting a great deal of effort into ensuring all the BODO websites are up and running and of the kind of standard that reflects our ambition, I have also been on the lookout for new investments. Because of some unforeseeable circumstances, it became apparent very early on in 2014, that BODO would need a new injection of cash. I had to do some serious belt-tightening and budget-shuffling, but I made it work because the alternative did not bear thinking about. Now I am focussing my attention on bringing in a new investor in order to secure BODO continues to grow and that we realise our ambitions and dreams.
I am pleased to say that I have had interest from a number of different sources, but I’m not willing to rush into anything. I think for me, one of the most important things when considering potential new investors is to ensure that BODO’s vision and ethics are not compromised in any way, shape or form. Some negotiations have proved promising, but I am always on the lookout for other options and so if you know anyone who you think would want to get on board, then please get in touch at peterlochan@bodofootwear.com. I am quietly confident that in the very near future, I will be bringing you good news about BODO and our expansion.