In case you missed part 1 of my Dragons’ Den story, check it out here.
Part 2 is covering what’s happened since I’ve been in the den.
It’s safe to say that the nerves of being on national TV had now kicked in hard, I was shitting myself well and truly. One of the positive things is that I had so much to sort out that I didn’t get much chance to worry about what might happen on TV, I was kept so busy that all the normal things people would worry about didn’t even enter my head.
The date was looming, there was so much that needed sorting and I knew there was no way I could manage it all on my own.
We decided to stop using our social media manager just before Xmas.We had no one to man our pages for the biggest week of our business life, and I just wouldn’t have the time to manage them myself. It was hard trying to find anyone over the Xmas period, whilst looking, I spoke with a marketing company who had dealt with a client who had already featured on Dragons Den. They said MAKE SURE you have the servers to cope with the traffic you’ll get from being on BBC. Their client’s site had crashed as soon as the show went live! This was golden advice. We had 2 weeks to go, not a problem!
We’d been building a new website for the last 6 months, it was almost near completion. Our U.S web designers were also on holiday for Xmas. We had to draft in an Indian company who weren’t on holiday to finish off the site. I use upwork.com for finding last-minute freelancers around the world.
The days before air date were spent adding photos and content to the site. This went right up to 10 minutes before air, when I was still uploading photos
LIVE: On Air…
My girlfriend shouted me saying “YOU’RE ON TV”. My little boy was shouting “papa” at the TV. I couldn’t watch, I had my hands over my ears.
I watched it like a crying girl, as I said in my last post, I hate the sound of my own voice.
I ran upstairs to my laptop, which had frozen due to the sheer amount of social media comment notifications – it was mad. There was over 400 alone on my personal facebook!
One of my marketing staff then called me to tell me my website had gone down! Turns out my web developer forgot to move it across to the new server. WHYYYYYYYYY?
We quickly moved server, and that also crashed, it was chaos! The website we’d slaved our guts over for the past week had completely stopped working! Frustrating as it had been 8 months work, but it actually turned out for the best as we made a quick decision to forward everything through to our Hubspot enquiry page asking for an email address.
PRO TIP: If you’re ever expecting a lot of traffic MAKE SURE you have a server that can handle it. I recommend Amazon S3. If not, use a simple landing page from a leading provider like Hubspot or Leadpages. This honestly was a blessing in disguise as it got us a ton of new leads!
The aftermath of the Den…
We had 120 solid enquires overnight. These had all submitted their details and needed a quote.
The next morning I had to be up at 6am to do a live interview on BBC Radio Leeds breakfast show to talk about my appearance on Dragons Den.
Then I came into the Igloo Disco office and had to deal with the enquiries that were still coming in thick and fast. It was manic, but I was happy. The exposure I had gotten from Dragons Den was obviously turning out to be a massive positive.
I decided to dedicate a staff member to answering the phone alone. And stopped them from working on any of her normal tasks, as the phone was ringing CONSTANTLY all day every day for a 2 week period.
The problem was, people wanted to speak to ME personally, so every 20 mins between 9am – 7pm everyday I had calls booked in. Everyone was extremely complimentary and mentioned how much my passion had come across on the show. It meant a lot me to be honest, because I knew I was really passionate about this business – but for other people to believe in me like this made it feel like I really was onto something special.
People are still calling the office now, every day (although not as fast). We’re still inundated with REALLY good enquiries and people wanting to talk directly to me. In total we received just over 1000 enquiries in the past 4 weeks since the Den.
In that period, we’ve done 4 months worth of business. Our year end accounts fell on the 31st Jan, and we’re predicting a profit of £40-£60k.
My business is now running exactly how I wanted it to.
We’ve had to employ 2 new full-time staff to accommodate the amount of bookings we’ve taken. The business has easily grown by 25% in the 4 weeks and we’re already looking at moving into a bigger warehouse and office space.
I’m pleased the BBC decided to keep in the 2nd bit about me being told “I’d either end up in jail or a millionaire after school” after this experience, I’m definitely a step closer to the latter.
Thanks for your support
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