….. “that which we call a rose”… sorry with a title like that I just couldn’t resist the mandatory Shakespearian moment! Have now recalled myself to the fact that I am a mumtrepreneur writing a blog, not a playwright! Back to business!
So hot on the heels of the death of idea number one comes idea number two. This is going to sound pretty random but as part of building my on-line presence (as per my previous blog, something I am told is mandatory if you are going to survive in the online market) I have followed 2000 people on twitter. Each evening, sat in front of the TV I click ‘follow’ a hundred times across a range of mum / baby related people / companies. It is a bizarrely addictive and time consuming activity, not least because I didn’t know until now that there is a secret twitter ratio which limits the number of people you can follow until you have a certain number of followers yourself – who knew?! Anyway I try and take a very brief look at everyone I follow to see if their idea competes with any of mine / is complementary to them etc. On one of these missions I came across a toy manufacturer whose products (on-line at least) look lovely and who I feel could be a moderate (for clarity we’re not talking fisher price standards here) success in the UK and possibly some of the other key markets. I randomly reached out to them and ended up a few skype conversations later agreeing to buy a sample order from them to test whether it has any viability in the UK.
So, all good. The order is on its way and it has been a great opportunity to learn some of the intricacies of becoming an importer, from international shipping options to HMRC laws and a whole host of other (frankly pretty boring) stuff.
One of the first things I need however is a name to trade under. This I assumed would be easy, I did my daily run, came up with the perfect solution and assumed that was the end of the problem. Imagine my dismay when I went home and plugged ‘Cheeky Rascal Toys’ into a search engine and was met with page after page of links to ‘rascal vibrating butt plugs’. Presumably not something even the most liberal minded of mothers is going to see as the ideal set of results when she comes looking for my little soft toy business! This situation went from comedy to farce pretty quickly as I ended up going through every idea I had only to find that I was unable to secure the domain name / facebook presence for any of them. This leaves me a bit high and dry and bizarrely stuck at what I assumed would be a pretty straightforward hurdle. My solution (such as it is) is to open the question up to all of my very clever friends to see if they can come up with anything suitable. If you’re reading this and have any ideas, please do share!
On that note I am off to come up with some more random names (i.e.. things that no one has thought of before and secured the domain name for) and to try and get to the bottom of the billions of codes HMRC have in their wisdom come up with to classify imported goods (if you phone their helpline even they appear to be a bit confused by their system and how complicated it has become!). I also plan to get to the bottom of the mysterious beast that is freight forwarding agents! Honestly how something that sounds so fun “I’ll set up a toyshop” can actually become so dull is a lesson in itself!
Ideas for a name on a postcard (or a tweet!) si‘l vous plait