Friday, 7 October 2016

Inspired business idea comes from a personal experience - Daniel Bridgewater

Dan Bridgewater left UoB in 2014 with a First Class Honours degree in Business Management with Communication. Ever since, hes been self-employed. His new business Buckt was born out of a personal experience and hes here to tell it, to inspire you to create your own opportunity.

Hi, I’m Dan. Over the past few months Ive been working on my new business: Buckt. Like all businesses, behind the idea is my story. 

What’s Buckt?

Buckt is a subscription box and digital community inspired by the idea of a bucket list. Each month subscribers get 8-10 activities delivered to their door: surprise tickets to top attractions and venues, discounts on higher end bucket list activities, exclusive invitations from our partners and money-can’t-buy bucket list challenges.

With a crowdfunder around the corner (which you can support here -
- cheeky plug!), a pitch for £20,000 in the Baldwins Kickstart competition coming up (we’re in the final wahoo), our official launch on the horizon AND an exciting yet slightly daunting level of demand already for the product, there’s a ton I’m learning. Hopefully I’ll be able to share some things with you throughout this blog.

Where did the idea for Buckt come from?

The story behind Buckt is pretty sad, which is surprising considering Buckt is about bringing joy and happiness to subscribers!

So, picture the scene. Ive just broken up with my girlfriend of five years. The reality of the situation has hit me. Im at home, down in the dumps, and feeling at an all time low.  

I cant remember why - whether Id read something online or what - but I decided to write a bucket list: things I wanted to achieve by the end of 2016; everything I wanted to do but hadnt had the chance.

Honestly, it was pretty therapeutic. For that moment, I had forgotten about the situation I was in and had something to look forward to. On my first Valentines Day single, you know what I did? Threw myself off a 160ft crane (I was attached to a bungee cord thankfully) I wouldnt have done that or gone to yoga, or adopted a tiger, or rode a horse, or meditated and so many other cool things without writing the bucket list.

A few weeks later I was thinking about an idea I had whilst at university about a ticket subscription box and then it clickedWhat about a bucket list subscription box?

A bucket list is a really cool concept. It means so many different things to different people: escape, excitement, a way to forget about getting old, fulfilment of a desire to try new things. For me, it gave me hope. Buckt will mean something different to every person that subscribes to it in the same way that a bucket list means something different to every person that has one. It is for that reason - the way it can make people happy in so many different ways - why I truly believe Buckt be something special.

So what have I learned so far?

1.    Talk and listen to people! I got the idea for Buckt whilst on a business incubator called Entrepreneurial Spark with another business, so didnt really think much more about it. About 9 months later I was chatting to one of my employees and I ended up telling him about Buckt. He loved it. His passion reignited my passion for the idea.

2.    It has to be wanted to gain customers. Having a passion wasnt enough. I needed to show that people actually wanted it. I identified a problem I wanted to solve (that many people were fed up with the mundaneness and repetition of their lives), but needed proof others felt the same. Of 78 people that have completed our validation survey so far, 94% either likeor really likethe idea. Around 60% are likelyor very likelyto subscribe. If figures like that dont give you confidence to move forward with an idea, I dont know what will!

3.    Be prepared for challenges. Ive tried a few ventures. Some have worked successfully, some have failed. This has encouraged me to always talk publicly about my ideas and my progress to potential customers to ensure validation and to move forward with it.

4.    Find your area of expertise, and stick with it.  If you dabble in lots of areas, like me at first, (covering multiple sectors) it can confuse customers, making your personal brand weaker.

5.    Manage customer expectations. Customers needs to make a judgement on facts, not spin. If they dont, theyll end up extremely disappointed. For us, we need to be clear about price and whats in the boxes, making sure our messaging reflects this.

So, what next?

The January launch. But before this, we have our crowdfunder, which you can support here and the Baldwins Kickstart competition. Its going to be tiring, intense, stressful, but well make it work.

Our aim is to get tons of people signed up, who can enjoy and delight in some of the best and most unique attractions in the region.

Once thats done, well scale. Well go to London, Manchester and from there - well, who knows?!

Somewhere hot and sunny would be nice.

All the best at Birmingham,


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