As we near the end of our start-up phase, we know that we have been sharing our journey with you. In this blog we reflect on our journey so far!
In May 2013 Searching for Skylarks Ltd formed to bring you the Cockpot™. We came up with the idea, quite simply, because we were socialising and wanted to make multiple cocktails rather than going in and out of the kitchen making individual cocktails. Our resources were limited and we didn’t have anything other than a teapot to hand, so we used that – and quickly realised that this well-used, shall we say, teapot was not quite up to scratch as it kept dripping, the lid kept falling off and generally it was not intended for cocktails (which was fair enough). However, the idea was fascinating, this was a novelty item, not available anywhere, which we found brilliant and so set to work to find out all of the ways in which we could improve this teapot and make it cocktail appropriate.
We thought of all of the things it needed. As we were using it and experimenting ice was slushing around in the old teapot blocking the spout and adding hard work to what was supposed to be an easy situation, so we needed something to hold the ice in one place and so the ice compartment was born.
As you would expect the teapot was very simple and very unappealing in white, not pattern, no colour, just white. This was not something that would catch your eye and draw you to it so what would? Cocktails are colourful, that is what makes them fun. Some add coloured cordials, alcohol and even fruit but none of this would be seen if our cocktail teapot were opaque, so it needed to be clear! Excellent, decision two done!
Next, how do we put our brand on to it? How do we ensure that when people see this cocktail teapot in the shops they know it is ours? This is where we came up with our designs, we chose five based on popularity from the market research you wonderful flockers did for us. They are going to look amazing!
What were we going to call our brand new cocktail teapot? We brainstormed lots of ideas with nothing fruitful so took a break to see if we could be inspired and it literally happened like a light bulb switching on in one of the skylark’s head while she was winding down to go to sleep, she called a meeting and announced ‘Cockpot’, we were all a little stunned but it was so simple and so effective Cocktail teapot – Cockpot!
Now we were on a roll flockers!. We had our product, now to make it happen, we needed to build relationships, create business plans, construct strategies, gather information on who our target market(s) should be, build interest for our product and all in between. Looking at this now it looks very difficult but one rule we always say in the nest is ‘you’re only allowed to panic about one thing a day’!
Our first port of call was to determine interest for the Cockpot™, it was all very well us loving the idea but we can’t sustain a business by ourselves. We sent out market research questionnaires to all of the willing candidates for feedback, the information we received from that was invaluable as initially we thought the Cockpot™ would be perfect for the wedding industry. However, it is ridiculously hard to get hold of people in order to get the market research we needed, how would we determine whether or not it would be viable, we could not get anyone to answer our questions. Then we were lucky enough to hear from hitched.co.uk who were happy for us to post our survey but it received challenging feedback! We took this on board and decided it best to change our tactic – the questionnaires answered by our flockers showed us the personal use and giftware was the best way to go and so we had our first product family and our focus area. Yay!
Now knowing the price points, attractiveness and the popular features of the Cockpot™ we could begin.
Luckily one of the team had contacts in London and was able to get in touch with a pattern designer, Carrie Osborne, who could create fabulous designs for our Cockpots™ and she kindly agreed to help. We briefed Carrie on all of the information we received from you and got to work on them – we will be showcasing the finished product this week so be alert flockers!
With regards to the ice compartment and easy pouring solution we commissioned designs of what we pictured to be taken to suppliers for sourcing, it had to be perfect as the whole point of a Cockpot™ is to make life easier for our flockers. After consulting with a few people and doing lots of research ourselves we found the perfect match. Now we eagerly await prototypes so that we can show you our vision in the flesh and of course run tests for quality to ensure everything is perfect for launch!
Behind the scenes, the nest has been flapping its feathers for the past six months to ensure everything is running effortlessly. We have had many highs and a few lows, but we all adapt to changes and keep going. Since October we have had a brilliant time on social media getting to know you all and making some fantastic virtual friends, we love the networking hours and are being asked for advice from others to strengthen their social media campaign. It is important to us to build and maintain a lovely relationship with our flockers and we have had a blast doing so thus far.
Throughout business you must always be open to change and compromise, in our previous blog of 5 entrepreneurial skills you didn’t know you needed, one specified that you should always allow yourself to be surprised. Awareness of this has been such a brilliant tool. Since May we have been surprised by many things – our own abilities, the willingness of others to help, how powerful the simple things can be and if somebody isn’t willing to help you, find a way to help yourself. We have made some changes and tweaked a few things. We have been accepted on to the High Growth Programme. We have expanded our product families to bars, restaurants, retail and yes events such as weddings. With hard work, devotion, tenacity and some amazing word of mouth promotion from our flockers we are making our mark all over the shop, so to speak. After attending the business show last week we have had many contacts get in touch and we have been offered the chance to pair with some alcohol brands and even the option to create our own branded drinks… this is just the beginning, watch this space.