Why? I want usable and I want easy. I want a way that I don't have to be an expert in social media to promote my business and I want more reach to other business people, that was the vision.
Some of the biggest challenges I have faced and continue to face in my business life aren't unique to me. From wanting more contacts to turn into customers to understanding how your business can get better on-line exposure. Being generally time poor is a daily reality for most business owners / operators where the day to day gets in the way of enhancing and growing.
I love business networking groups, they always have positive people and the people running them do a great job but could I commit to one every week, no. Could I be part of something that I can particpate with in my own time and on-line? Sure, but what is it and where is it?
We are all budget conscious in business and want the maximum return for our spend. The vast majority of us have to rely on third parties to promote our business at a cost, generally because we don't have time and if we did, do we know how to do it as in "really do it"?
In 2012 I had an Idea - What about building "something" to do it to support business?
Four years later, things have galloped along in the way we interact on-line. I believe that in TBC [thebusinessclub] we have created a real business tool, one thats easy to use, accessible and will support even the novice in getting better business exposure.
Cue - thebusinessclub.com
More luck than anything, the domain I had waited for to make it all work came up at auction , the bidding started. After a sleepless night of bidding and checking the auction on my mobile, I woke to success, we won the domain name thebusinessclub.com. How much did it cost? More than I thought it would, but it was key to the project....Let the journey begin!
We have a budget and are self funded [by me], finding a team to deliver the first web based version was a challenge. I've built platforms before and been burned on late delivery, this time i employed a team to build my vision.
When you watch something grow and you have both an emotional and finacial investment in it, you always want to make it better [I do anyway]. Not happy with the features of the first version, I added some more [Programming team going AARRGGHH] I figured it like this, its got be right, right?
Massive improvement but still something missing. Its in line with what I want in my head but now its built, whats missing? Time to take a step back and think.
Version after version and something is still missing. Taking that big step back and thinking didn't do anything other than chew up more of the budget. 2016 is around the corner and I still don't have a product i'm happy with, what to do? Reward the team for their patience and efforts, take Christmas off and revisit in January.
I found the missing piece, staring me in the face all the time but with the ever increasing modifications, we are late on delivery [My choice]. The original budget has been spent, we've come this far. Time to increase the funding [open bank of Russ again] to carry on.
Version 1.8, now we are really getting there and it feels great! We added the "missing part" and improved the other modules. Committed to myself that I wouldn't add or change anything until we GO LIVE.
Can we afford one? No Can we afford not to have one? No Increase the team and build an iOS and Android App, thats the plan. Cost? How much! OK, time to swallow and be brave, fortune favours the brave, right?
Get members and the business community engaged through crowd funding, great idea, how do we do that? I've always self funded my startups, and grown with limited borrowings, how do we do it? Found a local firm in Manchester UK to run me through it. One word springs to mind, MINEFIELD.
Shoot the promo movie, build the pitch and thats it right? NO, now we have to be accepted onto a platform to raise the funding, exciting but all very frustrating. The team in Manchester pushing hard to get us listed, somewhere, anywhere would be a step forward.
19 October 2016
Today we list on a crowd funding platform in the UK and the journey continues.
15 November 2016
BIG STEP! For sure but a logical one, we are creating a Club, why not offer members and the public the opportunity to buy shares in it. Great idea from Racefields in Manchester, a key part of our rollout team.