Michael Corrigan, CEO of Trtl, the travel pillow business, believes that certain of his company’s best decisions was turning down a £200,000 investment at the 11th hour — though it meant spending a lot of money in legal fees.
“Our gut feeling was that the goals of the investors weren’t aligned using what we wished to do,” he says. “We made a decision to leave and focus our attention on visiting the travel retail fair at Cannes.”
It was a gamble that paid. Despite struggling to cover the trip, the wide selection of retailers, travel and distributors bloggers he met in those couple of days changed the direction of the business and led to press coverage.
“That wouldn’t have happened if we didn’t walk from the amount of money away,” he says. “Sales shall exceed £10m this season and we haven’t taken any bank finance — there’s just been a little bit of an overdraft and the belief to back ourselves.”
Corrigan was inspired to become a business owner after hearing a talk by Sir Tom Farmer, the founder of tyre business Kwik-Fit, when he was studying mechanical engineering at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, in ’09 2009.
However, it had been while brainstorming with friends concerning just how long train journeys could possibly be made convenient a business idea took shape. They eventually developed the idea of a scarf with a concealed internal neck support.
Although the venture has been featured on a BBC Scotland documentary and on hit Television show Dragons’ Den, social media marketing has played a far more significant role in the last couple of years arguably.
“Each day we were selling around five units, but after being featured within an online article this went around five an full hour,” Corrigan explains. “The complete story was then shared on Facebook and we finished up selling a lot more than 1,000 in eight hours. It was game-changing absolutely.”
The company is poised to market its one millionth unit, and contains sent its products into a lot more than 70 countries. A Kickstarter campaign for a adjustable version fully, Trtl Pillow Plus, has raised a lot more than £ already;180,000 in pledges.
Corrigan it&rsquo insists;s vital that you benefit from the process — and give up never. “You should love the day-to-day realise and grind it’s concerning the journey,” he says. “It’s also important to obtain the right people and become clear about your values.”
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