Why there's opportunity to be found in the weirdest situations!
July 2017 | Jonny Edser
Why breaking my leg proved to be the turning point in the growth of my business!
Cast your mind back to the Summer of 2007 and for many of us it was a time of uncertainty as we started to enter the period which culminated in the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.
Wildgoose was approaching its 5th anniversary, we had been steadily growing each year, and up to that point we had what seemed a rosy future ahead. The demise of Lehman Brothers was still over a year away but the cracks were definitely starting to show in the global economy, and there was definite sense that the worst was yet to come.
It was also a time of great excitement for me personally as my wife and I were expecting our first child who we’d welcome into the world in January 2008. However, in August 2007 I was thrown a massive curveball when I badly broke my leg playing football. This was a massive blow because I was running over 100 events a year and mobilty was crucial as I criss-crossed the UK and Europe delivering team building events for our growing business. Not to mention a pregnant wife who needed my support!
However the knock-on effect proved to be a turning point for Wildgoose and it is these lessons that I want to share with you.
Learn to delegate and place trust in others!
I had to place my faith in our small team to go and deliver events for me. Now most business owners will agree that we all have this pre-programmed sense of self-importance that no-one can possibly be better than us at running our own business. That is until you start to let go of the control and give others responsibility!
Breaking my leg forced me to do that and I can honestly say that everyday someone in Wildgoose does something that amazes me. It was a harsh but great lesson but one that has become a key strand as we have continued to grow our business!
Take time out to think of the bigger picture.
One of the most important things for every business is to take time out for reflection, strategy and planning. However, that is easier said than done when you are up to your eyeballs in the day-to-day.
Now, whilst I wouldn’t recommend breaking your leg, it did force me to take some time out and reflect on the bigger picture. For months I had been struggling with an idea of how we could capitalise on those clients who enquired with us but didn’t have a much budget. I knew there was an opportunity there for us and this is how we came up the concept of ‘Wildgoose Takeaway’ which was an SMS-driven city centre adventure. It was unique, clever and opened up some new markets for us with the corporate and private sector.
More importantly, it gave us a low cost product to offer to budget-conscious corporates once the financial crisis starting to bite. And because it used Tech it wasn’t easy or cheap to copy so we had an advantage when most of our competitors were unwilling to make big capital investments due to the economic conditions. Timing is everything as they say.
Create products using tech that can scale.
Wildgoose Takeaway was our first foray into the world of tech and since then we have never looked back.
In 2010 we jumped onto the iPad and Smartphone revelation to build our GPS Challenge app which would change our business forever. Launched in 2011, our app has given us the ability to scale globally not only within the markets that we know well, but also into new markets where we can fuse our tech and know-how with experts in that field.
This ability to use tech to scale Wildgoose is so exciting but also helps build a platform for ongoing growth and stability.