October 27th, 2015
How time flies! I can’t believe it is 12 months since I took a leap of faith, gave up my job and got to work on creating the Borroclub. We’ve now officially been trading for 12 months, (although I count our official birthday as 1st January 2015 when we launched our website.) Maybe we can have 2 birthdays?
So what has happened in the last 12 months?
Back in August 2014, I was clearing out my garage getting ready for a car boot sale… sigh! Quite frankly it was a mess but when I looked to see what I could get rid of, there wasn’t actually much that I was happy to lose. I realised how much stuff I had sitting around gathering dust but that at the same time I wanted to hold on to, in case I needed it again in the future. That night I sat down for dinner with the family and told them about my idea, how I wanted to keep things but let other people use them too. The enthusiasm from my kids was amazing, they were also keen to get involved in the business and they did! We’ve had family outings with Borroclub to the local events such as Go Green Fairs and all of us have been keen to get the “don’t buy it borro it” message out there!
We set to work building the website and we had so many ideas flying around it was difficult to know where to begin. That’s when we decided to launch the service in its basic form and get feedback from our early adopters. It was the best thing we could have done because now we have a website co-created with our members incorporating what works best for them.
We want to say a massive THANK YOU to all of you who have helped us! From your feedback we now offer a collection and delivery service, we take all payments online, we rate our members and have started working with some wonderful charities.
We are still in the early stages of trading as we have been focusing on getting the service right rather than marketing but even so, we have been able to put people in touch with each other and seen our first borrows happen. People have found us on the internet and borrowed all manner of things. My highlight to date is a lady called Linda who borrowed a pink gazebo posted by Age UK, to host a baby shower for a friend, (pink for a girl in case you were wondering). Linda’s friend had a great day and the money from this transaction went straight to Age UK. How cool is that?
As a tech business we frequently get associated with a word which I hate ALGORITHMS these are bits of code that work out artificial connections/links/associations etc. For me, Borroclub is more about what happens offline, the PEOPLE STUFF; we have connected strangers who want to lend/borrow items. I have met most of our members personally, one favourite is Dave who borrowed a jet washer to clean his patio. When I delivered it to him I looked at his patio and said to him, “there is no way you going to get this done in 2 days” but when I collected it on the Sunday evening not only had he cleaned the patio but varnished most of it as well! He told me he had to finish before the jet washer was due to be returned that night. It hadn’t occurred to me until then, that when we buy things, not only do we spend the money on the item but because it is always there, we can dip in and out of doing the job and quite often it takes a lot longer but if you have to hand the item back then you get the job done, so thanks Dave!
What else… belief
Belief in this concept started with me and the family and then the early Borroclub members who signed up to the website. Then we started to get belief from larger organisations and in the space of three months we had won a hat trick of awards from Marriott Hotels & The Solihull Observer, British Chambers of Commerce & Solihull Chamber and most recently funding from Climate KIC who liked that our service encourages the reuse of items.
It’s not about what we do its about why we exist (I got this from a talk from Simon Sinek check out his talk on the Golden Circle on youtube)
Why does Borroclub exist? We want to connect people like Linda and Dave with people willing to share their things like Lorraine. We want to create connections, give people access to items in a more friendly and cheaper way, whilst helping the planet at the same time.
I have this grand plan of Borroclub being known as the middle ground between eBay and throw it away (I mean recycling of course, but it doesn’t rhyme). We’re not there yet but with the help of our great and growing members’ base I am sure we can reach this target in the future.
I will stop rambling now but I have to say a BIG thanks to everyone for helping Borroclub reach its 1st birthday and achieve some significant milestones in just 1 year.
All the best,