Big Al and his bicycle
Big Al was 34, married and had a well established career. He liked to cycle everywhere as he was very concious of the effects that carbon emissions from cars had on the atmosphere. He rarely bought anything new and only every bought something if it was necessary. He told us he liked to shop in charity shops and would often get old things repaired instead of buying new ones. He was exactly the kind of person we wanted our buisness to appeal to.
We began brainstorming ideas for a buisness and came up with several from vegetable allotments to organic fairtrade restaurants to phone apps. We eventually decided on a sharing scheme as so many people had garages, sheds and attics overflowing with things they hardly ever used. Our idea was to share space, to have somewhere that people could store their rarely used or seasonal items but also share them with others in the community. And so The CommuniTay Attic was born!
Brainstorming buisness ideas
Photos that inspired our buisness proposal.
We then went on to do research into other existing companies such as CouchSurfing, SplitStuff and EcoBees. We also needed a location for our company and looked into various warehouses in and around Dundee. We decided it was also be a good idea to have a van with which we would offer a delivery and collection service. As part of our company we also decided on a website on which our customers would have the oppertunity to book out items for however long they needed them. Each person would have a login name and password and must be a member in order to reserve items. A yearly membership fee of £10 per year per person would be charged and that means they had unlimited access to anything in our attic for the year. However we were open to non members aswell and a fee of £5 per item would be charged each time they wanted to book an item out. Each member must sign a contract detailling their responsibilites of the items in their care and stating that they were liable to pay any fees in the event of damage. However, if the product was damaged through general wear and tear then obviously we as a company would foot the bill.
We got in contact with a few companies including B&Q in the hope that they would support our buisness venture. We were looking for them to donate or give us a discounted rate on any items to help get our buisness started as well as the products we would recieve from our customers. The Right Signs helped draw up the artwork of our van and agreed to donate the signs free of charge in exchange for the advertising benefit they would recieve. Spokes a local bicycle company also said they would assist with repairs.
As with being an eco friendly company we needed eco friendly products... we looked into a variety of these from smart log splitters to solar powered BBQs and lawn mowers. These were some of the items we hoped B&Q would donate us.
Overall I really enjoyed the project and it has given me a better insight into what is involved in setting up and running a successful business. Everyone in the group contributed fairly and I think we worked really well as a team.