I can’t stop smiling today!
This has been an incredible experience. 10 small businesses have attended 10 intensive training sessions since we began in January. Many people who are amazing at what they do have given their time and expertise to us during the programme, and the training has been intensive. We covered aspects such as finance, goal setting, business plans, partnerships and collaborations, funding and growth, people and resources. So much information delivered by the most supportive group of people who want to see us go forward and succeed. We were also given individual mentors. Hugely wise and experienced business leaders who delivered coaching along the journey and opened up even more opportunities.
The finale involved all 10 businesses pitching for a £10,000 prize.
I was worried to say the least. The day had already started badly when I dropped my glasses down the loo, and almost arrived late to the event after the usual school run troubles.
I’d fluffed my pitch a hundred times to my poor bored family over the weekend. When I saw the other pitches I was amazed at the professional presentations. These businesses are all going places, and each one impressed me immensely.
Then it was my turn.
I was aware of my hands trembling, but I began to tell them about the terrible epidemic in equine obesity and laminitis and how equine nutrition is so badly misunderstood these days. About how most ridden horses will suffer with gastric ulcers to some degree. Then about how the first Trickle Net came from my horse Sully being so poorly with EMS, then losing him and putting the insurance pay out into the first batch of nets. About the customers who since tell us Trickle Nets have saved their horses lives. The Vets and the charities that use and recommend Trickle Nets. The customer testimonials and support, and the reputation Trickle Net has earned….
My pitch wasn’t so much about numbers graphs and data. In fact I stumbled when a judge asked me how many units I’d sold in the last 12 months. I didn’t have that answer ready, so I could only give him the turnover and the prices.
My pitch was about a huge and growing problem within the Equestrian Industry. 50% of our equine population is overweight. The Rescue societies are taking in more and more obese horses, and this is just as dangerous as being underweight. We are speaking to distraught horse owners regularly, calling us because their beloved animals are in serious trouble with laminitis. Most often as a result of obesity, and owners are ignorant to the danger. Laminitis and associated equine euthanasia is increasing. How as a species we are destroying ourselves with processed food and reduced exercise, and we are inflicting the same on our domestic animals! How performance horses are virtually guaranteed to suffer from gastric ulcers at some point….. and all of this is preventable with education and some pretty amazing products from Trickle Net.
I thought I might be boring this bunch of predominantly non horsey folk. Could they sympathise without having the passion for horses that we do?
They really got it. They understood entirely the scale of the problem we are looking at and the solution Trickle Net can offer.
The judges left to consider the pitches, and we were all nervously congratulating each other on some fabulous performances. The 10 businesses have been working together for weeks now, and I have never felt such genuine comradery and support within any competition before. You don’t get that in horsey competitions, apart from Eventing where everyone just wants everyone to survive! Though we didn’t treat it like a competition at all. We had all won already from the amazing training and support we’ve received.
The judges came back after only a short time…… was that a good thing? I wasn’t sure.
It was announced. ‘The winner is Trickle Net!’
I was blown away! I thought they might be joking for a second. I think I remained seated for a short while, waiting for that Oscar moment when they apologise and reveal the real winner.
They didn’t do that though. So I became quite emotional while I took the giant cheque and tried to process the situation.
I can honestly say the whole 10×10 experience has been incredible, and I’m so happy to have been awarded this prize. The spend is planned already. This summer, we are making a digital media campaign to raise awareness of Equine obesity and laminitis and educate horse owners. We have vets on board to give interviews and endorse Trickle Net products as a part of the solution. We also have a celebrity rider who should bring a bit of fun to the campaign.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart. With this money, we will save more horses.
Founder of Trickle Net.