Greetings from mifold on a sunny February morning! So where are we at? I am pleased to report that the total number of mifold units sold to date exceeds 200,000 and whilst we are no longer able to publicise our sales figures, I can excitedly tell you that it looks like we will more than double our sales in 2017. As an illustration of our growth, remarkably mifold now has 50 different language permutations of packaging to suit its growing list of markets.
Since I last blogged we have appointed our new VP of Sales for the US, Matt Dawes who we heartily welcomed into the fold. He will be responsible with Mark for rolling out mifold into brick and mortar retail stores in the US. We gave him a whirlwind induction which obviously included a team night out given that Robert was also in town (any excuse!) and a behind the scenes tour of a beer factory. Mark did not let us down when he took up the challenge of having a one shot chance of scoring a basketball hoop to win a crate of beer. Thanks Mark! To be fair the beer was the icing on the cake after an outing to listen to Jon’s famous talk on how to be an effective crowd funder at the Crowd Funding Million Dollar Club. He was actually quite good and I will objectively say, definitely the best speaker of the night!
Besides honing his basketball skills, Mark has been consumed with the official launch of mifold with Canadian Tire in Canada and at Buy Buy Baby stores in the US. In fact we have hardly seen him as he has been industriously preparing marketing material, presentations, pitches and packaging options with the aim of proving to their buyers just how fabulous mifold is! He also closed a fantastic deal in Singapore offering 10,000 customized mifold booster seats to Grab taxis.
Ken continues to shine in his VP Business Development capacity; in the last few weeks, we have signed exclusive distribution agreements in Italy and in Poland and have several more agreements in the pipeline. In addition to this, mifold is now available to buy in stores in Dubai, at Canadian Tire in Canada, at Shell Petrol Stations, Babies R Us and Toys R US in Hong Kong and in John Lewis in the UK amongst several others, showing that our distributors are now using a variety of online and offline sales channels to get mifold into their markets. All our distributors have found the initial feedback to mifold launching in their respective markets has been very very positive.
Chile, Russia, Japan, Israel and Thailand have now also received their mifold orders and we expect Germany, Spain, France, Taiwan, Singapore and Malaysia will be receiving theirs in the next few days and weeks. It is extremely thrilling for us to be seeing all these markets launching mifold at last!
Davide has been promoted to Senior Brand Manager - congratulations Davide! He has been supporting Mark in his endeavours as well as creating glossy new brochures for our distributors and their retailers and finalizing artwork, labelling and packaging in line with the regulatory requirements of each country with whom we have a distribution agreement. Finally mifold will be getting massive exposure in languages other than English. This month, he jetted off to Phoenix, Arizona to meet our new digital marketing agency ZOG Digital and join them at a Digital Innovations Summit. He was definitely the best placed person from our office to visit them as everyone else far exceeds their average age. We pined for him in his absence but were rewarded on his return with an obscene amount of chocolate. Feel free to travel more often Davide!
Robert has his fingers in a vast number of pies and we would be lost without him. As the logistics and production challenge of delivering customised mifold all over the world in greater numbers gets ever more complicated he seems to manage the process with grace and ease. Most recently he managed to get 12 containers filled with mifold booster seats out from our factory in China before the Chinese New Year shutdown – no mean feat!
Jon has spent much of the past two months abroad travelling to Hong Kong, Tokyo, Taiwan and South Korea. He was able to give a major boost to the PR and Marketing drive of our Hong Kong Distributors Joywood Asia with a plethora of press interviews and market meet up events. He met with bloggers and market influencers in Japan and Taiwan and with regulatory officials in South Korea. It’s lucky that the majority spoke English!
Rayna has overhauled our payroll system and upgraded our accounting proceses to ensure that we continue to be paid in a timely manner and similarly to ensure that all our suppliers are efficiently paid as well. As we speak she is now tackling our year-end accounts. Whilst she uses the most amount of stationery in the office we cannot imagine life without her! As a result of her industry background, we are now the proud owners of a petty cash safe and very smart and sturdy plastic pockets in all our files.
Rachel has been regularly connecting with bloggers, and is getting to know the ins and outs and highs and lows of social media. She and I continue to receive an interesting array of customer enquiries. There has been some chatter about the changes in EU car seat regulations and we have happily been able to reassure those concerned that existing car booster seats such as mifold are NOT affected by the new rules.
As a team we have a new obsession with Ted Talks and have a monthly Ted Talk showing in our office on a random but inspiring subject. This month was Rayna’s choice - Art Benjamin, the mathemagician amazed us with his maths genius and we were also lucky enough to attend a whole day of live Ted Talks as part of our Company’s self-development program.
2017 has indeed started off exceedingly well – there is a buzz in the office as the team, mifold’s markets and sales expand and we very much expect this to continue throughout the year.
I have saved the most exciting piece of information ’til last…..drumroll please…. we are the proud owners of a new dishwasher in the office! Yippee - no more piles of dirty cups and dishes in our tiny sink - well only a pile up until they are loaded into the dishwasher. We are at last…..truly spoilt here at mifold!
Have fun wherever you are!