For many small businesses, the costs associated with being able to access some of the industry’s most useful tools can be high - and this can prevent companies from reaching their full potential.
Talking Digital with Matthew Kendall, founder of airTeem®
However, at airTeem®, we overcame this barrier by spending time in our local library.
Formed by myself and business partner Ryan Godwin, airTeem® promotes an innovative body dryer concept, originally developed by Ryan’s father, Michael Godwin.
In 2014, I attended Central Library’s monthly Inventors Group, in the hope of networking and finding out more about how to protect our Intellectual Property (IP). That was when I discovered the extensive amount of support which is available for SMEs at the library's Business & IP Centre.
Working with the library when we initially built up our business proved an excellent source of networking and free resources. We could access market research tools, which would otherwise have cost us hundreds of pounds, to get key bits of marketing and PR material about our market and customers. We were able to use software which allowed us to produce our own publications and promotional information, all free of charge.
We took part in workshops which covered IP and copyright – something we found to be very important - and even had the opportunity to further our research and development work using 3D printers at the library.
Also, thanks to the information received via the Inventors Group and at IP & Patent clinics at the library, we were able to successfully register several product designs and five UK trademarks.
The library’s videoconferencing facility has also helped airTeem® develop and maintain a strong distribution network, with the company now exporting in five countries. Our hard work and brand commitment has resulted in a network developing throughout the UK and Europe, including secured distribution in Denmark, Norway, New Zealand and France. This progress takes us forward with confidence into our Silver Jubilee Year.
Central Library has been a great asset to airTeem® and I would recommend it and its services to any start-up or entrepreneur. We still attend workshops regularly to develop our skills, increase our understanding and to network.
For more information about the wide range of free resources on offer for small businesses and entrepreneurs at Central Library, go to www.manchester.gov.uk/bipc.