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Bee Good - Bee Good

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Bee Good - Bee Good

Success story: Bee Good

 

Simon Cavill, founder of Bee Good, pitched in Southampton and London during series 3 of 2012 and has gone on to work with the ex MD of Revlon UK. Hear about his experience…

 

"I’m a serial hi-tech entrepreneur having setup and run several businesses over the past couple of decades.  About 10 years ago, I started to keep bees as at the time it was the most non-technical pastime I could think of. After a year or two we started selling some of the honey we produced and so Bee Good was born originally as a memorable name on the jar labels. From that we started to use the harvested beeswax, honey and propolis to make lip balms and hand creams that friends and family loved, so we started making more of it and selling it online and at local farmers markets and school fetes etc.  

 

Bee Good is a producer of bee-related organic personal care and cosmetics products. We are experienced beekeepers based in rural Hampshire and we make a range of award winning personal care products from the honey, beeswax and propolis carefully harvested from our beautiful bees. We want to share our passion for honeybees and the important products they produce with others and are developing a new range of organic and all-natural personal care products that are much "better than Burt's" and made from locally sourced beeswax, honey and propolis from sensitively managed bees. These products will be stocked and sold through a number a major UK retailers and online stores. We also have plans to sell our products to several overseas markets primarily in the Middle East and far Eastern markets

 

Unlike Europe and elsewhere in the world, the vast majority of beekeepers are amateurs and there are very few commercial beekeepers in the UK.  We have a real passion and drive to support and encourage this sector by actively sourcing additional supplies of beeswax, honey and propolis from those larger beekeepers who like us have a strong ethical and organic focus to the raising and the management of their bees as a key part of the UK agricultural sector.

 

Sales have grown steadily over the past few years and in the meantime, having entered and won the cosmetic class of several county beekeeping shows for the past four years in a row, it eventually dawned on me that we really should look into developing Bee Good from a family run micro-company into a full-fledged business.

 

I approached a few trusted friends with the concept of developing and selling a range of wholly organic, ethically sourced bee-related personal care products through the UK retail channel and elsewhere and the response was overwhelming positive with several offers of funding.  However, whilst I was completely confident in our products, brand values and the fact that there was a potential market for the Bee Good range, I was hesitant as I had absolutely no experience of the personal care market or how to deal with the retail sector as a supplier.

 

Our sales continued to grow and we began to struggle in making sufficient products at home.  We needed to expand to the next level and had contacted a contract manufacturer, but felt we lacked industry knowledge.     

 

I had worked with Richard Thayer from the M3 Job Club many years before and had exchanged contacts with him on LinkedIn. After I had negotiated an exit from my last company I was at a loose end and went along to the M3 Job Club where I got involved with their entrepreneur group supporting others just beginning their journey with some of my 20 plus years of experience. From that I heard about the Pitching for Management scheme and made contact through Richard.

 

Although we already had a number of offers to provide the funding, and we knew that the products were good with a strong and recurring local demand, I felt that Bee Good lacked any expertise in dealing with the retail sector - we really needed someone with expertise in pitching personal care products to the major supermarkets and other key outlets.

 

I was decided to pitch in Southampton at very short notice and went mainly to understand what went on. Because I didn’t know what to expect, I was very surprised that the presentation went down so well and was contacted by several people with more offers of funding and support from that event. However, I then followed that up with another pitch at the Christmas event in London and again our presentation was very warmly received (as were the free samples!) and there we were approached by several people including the ex MD of Revlon UK with decades of experience in the personal care sector and dealing with the retail channel in the UK and elsewhere. After a short discussion, he has decided to join us and is taking a very active role in preparing presentations to a number of major UK supermarkets and other key retail outlets. 

 

We were in a slightly different position to most start-up companies in that we were already trading and had offers of further funding, but I think it's really difficult to find the expertise you require at a senior level so these events were extremely useful to the continuing development of Bee Good into a strong business.  I would say that from previous experience at a prior pitch, it's really important to have a very strong idea of exactly what type of people you want and more importantly what makes you attractive to them. I cannot think of a more efficient and rapid way of getting the key people you need to grow a business from start-up to a fully viable profitable company than something like Pitching for Management.

 

Our engagement with Pitching for Management has completely changed the pace and nature of the business and we hope to be in the UK retail channel by mid summer 2013."

 

www.beegood.co.uk

Bee Good - Bee Good

"Through Pitching for Management, we found one of our core team in an evening. I can't think of another way this could possibly have happened so swiftly."


Steffan Aquarone, CEO, Droplet

Bee Good - Bee Good

Bee Good - Bee Good