Local Kids Safety: Daniel Shortland
Following inspiration from successful ventures in the US, founder Daniel Shortland shares his kid’s safety accessories business
Name: Daniel Shortland
Company Name: Local Kids Safety
Staff numbers: 2
Location: South east
Date Launched: 01/11/2013
Tell us what your business does:
We have designed and produced an ID kit for children, the kIDpack, and other safety accessories.
Where did the idea for your business come from?
This product has been widely available for years in the US but there is no one providing the same product in the UK.
How did you know there was a market for it?
Missing children is a hot topic in the UK, Madeleine McCann is constantly in the news, and these type of kits are recommended by the FBI and PACT so it feels like it is a good time to start producing them in the UK.
What were you doing before starting up?
I have spent most of my working life in various sales jobs in the financial industry, such as pensions, loans and estate planning advice, which has given me the desire and drive to start my own business.
Have you always wanted to run your own business?
Yes, it’s been a dream of mine to run my own business for many years now. After my wife gave birth to our son, it made me realise that I needed a better work/life balance and running my own business seemed the ideal solution. I knew it would be hard work, possibly harder than working for someone else, but I would have the flexibility I needed for my family life.
How did you raise the money?
I borrowed some money from family and also used some of my own savings. As we start to grow then we will seek other funding.
What challenges have you faced and how have you overcome them?
Product design has been a challenge. Finding the right packaging concept, and trying to keep production costs as low as possible in order to keep the retail price low. We see this as a product every child in the UK should have and we do not want parents to be put off by the retail price.
Describe your business model and how you make money:
We plan to begin by selling the packs through our website, and ultimately to be in a major retailer. We have in mind Tesco as they are already interested in missing children. Our packs can also be used by businesses as a promotional tool, as we have developed a sponsored version which has space on the front cover for a full colour logo or message.
What was your first big breakthrough?
We have been given a very good price by the company that are assembling the packs for us. The company only employs those with learning difficulties and disabilities and they believe in the product. They have even asked us to produce a similar kit for vulnerable adults but we need to get the kIDpack started first.
What advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?
Find an original idea and run with it.
Where do you want to be in five years’ time?
I would like to be selling a pack for every child in the UK and in Europe.