Over the last 3 months I have started up my own business and launched my first product via the company. Its been a fun but very hard journey to do for multiple reasons, Here are some of the reasons why.
Starting the LTD Company
I have to say I found it pretty simple to start the company, I had to register with companies house and do a few bits to get all started but otherwise it was pretty simple.
Designing the kit
The kit went through three design variations, the first version was smaller and contained a voltage regulator but then got a lot hotter quicker than would have been ideal at the minimum end of the voltage regulators specification, from where it was so small it was pretty hard to solder and had no method of breaking out any pins for logic. The second version was scrapped straight away from where there was a mistake with the PCB and version 3 which is the released kit was the simplest and cheapest to produce at the right price point.
Fundraising the kit
Fundraising started off great, we got the amount of kits that we needed to make it possible and then LOTS more. The fundraiser was an huge success!
Then came issue 1: Paypal
I fully understand paypal denying me if it was my own personal account or if I was a sole trader from where their terms and conditions state “if you are an individual, be at least 18 years old”. When you then apply this to my company it makes no sense, instead it is Ryanteck LTD. and is not counted as an individual to anyone else (The bank use Ryanteck LTD. on the paperwork.) After a lot of hassle with them I finally got the fundraiser money off them and then continued with the making of the kits.
Issue 2: Parts
The kit is a pretty simple kit, its a total of 6 different components with one of them being our PCB. The PCBs arrived pretty quickly and in great quality from Ragworm.eu and we tested over 50 of them and they all worked great, but the other components was a bit of a hassle.
Tip 1 – Price on more expensive components
Even if you are going to go with a cheaper supplier I recommend you base your costings on the more expensive suppliers or get an average cost from multiple suppliers. It takes extra time but if the cheapest supplier does not have that component in stock then you will need to go to the more expensive ones which cost more.
In the end I went to 5 different suppliers instead of the 1 I planned to buy everything off. Most of the components cost 5-10P more per unit but one component costing 10P less a unit. Luckily we calculated in case this happened so were fine.
We had all of the components finally arrive Mid December, when I had the components I packaged them into small anti-static bags and stuck labels on ready to be posted off. For the packaging I counted the components out instead of using scales as some components wouldn’t pick up on the scales.
After I then brought jiffy bags and sticker labels that I then printed on the postage addresses and a PPI image from Royal Mail to pay for postage in bulk. Finally after they were all packaged up and waiting for the rest of the postal information to come through I finally shipped the kits.
And that is it! Now you can buy it via Tindie, Us & Amazon. All of the information you need can be found at https://www.ryanteck.ltd.uk/rtk-000-001/