Patti and David Bailey own Motormouse, creating and marketing novel wireless computer mouse devices which look like sleek, shiny miniature cars, available in the form of a classic sports car or Mini Cooper models. They now know what an impact there is when a “Dragon” breathes fire into your business.
The clever couple took Motormouse to the Dragons’ Den, where they impressed James Caan, both with their product and business acumen. He agreed to invest £120,000 to help Patti and David open up markets for their unique gadget, and develop a complementary product range.
Now Patti and David are seeing their product literally “take off”. The Motormouse is a top in-flight seller on a variety of airlines, including British Airways, Emirates, Etihad and KLM, and they are currently flying off the shelves at Harrods. Recently the Bailey’s have successfully negotiated deals in 11 destinations abroad, and the Motormouse is now gracing desks from Australia to Turkey, the USA to Norway.
“Our association with James (Caan) has been extremely positive and enormously rewarding,” says Patti, “but anyone who thinks that we just had to stand by while he waved a magic wand to make us successful should think again.”
Right from the outset the Baileys decided they were not going to expect Mr Caan to “do it for us”.
David explains: “We have controlled our own activities, sales, and business mechanics, taking advice and guidance as we progressed. The result is a flourishing partnership between us and Mr Caan’s team, which has opened up a joint investment vehicle so in turn we can help others.”
He said that Caan had helped the company to negotiate new contracts, access otherwise inaccessible markets, and assisted in numerous other ways besides the actual financial investment.
“There is a myth that once you have ‘made it’ on Dragons’ Den the sky’s the limit. This is not necessarily true – it’s what YOU do and the effort you put in that makes the difference, no matter how much help you get along the way.”
Patti and David are in agreement, though, that being associated with a Dragon was the catalyst which they needed to set Motormouse on the road to success.
“James (Caan) has always been accessible, personable, and extremely supportive. We meet with him and his team frequently and have the use of their Mayfair offices for our London-based meetings. His support can’t be quantified in money terms – it’s not just a case of stumping up cash. The investment of time, ideas, guidance and PR association has inestimable value,” says Patti.
Mr Caan commented: “The Baileys are a fine example of an enterprising partnership who didn’t sit around hoping they’d get lucky, but went out and created their own luck. I am delighted to have spurred them on their way, and look forward to continuing to work with them in the future.”