TGtS Meets...Jordan Daykin
Ahead of the South West Expo, we chatted to Jordan Daykin, the teenage entrepreneur who scooped £80,000 on Dragons' Den. Jordan became the youngest person to secure an investment from a Dragon, when Deborah Meaden pledged the money in return for a 25% stake in his business.
Tell us a little bit more about your business?
My main business is GripIt Fixings which is a plasterboard fixing that I invented with my Grandfather at the age of 13. It took four years to obtain a patent and I started marketing the product in November 2012, I have since taking the product on BBC Dragons Den wining investment from Deborah Meaden and have the product in over 2,000 stores across the UK and exporting to 32 countries across the world.
What inspired you to set up your business?
I would say that being an entrepreneur was in my blood as I was brought up by my father who has always been in business ever since I can remember and likewise my grandfather. Although I was inspired by family I also read numerous autobiography’s of other very successful entrepreneurs such as Peter Jones and Sir Richard Brandson.
How will you ensure that your company continues to grow and develop?
At GripIt we are always thinking and innovating; we embrace new ideas from both internal and external parties and are always looking at how to solve problems out there in the market. We now plan to expand internationally and add in other products to our range.
Facing that Dragons must have been tough, how did it feel to get your investment?
I must say Dragons Den was probably the most nerve-racking thing I have ever done up until recently when having to ask my fiancé’s parents for permission to marry her but at the same time one of the most exciting times of my life. When having been in the den for an hour and a half and having obtained investment from Deborah Meaden was an amazing feeling and to be honest I was speechless.
When making a pitch or doing a key note, what’s the best bit of advice you would give?
I would say be confident in yourself, no matter what knock backs you get or what criticism you receive keep trying and don’t give up.
Do you have a motto or favourite motivational quote?
I think my favorite quote would be one I was given by someone at work and that is to think of being an entrepreneur as an Ice Berg. “everyone always seen what’s above the ocean, be it nice cars, holidays etc but they do not see all the hard work, failure and determination going on underneath”.
What advice would you give someone thinking about starting their own business?
M main piece of advice would be to do your research – make sure there is a market and then it would be to start small, keep both feet firmly on the ground and do not over commit.
What’s the biggest challenge facing small and medium sized businesses today?
I would say the biggest challenge being faced at the moment is business’s not knowing what support / advice there is out there, funding is always an issue in growth and also being able to meet spikes in demand.
What’s been your greatest achievement to date?
I would say my greatest achievement to date is going on to Dragons Den and proving that although I do not have any qualifications and that I left school at thirteen I proved everybody wrong and am building a worldwide brand.
When you’re not busy running your business, how do you like to spend your down time?
I like to spend my down time with my fiancé Laura either going out for a nice meal, seeing family or just having a quiet night in. I enjoy going on nice holidays (preferably cold ones but that never happens) and I have just started back at the Gym as I feel its time I lost some weight and started to look after my body.