Today we are introducing you to Diane who owns The Original Rescue Swag and sells an innovative range of first aid kits.
Diane’s rescue swag small business sells one-of-a-kind first aid kits. These kits are waterproof, can be turned into a sling or a splint, and can even carry water in an emergency. The Original Rescue Swag had been closed down by the previous owner before Diane bought the business in July 2019. She had to rebuild her customer base because clients thought that the business had closed. Diane took the previous owners strengths on board but made changes to ensure that her business is sustainable in the long-term.
“I had just recovered from some health issues and I was struggling to get a job. I took what money I had and invested that into this business. Failure is simply not an option; I must succeed because I am 66 now and I hope to be able to sell the business in ten years’ time.”
Keep reading to hear more about Diane’s business journey with The Original Rescue Swag.
I have an innovative range of first aid kits and there is nothing else like them on the planet.
My background was marketing and not first aid, so I had to get my head around the product. I’ve seen many people buy successful businesses and then change the formula and wonder why they failed. I was careful not to change anything too quickly. The product won an award, the Equitana 2018 Ryder Innovation Award and the previous owner had presented the business idea to shark tank and won. It’s a great product but a lot of money wasn’t spent as wisely as it could have been.
I was on the NEIS program for a different business before I got sick. I heard of Many Rivers and that’s how I got involved with Donna. In fact, I was looking at Many Rivers for a different business that I was helping to market. But when I needed to buy some stock for this business, I went back to Donna and asked for help for my business and she gave me the first loan that I spent on stock. Without that I would have been stuck.
Working with Many Rivers
Donna’s mentoring has been extremely helpful. Not just with the business plan but being able to bounce ideas off her. I did need to be able to refine my business plan which is important. I think the moral support is fantastic. She is always available. If I have a question she is always there and if I’m not sure about something, she’s knowledgeable about it.
I have helped Donna occasionally with some less mature clients. I assisted with their social media because I used to work in marketing. There were two businesses I helped, we had zoom meetings. One of them has become a good friend of mine. Those connections have been great.
Donna understands. If her clients are not travelling well, she’s empathetic and will listen. It is not like any other organisation I don’t think. Microfinance is not all that Many Rivers does.
I took out a loan to buy stock, that help was invaluable at the time. I had a lot of stock but a lot of it was incomplete, so I had to restock parts of it, it is very expensive because I had to buy the stock in such big qualities. Each time I had to spend about fifteen thousand dollars. I don’t have a lot of capital. With COVID19, my business just stopped, it has been really tough. Many Rivers has definitely been a great support for me and as soon as I repay the loan I will try get another one and it will go into stock.
The biggest success was right when I needed it the most, one of my distributers put in a substantial order and now I have an inquiry from a huge company in Germany. They want to market the Rescue Swag in Germany and Switzerland. That’s a big challenge because they want everything written in German. I am trying to work out the logistics of that but if it comes forward it would be massive for me. Another big success was with Blaze Aid, they work with farmers rebuilding after bushfires and give general aid to farmers. They had eight other kits to choose from and they chose to go with me.
My logistics company and my cashflow. The logistics was very hard to work with and inefficient and had huge freight costs. COVID-19 really screwed up the cashflow big time because I just invested a lot of money in all that stock before the virus hit.
Future Goals for The Original Rescue Swag
I talked to a company the other day and he told me that every time he gets a new employee, he gives them one of my kits as a corporate gift. It also benefits him by knowing all his employees have a first aid kit in their truck. I want to start doing more B2B sales and thinking of marketing my kits as corporate gifts.
I would love it to become a household word so that I have a strong presence in the Australia market and then take it to New Zealand before I think about the USA. What I’d like is for every firefighter or volunteer SES to have one.
Thanks Diane for sharing your story with us. We can’t wait to support you on this journey to achieving your future business goals.
Are you ready to take the first steps towards making your business idea a reality? Our Many Rivers business coaches will be with you every step of the way, no matter where your journey takes you.
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If you loved this client story and would like to read another, take a look at Zara’s small business journey. Zara is a freelance makeup artist in the Pilbara and has found success in remote Western Australia.