Happy Tuesday to everyone. I hope that your holidays have been wonderful and filled with family time and fun. I am trying something new in the hopes of introducing you all to some great companies. This week Springfree Trampoline was kind enough to answer a few questions for me. Stop by their Facebook page or Twitter and say hi.
Hi my name is Katherine Langdon and I am a marketing/PR coordinator for Springfree™ Trampoline. We are thrilled to be profiled as the featured Canadian company on nugglemama.ca! I sat down with our CEO and president, Steven Holmes, to give you a snapshot of what it’s like to sell the world’s safest trampoline:
Tell us a little bit about your company and/or product.
Springfree™ Trampoline is the world’s safest trampoline. 100,000 US children are sent to hospital every year as a result of traditional trampoline injuries. That statistic is unacceptable. It inspired us to create a safe trampoline. We have removed all the traditional injury-causing hazards from the trampoline design – hitting the springs and/or frame and falling off. Springfree™ has patented technology from bottom to top; you could say that we have reinvented the trampoline
Springfree™ won the 2010 Product of the Year, Canada – Around the Home category, an award determined by over 12,000 consumers within Canada.
How long have you been in business?
We have been in Canada since 2004. We’re growing quickly too! In fact, I’m a part of the new central marketing team up here in Markham, Ont.
Where did the idea come from? Who/what was your inspiration?
The idea to create a safe trampoline came from a Dad who just wanted to keep his kids safe. Fifteen year ago Dr. Keith Alexander, a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand, wanted to buy a trampoline for his kids but his wife said no – they were simply too dangerous.
After a little research he was shocked to find out the high number of hospital visits by children being treated for trampoline related injuries, and no one was trying to make it safer. So, he set out to create a safe trampoline. It took fourteen years, but he believed it was critical to use the most advanced and highest quality material to create a superior design. The result is the Springfree you see today! His commitment to safety and quality has never diminished and is a source of inspiration for the entire company.
What gave you the push to start up your company?
I asked our CEO and President, Steven Holmes to answer this one!
“I am a Chartered Accountant by profession and during my years of working in the role of a financial advisor to many unique businesses it reinforced my interest in having the responsibility of owning and operating my own business. Unfortunately, you do not just snap your fingers and make it happen, it takes planning as well as identifying individuals who have different strengths and skills than you do and also ensuring you have the necessary capital resources to meet our your goals and objectives.”
What do you hope to give your customers/have them take away?
We don’t exist to simply make trampolines. We have a single purpose – a desire to make the world’s safest trampoline. Until now, the dangers of a traditional trampoline far outweighed the many health benefits. Now it’s a safe way to get the whole family moving – 10 minutes of bouncing is equivalent to a 30 minute run!
Are you involved in any charitable organizations?
Springfree™ currently partners with a number of children’s summer camps including the TRACE Autism Summer Camp for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. We are a proud participant of the Jump Start program through Canadian Tire, partnering with local YMCA and Boys and Girls clubs to make sure every kid has a sporting chance. We are also in final contract negotiations with a well-recognized national charity to begin in 2011. We anticipate being able to announce this early in the New Year!
How do you have fun at the office?
Working at a trampoline company means the fun is kind of built into the job – yes, we do jump every day! The office recently completed a 12-week Biggest Loser challenge where everyone was encouraged to use our office gym or bounce on the trampolines and maintain a healthy, balanced diet. We finished the challenge with a total group weight loss of 161.6 pounds!
I’m lucky to be a part of the marketing team where creativity and fun is a part of our everyday job. We recently revamped our Facebook page so to celebrate (and start the holiday season) we created a 4 part video series of rewritten holiday classics with a Springfree™ twist. I can safely say that filming those videos was a highlight – check them out on our Facebook page!
If you had it to do all over again when it comes to starting up a business what would you do differently?
I went to Steven on this one as well:
“One of the biggest challenges to starting a business is forecasting the outcome and opportunities. It is funny because no matter what book you read and what method you use to plan, it never works out perfectly. Sometimes you exceed your wildest expectations and sometimes you fall significantly short. If I was to do it again, I would take more seriously the things that are truly unpredictable and consider how I should plan to be more flexible based on how they actually turn out. I think been open to the outcome rather than being attached to a specific outcome is a wonderful attribute to have when starting your own business
Do you have any tips for new entrepreneurs?
Steven had a lot of great answers, so I thought I would share:
“I once read in the Atlantic Business magazine an article by Shawn Chaffe and it identified 7 deadliest sins of business and I think these are always great reminders regardless of what stage you are at in business.”
1. Thinking the boss is infallible;
2. Smearing the competition;
3. Hoarding the loot;
4. Allowing the company to run you;
5. Neglecting sales;
6. Keeping under-performing employees;
7. Forgetting that cash is King.
Anything you would like to add?
Last week we had one of our greatest achievements – we were on Ellen! Our entire office is still buzzing about being one of her 12 days of giveaways. We are thrilled about her excitement for Springfree™ – check it out here!
Thank you again to nugglemama.ca for featuring us this week!
*Disclosure ~ I did not recieve any compensation for this post.*
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