The Verdict: Brothers aim for world domination

Thursday, March 6, 2014

And now Stuart's efforts at "The Verdict" have paid off, with this short write up and advice, http://www.insidermedia.com/insider/north-west/109746-verdict-dartsight

David and Stuart Needham exceeded their annual sales target in one day with their training aid DartSight. But now they want advice on introducing the device to a global audience.........

Scientist David Needham found fame inventing a revolutionary cancer treatment.
 
The 60-year-old worked in laboratories around the world, eventually inventing a capsule that smuggles the anticancer drug doxorubicin into a tumour without being destroyed by the immune system. It is known commercially as ThermoDox.
 
Now he’s joined forces with his younger brother Stuart to launch DartSight, a finger ring ‘sighter’ designed to help darts players hit 180s and bullseyes more often. The device trains the player’s muscle memory to enable them to throw more  accurately even when the sighter is removed to play a game.
 
Stuart, 56, said: “We’ve been playing darts for 30 or 40 years but we weren’t enjoying it because we couldn’t get any consistency. That’s when my brother came up with the idea of the DartSight.”
 
They invested £11,500 with a manufacturer to provide the necessary tooling equipment and originally hoped to sell 1,000 products in their first year of trading. However, DartSight has already managed to fill an order of 1,000 on its first day trading and has made national headlines with the support of Greater Manchester Business Growth Hub’s Start Smart team. The DartSight is being sold through Bolton-based darts retailer Darts Corner for £3 including VAT.
Stuart added: “Darts is the second-biggest participation sport in the world so the potential is massive.”
 
The brothers are looking to develop future sales, marketing and product development strategies and have called in The Verdict panellists for advice.
 
The Verdict
Garry Hudson, head of online, Daisy Group: “You need celebrity endorsement. The website and branding is also vital. One of the strengths is the cost: at £3 DartSight is about the same as a pint and that’s appealing.”
 
Scott Sands, partner in corporate team, Mills & Reeve: “Get your trademark in place, and use the tax benefits available to help you work out where you’re going to be in three and four years.”
 
Bohdan Ratycz, international Trade Adviser, UKTI: “Concentrate on the UK at this stage and establish what the market is outside the UK. Look at your IP, trade names and patents, otherwise people will try and copy it. Get the message across that it’s a training aid.”
 
Mark Blackhurst, founder/director, DigitalNext: “Keep working on your brand. The interactivity of your website is vital. Before and after videos would demonstrate the DartSight in action and get people interested. You need to look at making a 20 to 30-second video.”
 
Simon Swan, co-founder, Hiring Hub: “Decide whether this is a lifestyle business, or something you’re really prepared to throw the kitchen sink at. To me, it makes sense to license it to a global manufacturer such as Target, which can get it to market faster, and more cost efficiently. This would allow the brothers to sit back and collect a fee for every DartSight sold, and give them time to invent and develop other innovative products.”
 
Chris Maguire, editor, Insider: “As a keen darts player, I decided to see if the DartSight would add consistency to my game. It’s not a miracle fix. The way I throw the darts meant I found it hard to attach the device to a finger that enabled me to get the best out of it without changing my throwing action. However, at £3 what have you got to lose?”
 
What Stuart Needham has to say: “The Verdict has been brilliant. It’s really helpful to get an outside perspective. This isn’t for everybody. We’re not going to hit 100 per cent with it but if 20 per cent of the people who play darts use it then I’ll be very happy.”

DartSight by David and Stuart Needham