As you will have noticed we have established our own company and DR.W. brand this year. We are in the midst of designing our own DR.W. watch and envisage to have this manufactured and available for sale in the second half of this year. More information about how we ended up in the watch business can be found in our first blog “Yeahh our own company and DR.W. brand”.
This will be a very exiting process for us and we are keen and look forward to update you on the progress of our plans in the blogs to come. However, first we would like to use the opportunity to share with you the key tips and tricks that we found useful when starting our own company. Although we have formally established DR.W. brand early January of this year we have been working on this project for the last few months. During those months, we have received a lot of valuable advice from friends and family but also from other institutions. Since we believe in ‘sharing is caring’ we list below the most useful tips and tricks received to-date. Please let us know whether you found these useful or in case we missed anything!
• Chamber of Commerce
The place to formally establish your company, obviously. But did you know that they can also help you with a range of other services? We have been provided with valuable advice by a specialist on import duties (see also webpage Dutch customs), customs, transportation (Incoterms), insurance, value added taxes, certificates of origin, etc. Always handy if you can make use of a free of charge service!
• Brand registration
We have registered our DR.W. brand at the Benelux Office for Intellectual Property. Depending on the geographic coverage this will cost you a few hundred till more than thousand Euro. This also covers the registration of your logo. With this registration, you will have a better position in case other people decide to use the same company name you have carefully picked. Please note that as a result of your registration at the Chamber of Commerce and the registration of your brand you will receive many offers and invoices of ‘companies’ that believe they should be paid by you, just ignore them (our first one was €1497)!
• Idea registration/patent
We are working on a watch with a unique feature, the DR.W. watch with a feature which we believe has not been produced yet. To this extend we have looked for ways to protect this idea. Obtaining a patent for such a product takes a lot of time and money, neither of which we have. Therefore, we have looked for alternatives to somehow show that this idea is ours. There are a number of companies that can provide this service. We have chosen for CC Proof where you can upload all sorts of documents which will be ‘stamped’ or registered with a date and place. It costs €75 for a year and will come in handy if we go out to suppliers since you can also send your documents via this secured online platform.
Not really the most exciting part so this should be organized as efficient as possible in order to allow ourselves more time to invest in our product. There are multiple ways of doing this including keeping track of all invoices in Excel. However, today, there are online tools which you can connect to your online bank account and web shop and which are also accessible by an app on your phone. Examples are Moneybird and e-Boekhouden.nl. We choose the latter given its one year free trial in combination with an extensive list of functionalities.
• Website including hosting
A subject with countless options. First of all: hosting. There is an indefinite amount of companies offering you the possibility to register your domain and building your website. We received a tip about one.com which we chose based on three main criteria: 1. It is a large hosting company with a 24/7 customer service with many excellent reviews, 2. It offers the possibility for an easy integrated web shop, 3. Wide range of options for a competitive price. For building the website we used WordPress. Here there are many options as well. We got the advice to invest a little in a template with excellent reviews making sure it is practical and easy to use. For about $50-60 you will find such a template and with some help (which saved us a lot of time) we were able to make this website.
We hope this was useful for you in some way. In case of questions or comments please leave us a message and please follow us on Facebook, Instagram and our website. You can also enroll for our monthly DR.W. newsletter.
Hopefully we will be able to share some nice updates with you on our product next month. And of course, a big shout out to all the people that helped us with the above and all the other tips we got!
Reinder & David