Posted: Tue 22nd Aug 2023
Back in May, Enterprise Nation and digital design and marketing services firm VistaPrint awarded 20 small businesses a share of £150,000 in grant funding through their joint programme, Realising the Remarkable.
As well as the grant money, each of the winners received 12 months of free subscriptions to Vista's graphic design software VistaCreate Pro, £500 to spend on marketing materials at the VistaPrint UK website, and access to the 99designs by Vista silver logo and brand guide package.
A few months down the line, we were eager to find out how the grant money and prizes had helped the winning business owners with their ventures. Here, we talk to Michael Crinnion, founder of Mind Body Goals Ltd., who explains how the £7,500 grant funding will allow him to market his product, grow his sales, and build on his mental health initiative for young people.
To start with, Michael, please introduce us to your business.
I formed Mind Body Goals Ltd in 2021 to help bring about social change through commercial success. In other words, by developing innovative wellbeing solutions and then using a portion of the profits to fund young people's mental health support.
Our flagship product, Luma³ (pronounced Lumacube), is a unique wellbeing assistant whose primary function is to help people learn the scientifically proven stress-reducing technique of conscious breathing.
There are four different breathing exercises built into the unit, as well as timer modes designed to help users fit the exercises into their day. There are also sensory modes and ambient lighting options, and a sleep ritual mode to aid restful sleep.
The unit does all of this with no screens, accounts, subscriptions or requests for your data. We made Luma³ commercially available in September 2022 and it's currently available to buy directly from our website.
Can you expand on how you fund mental health support for young people?
A core part of the company's ethos – and one of the big successes for me personally – is our 10:1 Initiative. For every 10 products we sell, we donate one to a school, college or university free of charge, along with all the resources they need to make a positive impact.
It's proved very popular and the feedback from schools that already have a Luma³ has been fantastic. It feels incredible to be having a direct impact on so many young people's lives.
Before I founded the company and invented Luma³, I worked in mainstream education, where I had responsibility for staff and student wellbeing and mental health for over 10 years.
I have a history of mental health difficulties – including anxiety and depression – myself, and understand this is due, in part, to being taught very few skills or techniques when I was young and lost my father to cancer.
While holding leadership roles in schools, I noticed much more could be done both as an intervention and preventatively through the curriculum to educate children about how to live with good wellbeing and mental health.
When you heard you'd won a Realising the Remarkable grant, how did you respond?
I was ecstatic! It means I can really push to get the word out about Luma³. As a new business with a product that people really need to see to appreciate, this means video demos and explanations, which are expensive. The grant funding will help us produce more of this content, as well as support materials for Luma³ owners.
It also felt great to be recognised as a business worthy of the award. I started all this myself from my kitchen table and to be highlighted as a business worthy of recognition is amazing.
Tell us how you've used the grant so far.
The grant money has helped to fund a number of things that will help me market the product.
Buying equipment for a small video studio for the purpose of creating information and tutorial videos for Luma³.
Improved, redesigned and stocked our user guide booklet, which we'll include with Luma³ from next month.
Designed and bought stock of a new complementary product for Luma³ – a small gratitude practice journal named My Daily Gratitude Practice.
I'll also be using some of the money to fund a relaunched advertising campaign that incorporates the videos I produce, as well as a lifestyle video for Luma³ which I've recently acquired.
I want Mind Body Goals and Luma³ to become known as a beacon for success against mental health difficulties, and the grant will help me work towards this goal. Of course, there's always the drive towards new customers and once these videos are ready I'll use a portion to drive traffic to this content as part of a sales funnel.
On the whole, the grant has been a very useful sum of money and support.
We're in a cost of living crisis right now. How will the grant help there?
We're in the process of developing an 'Essential' edition of the product to make Luma³ more accessible to people who are struggling financially. That will boost sales and help keep the business growing during this challenging time.
The grant money will fund prototypes of this new version so we can bring it to market quickly. As a business, we're focused on social impact and many of the schools currently signed up to the 10:1 Initiative are from our local community. A boost in sales will allow us to fund these free units sooner.
We have an agreement with a local schools trust to run some trials with their students. That involves funding 20 to 30 units for them to use, which the grant money will go towards. As a result, those schools can start to benefit from Luma³ in their classrooms and lessons right away.
And how will the grant aid your design and marketing?
Luma³ is a beautiful product. But for people to really 'get it', they need to see it being used and working in all its glory. This means video, and video is expensive.
We want to produce videos that show the product in use, explain how it works, and provide further information via video on the best practices when breathing and using Luma³ in your life.
We know this will both drive stronger sales and have the most positive impact for existing and future users. We know the power of social proofing and want to produce a set of loan/gift units that we can send out to social media influencers in the wellbeing space.
Finally, what are your plans for growth over the next 12 months?
First and foremost, sales. We started from zero last September and are slowly battling month on month to get the word out about Luma³ and what a fantastic product it is.
At the moment, it's just me doing all the work in the business, and so this growth will fund a sales and marketing job within the company. We're developing partnerships with a number of B2B wellbeing platforms and are in talks with a large medical care provider for widespread trials in clinical settings.
We plan to launch the 'Essential' version of Luma³ towards the end of 2023, then begin looking for seed investment. During this growth period, we'll continue to ship the free units to schools and improve the additional resources available to them for teaching children these valuable skills.