I was fortunate to meet recently the founder and CEO of the startup Fix Radio station. Louis Timpany did some building site work as a student and experienced the building trade’s love affair with the radio. He listened to their gripes and grumbles about what was on offer, and then set about creating a different type of startup commercial radio station that better suited their listening habits – sometimes all day, most days – and also championed their causes. He then had to set about monetising it to build a secure future for his niche radio station which is outside the established pattern of how a commercial radio station operates these days. Louis turned to equity crowdfunding.
After starting with a regional presence based around London and Manchester, in 2022 the station was granted a national digital licence. Since then its listening audience size has grown by nearly 250%, and national advertisers including B&Q have recognised the Fix Radio station’s ability to deliver a key advertising audience with low wasteage.
The station also gets behind what matters to the building trade. Such as the grim statistic that men who work in construction have the highest suicide rate of any industry sector in the UK. The seemingly never-ending introduction of one-way roads and width restrictions make life more difficult for builders – and their clients. Post-Brexit immigration rules are exacerbating the construction sector’s skills shortages, and escalating fuel and building material prices mean it’s harder to manage costs and make adequate profit.
For those of you that know me, I spent a couple of summers as a student preparing for each September’s new rugby season by working for a local builder, and later I spent six very rewarding years working at the generic marketing body for the UK commercial radio industry. There was a certain inevitability that I would sign up to Fix Radio when I came across their crowdfunding campaign in 2022, and I was one of nearly 350 investors who backed the station with over £950,000.
The funds allowed Louis Timpany to scaleup his startup radio station by expanding his team; run promotional events across the country to build awareness among potential listeners and commercial supporters; and sign up to industry acceptable audience measurement research. Naturally I wish Louis and his team great success!
If you have a startup business and are thinking about how to raise a budget to accelerate growth, please get in touch to discuss whether crowdfunding is going to be appropriate for you. I will provide you with independent crowdfunding advice and set out a seven-stage appraisal to get you ready.