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Talking Print gets the Dragons talking

After recently appearing on BBC’s Dragon’s Den to promote his printed product, Talking Print’s David Hyams discusses the experience and the challenges of raising funds as a small-to-medium enterprise (SME).

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The firm turned around the printed products with just two days’ notice

Talking Print offers a bespoke ‘audio in print’ and ‘video in print’ service and works with large and small brands. The firm also offers a consultancy service for B2B (business to business) and an online service for B2C (business to consumer).

Although Talking Print’s Talkies product did not tempt any investment from the Dragons, Hyams still used the opportunity to promote and celebrate print.

Reflecting on his Dragon’s Den Pitch, Hyams says: “My opening line was ‘I Love Print’. I talked about the way that print connects with its audience and how I innovate with print with my products. My pitch was to raise finances for my new online service called Talkies.

My opening line was ‘I Love Print’. I talked about the way that print connects with its audience and how I innovate with print with my products

“Talkies are real greeting cards with customers’ own audio and video. Unfortunately, my pitch was edited for the showing so none of this was shown.”

Hyams was on standby to go on the show and had two days’ notice to prepare. In this time, he produced a personalised card for each of the five dragons which were digitally printed and turned around in just 24-hours by a local printer. The personalised artwork and video content took a further 24-hours to turn around.

During the show’s airing, dragon Sara Davies notices a spelling mistake in her name. Hyams explains: “The spelling mistake mentioned on the program were on the videos. They were spotted once the samples were finished, but we just didn’t have time to reshoot.”

The cards feature a screen inside for personalised video and audio messages

For many SMEs such as Talking Print, accessing the necessary funds to continue growing the business can be a big challenge. Hyams explains that the tricky part is proving the concept and showing a track record with sales.

He says: “This is very difficult to do if you have little funds. We proved our concept with our eBay and Amazon shops which we have been running successfully for the past five years. People will only understandably invest if they can see a return.

“If you do find investment it is usual for the terms of the investment to be related to high risk. If it is a high risk, then the terms will be very high.”

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