Proviz Ltd is an innovative sportswear and apparel brand operating in the high visibility niche of the cycling, running, equine, motorcycling and children’s wear markets. The brand is committed to using light-emitting systems and high tech reflective materials to ensure every person who uses its products is safer on the roads.
The company started out in 2010, set up by Jersey-born co-founders Rupert and Anthony Langley-Smith. At that time it had just three products and one wholesale customer. The company now has a range of over 60 products and distributor partners in over 40 countries and a rapidly growing online presence.
Describe your model for success
Proviz products are now available through some of the UK’s biggest brand name stores, including Halfords, Evans Cycles and Amazon. Proviz has two sales channels – global wholesale distribution and online. Late in 2013 the business launched a new e-commerce portal to enable customers to view all products in 19 languages, with an objective of retailing in 40 countries, which has now been achieved.
Wholesale distribution sales have grown by over 300% and online retailing has exceeded 400% growth.
Sales is one thing, but market research is essential to the development of our business. We use customer feedback (both wholesale and online) to constantly edit and improve our products. We have also used trade shows to seek feedback and further hone and perfect the range.
We work hard to promote not only our products, but also our ethos. We use our network of distributors, as well as traditional public relations and social media to spread the word and we have generated a large amount of positive coverage.
What would you say is the most important focus of your business?
Innovation. We design each product ourselves with one objective: to keep our customers visible during poor light and at night. Unlike other brands Proviz only focuses on this area of the market and therefore conceives, designs and produces products that help the brand stand out. The company has revolutionized the marketplace using a variety of battery powered lighting systems and 100% reflective materials, winning major industry awards such as a Red Dot Design accolade, as well as exceptional customer reviews.
How have you built and developed your team?
Proviz only employs two full time members of staff and the co-founders. The team has had to learn new skills and gain experience in a wide variety of business disciplines to sustain the business vision and growth.
What is your vision for the future?
The company is aiming to distribute its products in 50 countries worldwide, generating forecast sales of £2.5m.
We want to introduce at least one new product or range each year that is unique in our market. This helps to maintain a very positive relationship with our wholesalers because it gives them something new to sell to their customers.
We want to become thought leaders and be known as innovators within our market sector, and to become a truly global brand.
How has Jersey’s business environment supported your success?
Jersey is a breeding ground for entrepreneurial spirit and business acumen. In 2013 Proviz was looking to grow rapidly and to expand internationally. We raised £300,000 in private equity from local investors who saw the potential for the business. That investment has helped us to grow and triple our turnover in just two years. That level of confidence and financial commitment has been critical to our success.
What the judges said
Proviz proved that if you create a great product that plays on both practical and emotional fears you can succeed. You have to stick relentlessly to your guns and the brothers have learned stuff no business school could have taught them. 6 years and 60 products later Proviz is a terrific success story – a true lesson in perseverance and belief.
Indigo Lighthouse – Sponsor of Entrepreneur of the Year Award
Jersey Post – Sponsor of Award for International Sales