My big idea: wearable personal alarm Pick Protection
Hi Rebecca! What's your elevator pitch?
Do you worry about personal safety or medical emergency? Ever wondered how you would raise an alert for help quickly if you couldn’t get to your phone?
Pick Protection uses a unique combination of technology, accreditation and highly-trained staff to enable individuals to double-click a discreet wearable button, that can summon a level 1 priority emergency service response to their exact location. All audio is also recorded.
Pick Protection has the answer for personal safety and peace of mind but also offers a range of proactive functionality to help companies keep their lone workers safe.
Why does the market need it?
When it comes to the corporate side, companies have a duty of care to protect their staff and fulfil their duty of care. Pick Protection offers easy-to-use, non-intrusive and cost-effective solutions to fulfil this market demand.
On the personal side of things, Pick Protection has received countless requests over the years for applying this lone working technology to individuals who wrote in asking for the solution for their loved ones, in various circumstances, who they worried about daily – when going for a run, while out at night out, or even just walking home.
Where is the business today?
Pick Protection now has thousands of employees across the UK using the system – from British Red Cross to Majestic Wines. As an established lone-worker provider the company has recently decided to launch into the consumer market to empower everybody and anybody to feel more confident day-to-day.
What made you start the business?
I first had the idea of wearable technology with a monitored response when my neighbour was sexually assaulted, and nobody came to help. This made me think there should be something we could all have with us, and that when we activate it, we know we would get a response. I had two flatmates at the time, and we were all in the same boat of feeling nervous walking home. When I looked at what was available to buy, I didn’t think any options would give the peace of mind we were looking for… pull pin alarms were only useful if people hear them and choose to respond, apps were difficult to access, and you had to have your phone in your hand all the time to call 999. I was looking for a better, more practical solution, which lead to the development of the technology we offer today.
What's your biggest strength?
Our biggest strength is our user-centred design ethic. We’ve developed a range of solutions that make it easy and practical for people to protect themselves. For example, our SOS trigger doesn’t need to be recharged, and it can be clipped to anything people tend to carry with them day to day. We’re also in a fortunate position for the consumer market, in that because we have tried and tested technology used already by thousands of employees, and we have accreditation recognised by Police forces across the UK, our alarm designed for individuals allows users to summon a level 1 priority police response in a genuine emergency (while bypassing the 999 queue).
What is the secret to making the business work?
The secret to making the business work is taking a long-term view of all decisions made. It takes hard work, incremental improvement over time and understanding that chasing ‘quick wins’ is not the answer to building a solid, long-standing company. Keeping the vision and mission central to all decisions is key to ensuring you stay focused. In our case, we ask ourselves “is everything we are doing aligned to delivering the best protection we can to keep people safe?”
How do you market the company?
Our customers are our biggest champions, so we get a lot of word-of-mouth referrals, and we’ve built a great network over the years. We’ve also attracted prospects who’ve found us searching for answers to their lone worker questions online, so SEO works well for us too. To reach out to individuals, we use digital marketing across a mix of channels – there are a lot of people who want to feel more confident in their safety, and this route lets us build a better picture of who are they are and what they’re looking for.
Tell us about the business model
Our business model is subscription based, both on the corporate side and for individuals. This recurring revenue, with high retention rates, enables us to plan for the future with a good indication of the revenue we can expect going forward. That means we can budget for product improvement, and the beauty is that as it’s subscription-based, and we don’t charge for upgrades, all of our customers get the benefit of that ongoing development.
What is the future vision?
The future vision is very much to stay on the same path – continually improving the solutions we offer to keep people safe, both in the corporate world and for individuals. We will continue to look at how we can harness innovation and technology to build better solutions and revolutionise how people keep themselves safe. We’d love to have our solutions so widely adopted they become a deterrent to people committing a crime – knowing most of the population has some form of alarm that can summon the fastest response available and all audio would be recorded for evidence purposes, might make them think twice.