Now Time For Plan B

When you agree to be a sponsor, you never know where it will lead you. So sponsoring the Solar Powered Car for DUEM – students at Durham University – has been an interesting journey. Having met the team at the London Motor Show and the Science Museum, we agreed to be a sponsor for a year, to give them advice and hopefully to get to transport the car around the world for them.

It turned out to be an incredible time for the DUEM team, with an invite to COP22, the Climate Change Summit in Marrakech, Morocco being the highlight. Options to transport the solar car by Air Freight and Sea Freight to Marrakech were given, awaiting appropriate funding to be put in place.

Of course, the invitation to COP22 created a lot of interest. Various other companies offered to transport the solar car to Marrakech at a fraction of the market rate. This was disappointing for us, but we knew funds were tight and DUEM had to make savings where they could.

Then to our surprise we received a call on the Monday, the day before the solar car was due to be transported. The other company had pulled out. It was now too late for both the air freight and sea freight options. We checked dedicated car transporters, but no-one could guarantee arriving by Saturday.

We then found out that the deadline was pulled forward to Friday as DUEM were invited to show the car at the Formula E race on the Saturday, but the car MUST be there by Friday.

Did I mention we were still waiting for the carnet.

So what was Plan B? 

The solar car was already in a trailer. A family member of one of the team members offered to tow the car, but needed a co-driver. We were able to hire a driver for eleven days from one of our trusted suppliers, to also cover the return journey to the UK.

The cost?

More than we can charge out, but if we didn’t get it sorted all the sponsors would miss out on the exposure that an event like this can generate.

So what is Plan A?

Plan A is making sure you never need Plan B. It is usually too expensive and can be avoided. Get your freight forwarder on board early, ask them questions and make sure you are happy that they will be able to complete the task.


Being More Guy Martin

It’s hard not to like Guy Martin. He’s full of enthusiasm and drive, whatever he does. Despite his success he genuinely doesn’t seem to have an ego and people respond well to him, earning him the respect of other bikers and sportsmen such as Formula One’s David Coulthard. Thanks to his approach to life he has come back from massive injuries to achieve numerous challenging and dangerous speed records

If you’re not sure who he is, he’s the eccentric British motorcyclist with Wolverine facial hair, an adrenalin junkie who pushes himself to the limit and beyond. The many TV programmes about him are well worth a look

The thing is, despite doing all this mad stuff he always does his research, always gets the information and the help he needs from everyone before he does the crazy stuff. That I really respect

I see he’s got a book out, ‘When You Dead, You Dead’ (great title). If anyone’s stuck for a Fathers Day present, I reckon that would hit the spot

We can all learn a bit from him. Sure, we all want to get things done, but it’s easier if you plan ahead and other people feel like helping you. So go on, be a bit more Guy Martin!

P, BMFQ Team