A little help from our friends: Scottish Enterprise and SDI
The impact the support of Scottish Enterprise has on our growing business
A bit of a change of vibe for today's blog, no edgy tasting notes, trawler videos or caption competitions. This blog is a little bit more about our growing business and the help we have had from Scottish Enterprise in doing what we have done so far. You know, sometimes it is cool to acknowledge those whose help you can't get by without.
Hopefully some of our saw some of the recent press coverage we have had this week. We were covered by the BBC, The Metro, Business 7, ITV, The Scotsman and Business Insider.
Most of the recent articles focussed on the headway we have made in exporting our products despite being only 2 years old as a company. We recently won 2 new listings in Sweden with Sytembolaget and 4 new listings with Tesco, our sales figures are up 250% since last year. To cope with demand we have a new BrewHouse and new fermentation tanks arriving in a few weeks.
Now sales growth and turnover figures are not why we do what we do, this is not why we are in the game. We want to redefine the craft beer genre in the UK, push the boundaries in brewing and make world class, progressive beers. This is all that motivates us. However at the same time, we realise as a business that we have to keep growing and have to remain profitable, otherwise we don't get to do all the cool stuff and will have to go back to working for someone else. I think considering the UK beer market is projected to be at its lowest since 1940 journalists were pretty happy to write about a little beer company going in the opposite direction.
A large part of the reason our brewery is doing well is due to the help and support we have received from Scottish Enterprise (www.scottish-enterprise.com ) and Scottish Development International (www.sdi.co.uk) , they are the only people who have really helped us establish and grow our business. As an ambitious, young and growing business run by 2 beer geeks who had never run a business before their ongoing support and help has been invaluable.
Scottish Enterprise have been pivotal in the internationalisation of our business. Because of their help we now employ 18 staff and our beers are available in 15 different countries around the world. A lot of time government funded economic development agencies take some criticism for not being effective but Scottish Enterprise have been incredibly important in us growing our business and I feel they deserve a little bit of praise from us here.
Our Account Manager, Bill Powrie has been with us since pretty much day 1 of our company and even accompanied us on a BrewDog trip to London in his own time. Scottish Development International and Dawn Lamarra have also been key to us opening up new export markets; in particular in Asia and Russia. In addition to this they have also supported us in our travel plans and enabled us to spend time in foreign markets - meeting customers, attending trade fairs and building relationships - all of which is vital to succeed in the export market.
The support we have been given is much further reaching than helping fund some of our market development costs. In-depth strategy reviews, branding reviews and experts on site to analyse our production procedures are all part of the network of support they have in place to help Scottish Businesses grow. Each of these tools have been key to our growth, in particular the strategy review forced us to think a bit more about things and some plans in place, without these plans we would not be able to grow our business.
As a small growing company in the midst of a recession it is tough, bordering on impossible a lot of the time. Scottish Enterprise's help makes it possible. We can only heartily commend the brilliant work they are doing with growing companies all over the country, the economic climate in Scotland and the effects of the recession would be far more severe without their valiant efforts.