#O2SmartaBiz winner: Honest Brew

Honest Brew Smarta

Proposition: One sentence explanation of what your business is

Honest Brew is an interactive, open source brewery.

Why are you a smart business?

Our business is about people and fun. The beers we brew are designed and created with others and each one has a story to tell. We share everything, from our recipes in an open source model, to our equipment and expertise to make your own bespoke Honest beer. We run live brewing sessions where people can get involved in making their own beer. We do all this as a lean business with the ability to adapt our offering to meet our customers’ needs.

What’s the smartest thing you’ve done to help your business grow?

Forming great partnerships. We collaborate with a range of people and businesses to build mutually beneficial relationships. Whether this is creating a unique event or bespoke beer, or whether it is sharing our equipment and expertise with others and gaining contacts and new opportunities.  Last week we partnered up with two art agencies (Test Space and Column Arts Agency) to launch a beer and art exhibition, which saw our beers turn into art with 20 artists designing one off labels. These partnerships also see us engaging with a real mixture of industries and markets.

What smart things do you do for your customers?

We get customers involved in our story so they have a real sense of ownership over the beer. Customers can literally brew the beer they will drink, know the person who has brewed the beer or be intrigued by the story of how that beer has come to life. One daring customers has been a hop mule for us, bringing some of the best hops from New Zealand over in his backpack. For our business customers this means a tailored experience where we run Live Brewing events with their staff or create custom beers designed to fit their brand. We have done two custom beers for a pop up kitchen (Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen) where they were designed to complement the menu – How does a Chilli Amber Ale sound?

What smart technologies do you use to run your business?

We’ve hunted out the best cloud based services for our operational and finance management; here is our “life saving” list.

Google Apps for Business – Shared access for teams using drive, mail and calendar.

Team Gantt – Project management tool with team access and Google calendar integration.

Asana – Task management tool with team access and Goggle calendar integration.

Hootsuite – Social media management.

Social Bro – Social media analytics and management.

We’ve also created our own iPhone app which controls our brewing equipment – making it efficient and also interactive for those attending our live brew sessions.

What’s your smartest tip for other entrepreneurs?

Get to market as soon as you can, don’t wait around to build the perfect product before testing it. It won’t be perfect. Get in front of your customers, get their feedback and adapt as necessary. Embrace social media whilst you are at it. Some of our best relationships have been made with people we met virtually on Twitter. Take some time to celebrate your successes, over a beer of course!

 

For more information about Honest Brew, click here. "Like" their Facebook page here and follow them on Twitter @HonestBrew.

Check out last week's #O2SmartaBiz here.

Get more details on how to be this week's #O2SmartaBiz here.

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