Our first bottle went onto the back bar on the 15th of November 2015, from there we had a fantastic uptake from the trade and private sales as well. Our first batch was sold out in under 48 hours. this obviously got us very excited and we set about making another batch as soon as possible.
We tromped through the first 10 batches and then ran into trouble with procuring a shipment of bottles, this forced our hand to switch our closures to screw caps in the same bottle because if we wanted to continue with the cork closures we had initially decided on the bottles would have been 5 months away. The fun things that pop up along the way that threaten to destroy your business. Having gin and no bottles is a extremely frustrating position to be in. Also wouldn't be the last time we found ourselves in this same position.
Starting a business on a shoestring budget can be stressful as you could imagine. Our friends in the hospitality industry were great supporters of what we were doing so when we ran into trouble sourcing components of the product and were off the market for short stints they were all very understanding. The concept of having to pay all of the tax up front so we could remove the stock from bonded store and then having to wait to be paid on invoices of 30 days made cash flow a bit of a problem. We managed to organise our way through all of that whilst building a stronger and stronger following. We are forever grateful for this support and understanding because it helped us get to where we are today.
We have always strived to be completely transparent and we believe that has helped us hugely along the way. If you tell people what is actually happening then they seem to be a lot more understanding. Building strong ties with customers through giving the best service possible was of utmost importance to us from the start. Coming from hospitality backgrounds we understood that making ordering as simple and easy as possible was going to lead to repeat trade. Both of us have worked full time in other businesses the entire time we have run Imperial Measures Distilling and continue to do so to this day as we have always wanted to feed any profits back into the business. Growth is key in this industry especially because we don't have the capital to splurge on big marketing campaigns. People talk about running small businesses or start ups and the fact that you are on call 24/7, they aren't wrong. As long as you love what you're doing its really not that bad though. There's always a G&T at the end of it anyway, well in this business anyway.