Business: The Bottle Shop
Owner: Andrew Morgan
Andrew Morgan started his business in 2010 selling specialty bottle beers from a stall in The Goods Shed, a daily farmers market and food hall by Canterbury West station.
His aim was to showcase the best bottled beers from the UK and across the world. “It’s an exciting time in the world of beer. There is now a huge and increasing range of excellent bottled beers from both established brewers and the plethora of new craft and micro brewers who are challenging accepted ideas and pushing the boundaries. Pubs and supermarkets can’t hope to stock such a broad range. We’re offering a craft beer festival everyday with beers of every style and for every taste from stouts to world class lagers”
In addition to running the stall Andrew started organised tasting events at The Goods Shed. These proved so popular that he decided to take the format to other markets and was soon organising regular events in London.
Business has been growing rapidly with mail order sales and national distribution deals and the future is looking very bright indeed.
It became clear from an early stage in the development of the business that the paper based accounting system they were using was not going to be scalable as the business grew.
“We had a system that sort of worked but It was time consuming to maintain, was always behind reality and made it difficult for us to see what was really going on in the business. In retrospect it is clear that we had a pretty weak grasp on our creditors and debtors situation which made cash flow management very difficult.
Pentins were very keen for The Bottle Shop to move to Xero knowing that a cloud based system would have significant benefits for their client both in terms of accuracy, usability and efficiency.
“The move to Xero was a painless experience for us.” said Andrew, “Pentins took care of the transition making sure that all the data was ported across seamlessly – it was completely transparent.”
It didn’t take long for the benefits of Xero to become clear. “I could now access my accounts from anywhere whether I was at home, in Canterbury or London, and I could get a much more up-to-date picture of where we stood” said Andrew,
The real step forward came when Andrew started to use the invoicing functionality of Xero. “We’d previously used Excel based invoices which were time consuming to create and follow-up on. With Xero the process is streamlined and automated as much as possible. It’s also linked to our bank we could instantly see what’s paid, what’s outstanding and exactly how our cash flow looks real-time and completely accurate.”
It’s not just about streamlining things though. “Using Xero has really enhanced our relationship with Brent our business adviser at Pentins. Our conversations these days are less about the data and it’s accuracy and more about what the data is telling us and what we need to do as a result. Xero is helping us manage the business more effectively.”
“So Andrew is seeing significant benefits from the switch to Xero but what is his experience of using it on a daily basis? “Xero is very flexible and it’s frequently updated, you need to tweak things to work exactly as you want, and adapt to new functionality or changes in existing functionality. I’m constantly excited about the possibilities it presents.
“I’m completely confident in Xero’s ability to keep supporting my business as Xero and The Bottle Shop grow. It does a great job of allowing us manage the business as it is now and building the business for the future.
“We know we’re in safe hands with Xero and Pentins.”