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Martin Murray : Dunnet Bay Distillers

Co-founder

Why did you attend Scotland Can Do SCALE?

Myself and my wife Claire set up Dunnet Bay Distillers in 2013 after turning a hobby into a business. We now produce and sell handcrafted, premium Scottish spirits; Rock Rose Gin and Holy Grass Vodka. Despite its challenges of being the most northern distillery in the mainland of Scotland. We knew we were doing a good job of making and selling a quality product but felt we had hit a peak and our growth had plateaued.

Neither of us had any previous experience in business management, so we struggled to think long-term and strategically plan for the future of the company. Which is when a friend of mine recommended we attend Scotland Can Do SCALE

Key takeaways from the event?

The three days spent at Can Do SCALE and away from the distillery meant I could take a good step back and really focus on our business goals. I learnt so much from the world leading mentorship of Bill Aulet (Managing Director of Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship), such as the routes business take to scale, and found the real-life case studies incredibly insightful. It was also great be with and hear from other business owners at different stages of their growth. I left inspired, with a clear understanding of why you would want growth and the motivation to achieve it.

How have you implemented key learnings?

Since attending Can Do SCALE and with our long-term aim to maximise our capacity in mind, we’ve bought additional equipment and expanded our office space. As a result, we’ve increased our international distribution across Europe and Asia, and plan to launch in the US - something we wouldn’t have considered before attending the programme.

This has meant we’ve been able to employ more staff, something we love as it means we can affectively support Dunnet Bay’s local economy. Now with multiple income streams, we have more stability to keep creating employment in the future.

For anyone who feels they need a little help in deciding the direction their business, I’d absolutely recommend attending Scotland Can Do SCALE to help realise the opportunities available and leave with the knowledge on how to achieve them.

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