My secret to staying afloat

Half of all UK start-ups fail within five years. Five entrepreneurs, including Hiver Beers founder Hannah Rhodes, share their secret to survival.

by Kate Bassett

'You absolutely have to spend time chasing debtors,' says Hannah Rhodes (pictured above), the entrepreneur turning honey into beer. 'And manage your supplier relationships carefully. Without a doubt, there will be times when you have to lean on them to help you with a few extra days' credit.'

Rhodes, who appeared in MT's 35 Women Under 35 list in 2014, started London-based Hiver Beers three years ago after a decade in the drinks industry, including a spell at Meantime Brewery.

Despite making mistakes along the way - including being out of stock for a whole month last summer - Rhodes is now the Queen Bee of the honey-beer industry, producing between 10,000 to 15,000 litres per month and selling it to some of the biggest names on the high street, from Marks & Spencer to Selfridges and Harvey Nichols.

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