The following guidance relates to anyone dealing with BrewDog in a business to business capacity.
- Protect your work and use watermarks or passwords for any content that could be taken before sign off.
- When providing marketing or design services ALWAYS take a deposit.
- Make sign off during development or key milestones agreed over email by all senior stakeholders. No approval, no continued work.
- Retain the rights to as much of the IP as possible – do not agree to transfer copyright.
Lead times and Pace of Work
- Specify lead times. Specify them again. Then triple down on them. BrewDog like to disregard lead times, and tell you they want things faster. Do it once and you’ve set the bar. You’ll never be able to keep up.
- Be prepared to be ran ragged by constantly changing plans.
- Under promise, over deliver.
Terms of sale / payment
- Never, ever, EVER accept equity in the company as payment.
- Enforce YOUR terms of sale; you don’t have to accept BrewDog’s terms of purchase. Have them agree to them in writing before you ship goods or begin services. Don’t expect that an accepted invoice with payment terms on will guarantee that those terms have been accepted.
- Make sure you have contracts. BrewDog will try to tell you they don’t like contracts. You should ignore this. Make sure the goods / services you supply are protected by contracts with penalties for late /non payments, measurable KPIs and robust pricing structure.
- When discussing payment terms, always go EOFM. It’ll end up being 45 days anyway, even if you go 30.
- Don’t accept less after the job just because BrewDog haven’t paid. You shouldn’t take 50%. You shouldn’t take 70%. If you’re owed 100%, don’t accept a penny less – BrewDog wouldn’t.
- Get a PO before supplying goods. BrewDog operate a “no PO, no pay” policy on goods or services. I.e. you provide what they ask for, and they might not pay you if you don’t have supporting documentation.
- Read the terms and conditions attached to the purchase orders. They are very one sided. Send order confirmations with your terms and conditions attached. Attach terms and conditions to invoices. It’s a battle of the forms, and you need to make sure you come out on top.
- Make sure termination clauses in the proposed contracts are not just one-sided. Termination for convenience should only be accepted if it goes both ways.
- Allow at least a 3 month notice period IN WRITING.
- Stick to your guns. Most of the time they will want your products badly enough to concede to these, depending on what it is you supply.
- A good position on this is “if company X fails to meet the agreed KPIs for a consecutive period of the 3 months”. If you don’t put these provisions in place they will simply walk away.