Rich Chambers is the founder behind Get A Drip, something that you will see on your radar a lot more in the coming year. So just what is it? Get A Drip provides affordable Vitamin Drips and Booster Shots, to help you recover from fatigue, tiredness, jet lag, illnesses, sporting events or hangovers (the dream!). The idea stemmed from Rich being a Type 1 diabetic and having to make continual trips in and out of hospital for his immune system and finding himself constantly hooked up to an IV Drip to flush out the toxins. Rich is an inspiration to anyone feeling trapped in the corporate rat race, having left job security at PwC at the end of last year to focus on his business. We managed to catch Rich just before he leaves the 20-Mile; honest and insightful, his journey through entrepreneurship has been most interesting!
Name(s): Richard Chambers
D.O.B: 15 May 1988
Where’s home? Hertfordshire – Hitchin / Letchworth
Profession: Civil Engineer turned Chartered Accountant turned Entrepreneur
Company Name: Get A Drip
If you went to university was it a clear-cut path what you were going to do afterwards?
Absolutely not. I started a Civil Engineering course, somewhat persuaded by my dad, stating it was a good degree and promising there was no maths involved… I initially failed my first year, but then managed to get a First-Class Honours and a Masters, purely due to hard work and no play. During the course I did a couple of industry placements and knew in my final year at university that Civil Engineering was something that I did not want to pursue, way too technical for me! So instead I opened The Times top 100 employers guide and applied to the top company (PwC) and managed to get onto their Graduate Scheme! I should have probably Googled what Audit was before…but no regrets, I would not be where I am today if it wasn’t for PwC.
What is Get A Drip and when did you launch?
Get A Drip provides affordable Vitamin Drips and Booster Shots from Shoreditch and Canary Wharf, to help you recover when you are feeling rundown, fatigued, tired, jet lagged, recovering from illness, sporting events or a hangover. It is built on the premise that we can no longer supplement all the nutrients and vitamins we need via diet alone and that we don’t get the absorption rate needed from oral supplements. We only launched at the end of Oct 2017…a long way to go yet.
How did the idea for Get A Drip come about?
As a Type 1 Diabetic I am always in and out of hospital, due to my poor immune system. Often, I am hooked up to an IV Drip to flush out any illness or sickness I have. During my many visits the hospital staff would often mention to me that “back in the day” they would use IV Drips to get rid of hangovers whilst at college or university. I then set about looking into IV Drips for hangovers. The more I researched the more I understood the real reasons why Vitamin Drips can be so good for you and that the real benefits of the Drips were being missed.
Have you left employment to pursue Get A Drip full time?
Yes, my final day at PwC was in Sep 2017, it was very scary handing in my notice and giving up all my fixed income to pursue something so new and somewhat uncharted.
What were the initial challenges in getting the ball rolling for Get A Drip?
Haha where to start! The business plan took years of work. Every part of it was heavily researched, and with it being such a new thing, there is very little information out there. Also, the medical side to what we do makes it tricky to get hold of all the information I needed to build the plan from the ground up. With such a new concept, most businesses I approached were not keen on letting us have a space or site to set up from, so many potential sites fell through after months / years of networking and constantly “nearly” securing a site.
My day job at PwC often required me to work long hours, often up at 7am and not back before 8pm and often much later. So, finding time to do the business plan and all the research during my evenings and weekends for a couple of years took a lot of dedication. During this phase it can be very demotivating.
Then, once up and running there is the everyday operating of the business, managing the staff, the accounts, the cash flow, the PR and Marketing, the stock, suppliers, locations, website, customer queries, B2B opportunities, emails – so many emails, the compliance, legal, recruitment, procedures, policies, branding and brand materials, IT and systems etc… the list is endless! I am sat here at 1am doing this interview now…
How have you raised investment? Or equally how are you raising investment?
I raised my initial investment through a contact from a friend at PwC. It takes some time to build rapport, network, go through the business plan and it takes lots of networking and follow up meetings…before you even get to the legal part.
We may raise funds in the future in line with any expansion we have.
Any advice you could give others looking for investment?
Make sure your business plan is solid and that you spend lots of time networking and getting to know your investor on a personal level, as it makes the process much easier and fun!
Have you got a mentor?
I constantly discuss the business with my Investor (my main mentor), my fiancée, my family and my friends – if you ask them they will say it is all I talk about. I also have a mentor through Virgin Start Up too!
Who do you seek out for support and advice (if not a mentor)?
Firstly, my fiancée, then my family and friends.
Do you ever doubt yourself?
When things are really busy you do not have time to doubt yourself. However, during the first few months I had lots of sleepless nights with the cash flow. The more decisions you make the easier it becomes, they are still difficult, but you learn to trust your gut and listen to those around you (somewhat). But you have to remember it is unlikely that your friends and family have taken the leap of faith that you have, so they will always be more cautious. I remember this New Year’s Eve gone, I was so worried about cashflow, I got up at midnight and completed my forecasts based on all the data we had from running for 2 months!
How are you marketing Get A Drip?
We started off with a huge bang outsourcing our PR and Marketing, this was because I knew nothing about PR and Marketing and knew this had to be executed perfectly from the start. We spent 80% of our total funds on the PR and Launch and it was worth it. We are now taking on the Marketing ourselves and get some help from a third party. We have great organic growth thanks to that initial bang!
Is there anything along the way that you wish you had done differently?
We started off with a custom built mobile unit as we knew we could move this from location to location to find the right place to set up. But I spent so long deciding on our first location (Shoreditch) that it has worked really well there, so sometimes I wish we had just dived straight in with a permanent location from the start. Although, the Mobile Unit is getting great feedback for potential festivals this Summer.
Anything you would tell yourself then, that you know now?
Maybe be a bit tighter on the purse strings at the beginning!
What’s a typical day for you working on Get A Drip?
Haha – there isn’t one. Sometimes I am on site checking everything is running smoothly, other times I am networking with potential B2B’s this often takes me all around London with back to back meetings. I generally like to work very late (I am not a morning person), I find that after 9pm the emails stop coming in and that I have a chance to clear down my inbox and address all the back office and admin bits I need to get done and I am undisturbed, often I work to about 1-2am. Because I work in a business that is open 7 days a week, there is little room for downtime, during 9-5 I get inundated with calls, emails and meetings and outside of these hours it is actioning the stuff that happens during the day. If there is any issue at site i.e. internet going down, tills not working, snow days etc then it really throws a spanner in the works and can take a lot of time to make up.
How big is the Get A Drip team?
Currently we have 9 team members, but we are in the middle of another recruitment drive for 3 more team members!
What’s the hardest thing about being an entrepreneur?
There is no rest, I am always switched on, the upside to this is that I love what I do, the downside is that all the days merge together and it is very hard to get quality down time. This is something I am starting to enforce on myself though.
Any personality traits you have discovered about yourself along the way?
I didn’t know it, but apparently, I am super confident, which I think is because I believe in our product so much and apparently this comes across really well when I am talking to customers or publishers reviewing our company. I always thought I sounded cringeworthy! – maybe I do and everyone is lying to me!
Any fuck ups along the way?
Haha – There have been plenty of these. I tend to just get on with it and find a solution rather than give up, when looking back it looks like it went well but often it was not as planned but happened to work out better – such is life. Our location for Shoreditch fell through about 4 weeks prior to launch, I had spent 12 – 18 months finding somewhere for our mobile unit, we were super lucky to find the spot we did at the last minute – that was pure luck! Our Launch Party – I cannot remember much from it, the stress of getting everything ready was nothing I have had to deal with before… getting changed 10 minutes after the event started in the toilet, whilst trying to be ushered to meet all the journalists and VIPs! It went so quickly though and it meant I didn’t have time to panic about my speech…I hate public speaking.
What has been your best moment so far as a result of setting up Get A Drip ?
All the amazing people I have met. I have never in my life met so many awesome people in such a short space of time. The number of amazing brands that have approached us or we have approached them is insane… I think we are close to 40 potential partnerships now… watch this space.
What advice would you give other twenty-something’s who are thinking of pursuing a career in the same industry as you?
Make sure you do your research and have a solid business plan, as the industry is a very complex one, given the medical side of what we do. If you are going into a something that involves Customer Service, you must remember that Customer expectations are higher than ever and it can become very demanding.
What do you think is next for Get A Drip in the next year?
We have had people from around the world ask if we are looking to franchise, so who knows…World Domination?
What’s the dream?
To see Get A Drip on most high streets, as you would a Holland and Barrett. To be able to provide Vitamin Drips in a non-intimidating environment in which people can socialise and really understand the benefits of what a Vitamin Drip or Booster Shot can do for you.
Finally if you weren’t be doing this, what would you both be doing?
Travelling the world!… I wish… I have no idea, I just know I could not be a Civil Engineer or Accountant again!
Just for fun
In your twenties the three things I tend to think about are… Staying young, not getting FOMO and wishing I have more money
When I look at my bank statement after a night out I usually… never ever do this, I am always in denial
The Twenty Mile Club is….awesome! is there a 30 mile club?
Find the Get A Drip Handles here: