The wine business is one of the most admired ventures, and it’s not hard to see why. It seems like the entrepreneurs in this business have it easy. They own a home with a vineyard, so all they have to do is wait for their produce, make some wine, and earn easy money. This is what it looks like from the outside looking in.
Wine business success easier said than done
Succeeding in the wine business is easier said than done. You could have the vineyard and startup money and still not make it. Every successful wine business owner will tell you that it takes a lot of patience and determination to make it in this industry. You’ll have to deal with year-round farm work and exhausting competitive sales. Not to mention, the regulatory paperwork isn’t any fun. However, if you’re serious about breaking into this industry and succeeding, there are several things you can do to set yourself up for success. These include:
If you’ve been thinking of venturing into the wine business for a while, chances are you get motivation from Louis Xiii cognac and other expensive liquor. You probably believe that it will fly off the shelves without any effort if you have the best product. Think again.
Before you think about making money, ensure you have enough to start. More often than not, entrepreneurs venturing into this business end up using more money than they intended to start. If you’re starting the business from scratch, prepare to spend up to a year without making any returns.
It takes up to four years to produce a commercial crop, and the wine-making process can take up to a year. During this time, you’ll need to spend a lot of money to keep things in motion. Therefore, ensure you have enough money set aside to avoid getting stuck midway.
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Once your product is ready for the market, the next step is figuring out your target audience. Most winemakers skip this step because they believe their product will be appealing to anyone who takes wine. However, with this mindset, you end up limiting your marketing strategies because you’re not sure who to market to. As a result, it becomes challenging to set goals and know when you’ve achieved them.
Your target audience can range anywhere from people who have a keen interest in winemaking to wine lovers. Choose a group you’re confident you can serve well and leave a lasting impression on. Next, focus on selling to that group and expanding your marketing strategies as you grow.
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With so many wineries in the world, you need to identify your unique selling point. What can you offer that is not offered by other brands? Do you think your target audience will have an unforgettable experience with your product?
From the moment your visitors enter your premises, you need to ensure they’re having the time of their life. It’s not just about wine tasting and calling it a day. It would be best if you had an edge to stand out from the competition. Some of the things you can do to offer a memorable experience include:
- Host creative events
- Offer a personalised tour of the premises
- Give the visitors a chance to participate in the wine-making process by making unique blends
- Send food pairing ideas for every wine delivered
- Charm your guests with a rich cultural heritage
- Offer wine tasting with the winemaker for a personalised experience
Producing and selling alcoholic beverages isn’t a walk in the park. The entire process is wrapped up in massive legal red tape. You must acquire licenses and permissions from the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) and go through an extensive process of having your label approved.
When you cross this stage and start selling, you enter into the rigorous process of calculating and paying excise tax, among other things. So, familiarise yourself with your state’s legal requirements to avoid getting on the wrong side of the law and stalling your operations.
In a perfect world, you’d have some of the largest stores to stock up on your products, sit back and wait for profits. The chances of this happening in the wine industry are slim to none. You need to do the legwork to get your product into the market and make money.
Connect with your target audience on social media, join clubs, host unique events, and develop more creative ways to build brand awareness and sell.
The wine business isn’t a get-rich-quick scheme. A lot of work and monetary investment goes into the process before you ever make money. And even when your product is ready, you’ll have to do a lot of heavy lifting to attain the level of success you dream of. However, it’s not impossible. With the tips in this article, you can begin on the right foot. Remember to identify your unique selling points and provide an unforgettable experience—that’s what sells!
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