Small Business Brief

Food Business

11 Important Tips to Starting a Wine Business

The wine industry grew more than 70 billion in 2018 and continues to soar in profit.

But not every wine business starts out making tons of profit. Starting and running a successful wine business is an enormous task. Yet it’s also a rewarding one if you understand everything that’s’ required to run it successfully. 

One of the obstacles you’ll have to overcome when you start a wine business is seeing what your competitors are doing. You’ll have to sell wine that appeals to a certain audience with a specific taste. 

Other obstacles will be to follow the wine regulations. 

In other words, there’s a lot more to starting a wine business than watching your vineyard grow. 

If you want your wine business to succeed at the highest level, you’ll need to follow these 11 tips. 

1. Figure Out How Much You’re Going to Spend

It’s easy to get carried away with the idea you’re going to create huge amounts of fabulous wine. 

The truth is you need to figure out if you’re going to need 250 or 250,000 cases each year. That, of course, will depend on your budget and how well you market your business.

2. Plan Ahead

You have to expect to not make a profit for the first couple of years. Your crops will need to grow. You’ll need to spend on maintenance of the vines each year. 

You won’t see a profit for a couple of years because everything is developing and you need to plan ahead so you’re ready when it is time to turn grapes into wine. 

3. Selling to Retailers

When you’re wine is ready, you need to be ready to attract the attention of wholesalers who want to market your wine to stores and restaurants. 

You also have to be prepared for the demand of different wines because of the diversity of wines restaurants want of your wine. 

4. Have Your Licenses 

While it may seem like common sense to acquire a liquor license for your wine, you actually need a lot more than just a license. 

You will need to acquire multiple licenses. You will also need to have your wine be approved through the wine bureau.   

5. Choose What Winery You Will Be

Some wineries order grapes from vineyards without actually growing the grapes themselves. 

While other wineries grow the grapes, produce the wine, and host guests at the winery. But this is different for any winery, it just depends on what your winery will be defined as. 

6. Have a Business Plan

While this may seem like another obvious tip, you’ll be surprised that a lot of businesses close within 5 to 10 years because of a lack of planning. 

A business plan should detail your financial goals and how you plan to achieve them. It should also include a marketing plan. 

7. Figure Out Your Niche

Starting a winery shouldn’t be about trying to sell as many red or white wines as possible. It’s about having a wine niche, which means specialty red and white wines. 

You want your customers to recognize your winery based on the specialties you offer. 

8. Location Location Location

Starting a wine business, or any business is about location. You need to know where your vineyard will best grow and develop. 

That means you should research the climate. You should know what equipment you need to buy for your vineyard to properly grow during the spring and summer. 

The location also means being strategic about where your customers can find you. You don’t want your winery to be somewhere that is impossible to find. 

You want a location that people can easily locate and enjoy wine. 

9. Choose Your Varietals

There are thousands of varietals to choose from when it comes to grapevines. Of course, you have to choose varietals that work in your climate. 

But you will have plenty to choose from, so it’s important to figure out what varietals you want that will eventually define your winery. 

10. Have a Marketing Plan

Similar to a business plan, a marketing plan gives winery some guidance. You can’t expect to flood to your winery without a bit of marketing. 

You can advertise your winery on different platforms that describe how your wine tastes different than other competitors. 

More importantly, a marketing plan a strategy employed by businesses that get people to take action, to buy from your business. It means you will have to estimate how much is spent on marketing and how many sales you need to break even. 

A good marketing plan understands how to get people into a business and what a 3-6 month marketing campaign can do. 

11. Know Your Audience

Finally, every winery should know their audience. That means marketing to them based on what they like to do. If your winery is catered toward a younger generation, it’s a good idea to market weekend events that attract that audience. 

The more you know your audience, the more you can create marketing campaigns around what they want. Your brand is shaped by how they feel about your winery. 

Your audience ultimately decides how successful your wine business performs. 

You can also see the educational gaps that stop people from buying wine in this article.

Starting a Wine Business is Hard Work but Worth It

While nobody said the wine business is a profitable and easy venture, there’s a lot of reward in it if you put in the hard work. You have to be patient, but if you’re willing to wait, a wine business can produce for you a lot of profit. 

Part of the hard work is laying a foundation that will attract customers and wholesalers to your business. You also have to stay ahead of your competition and see how you can perform better in areas that push you ahead of the competition. 

For more information on starting a wine business, you can visit our website.