Just like any other business, starting a winery is a viable business idea for many people. However, this is a business that you will have to dedicate a lot of your time, money, and space; therefore, you need to get it right from the start. If you do everything as it should be, you will have a highly profitable business within a very short time. One thing that you need to know is that producing quality wine is not as easy as it may seem, but with the skills and patience, you will be smiling all the way to the bank.
Below are some of the things that need to be in place by the time you start:
- The first thing that you need to be cleared is work permits. There are different licenses that you will have to get before the place can be operational. Each country will have different laws for this kind of business; therefore, you need to have it right to avoid being on the wrong side of the law. However, the three basic ones that you will get in any country will be food production permit, general business permit, and a liquor permit.
- You need to choose the place where you are going to set up wisely. Select a place where your customers can gain access easily. The best place to setup is where there are other wineries so that as clients go to the other wineries, they can also get to know about yours. You might also consider advertising on various platforms too.
- Wine is made from grapes; these are your raw materials. You could decide to either buy these grapes from farmers, or you could decide to have your own vineyard. Not all grapes are good for making wine; therefore, you have to ensure you have the know-how on detecting the best from the not-very-good-ones. In this business, you only choose the best grapes, nothing less. As for those who decide to grow theirs, you have to make sure that the soil, climatic conditions and water are favorable to produce the best. In the event that you are not an expert farmer, you might have to hire a contractor who will take care of all the technicalities.
Once you have the right papers and certifications to start the business, it is time to get to business. There are three ways that you can actually start off. These are:
- You may decide to buy an already established winery from a person who wants to sell theirs. However, you have to be careful when making this move as some people sell because there is something wrong with the business. Therefore take your time and study the business and if possible seek professional advice. If everything is okay, then you can go ahead and make the purchase.
- The other option is to have a big vineyard. Here you will grow the grapes and make a lot of money. Next, you will have the start-up capital to build your own winery from scratch. Secondly, you could identify one of the best farmers who will be supplying you with the best grapes.
- The best way to start is always small. This way, you will have the time to learn all the logistics of the business then you will expand gradually.
Once you have your wine ready, you need to have a proper distribution channel to your customers:
- There are those who do it online
- Others open up a liquor store where they will be selling through.
- You can also decide to have an open door policy at your winery where clients can just pop in at any time to come sample some of the wines that you have. This way, they will end up buying and telling others about your wine, and your client base grows eventually.
- A wine club is also a perfect way to sell your wine. Here you will be selling to your clients in retail. This is actually a very viable and easy method of selling.
- There are also those who choose to sell through all the above four methods, this way they are able to reach more people.
Growing into a profitable business
- To start with, keep your expenses on the lower end as much as possible. You might have to hire fewer people for starters, and you could really use a hand from volunteers and interns who want to learn.
- Partnerships with some of the wealthiest people you know will greatly boost your business since you have enough money to expand the business and market it properly.
- Always pack in cheap but quality bottles; customers are interested in the wine and not the bottles.
- Have a nice label on the bottle that is attractive.
- Buy used materials if applicable and only buy new ones when there are no second-hand ones available.