Brewing beer is fun, but owning a brewery involves a tremendous amount of work. With all the excitement surrounding opening a brewery, please keep in mind that there are also a number of things an aspiring brewer should consider to make this dream come true.
Today, we’d like to focus on the business aspect of the brewery and give you 5 points to think over while planning your future brewery.
Aside from the traditional business plan, you should also have an actual plan like 3-5 years strategic plan, brewery layout, expansion plan etc.
In the beginning, planning can be as simple as tasting room, production goals and revenue goals. But as time goes by, planning should also mature. Well, we are not capable of predicting the future, but we can always plan.
If you are planning to start a brewery, then we are assuming that you have enough money to start a business. We’ve seen a lot of undercapitalized businesses out there and it just doesn’t work.
In order to determine if adequate funds are present, you should have at least 30% on top of your total brewery startup cost. This means that if equipment and build-out cost you $1 million, you should prepare an additional $300,000 to get you through the first few months. This may seem like a huge amount, but you also have to understand that marketing and figure salaries alone may eat up most of it.
Self-distribution is a great option as you start your business but you’ll have to pass it off to the professionals eventually. When this time comes, make it a point to have as much opportunities to interact with the people who’ll be taking care of your business. You wouldn’t want to hand off the promotion and transport of your products to a complete stranger, right?
We know that you are capable of operating those tanks and valves, but can you balance your checkbooks? When you’re ready, it would be best to hire someone knows the industry. This way, you can be sure that your bookkeeper or CPA can speak your language and is capable of solving problems in your behalf.
Keeping a back office is also beneficial as it will help you keep record of your business. This is important as it will help you determine if your brewery is profitable. Most importantly, it will keep the TTB out of your hair.