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Craft breweries have become increasingly popular in recent years, with the number of small, independent breweries in the United States alone surpassing 9,000. While some craft breweries have found great success and have even become household names, others have struggled to gain a foothold in the market.
If you are planning to venture into the craft brewery industry, knowing what sets successful craft breweries apart from their unsuccessful counterparts can help you succeed where others fail.
This article highlights five important traits that successful craft breweries have in common.
- A Compelling Business Plan
A business plan is a formal statement outlining business goals, objectives, strategies, and projected financials. It acts as a roadmap for your brewery’s growth, helping you make sound financial decisions.
When developing a business plan for your brewery, you should aim to identify your customers, define your value proposition, and establish your brand. You will also need to list potential competitors and analyze their strengths and weaknesses.
Most importantly, you should consider the size of your brewery in your plan. That will help you determine the type of equipment you will need to acquire, the number of employees to hire, distribution logic, and marketing strategies.
- They Leverage Technological Advances
Staying ahead of the competition in the brewing industry requires more than a great product or service. You must adopt cutting-edge technology solutions that will help you streamline your operations and boost productivity.
For instance, investing in software for breweries, wineries, and cideries can help you manage production, inventory and sales easily. The right technology will also keep you connected with your suppliers and logistics providers, thus reducing shipping delays.
That’s why you must keep abreast of the latest tech trends in brewery management and take measures to adopt those that best fit your business model.
- They Understand the Regulations in the Brewing Industry
The brewing industry is governed by many regulations from the state and federal authorities. Brewers must familiarize themselves with all applicable regulations for their brewery business to operate legally. Failure to do this can result in hefty fines or even the shutdown of your business.
Ideally, it would help if you start by checking with the state authority that issues licenses for alcohol producers in your state. You should also contact other regulatory agencies for brewers, such as the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and the Alcohol & Tobacco Tax & Trade Bureau (TTB). These agencies can provide the information you need to ensure compliance.
- They Hire the Right People
Talent is a critical ingredient for business success. So, whether you run a small brewery or a large corporation, you need to hire the right people to get the job done.
When hiring employees for your brewery, you should look for people with experience crafting beer. You also want to hire people who share your business passion and understand your company vision. Most Importantly, look for candidates with a strong work ethic and a commitment to quality.
Finding the right talent for the job can be difficult, especially for startups. Fortunately, many online recruiting platforms can help you connect with talented candidates.
- They Know Their Target Audience
Knowing who you intend to sell to when you open your brewery is vital. This will impact everything, including your branding efforts, the products you create, and your marketing strategies.
Therefore, take the time to conduct market research, gathering detailed information about your target customers. Know their age, gender, income level, consumption habits, and preferences.
Information about your target audience will help you create a strong brand identity with a loyal customer base. You will also be able to develop custom marketing messages for each of your target groups.
- Adequate Funding
You must have adequate funding to finance startup operations and marketing for your brewery to succeed. You need money to buy equipment and raw materials, pay license fees, hire employees, and more.
How much funding you require will depend on several factors, including the type of equipment and software you need. You can use an online calculator to estimate the total cost of your project.
Securing funding for your brewery can be a challenging process. Fortunately, many financing options are available for aspiring entrepreneurs, including bank loans and crowdfunding websites. If you are low on cash, you can also try raising capital with the help of friends and family.
- Strong Marketing Plan
A solid marketing plan is vital to growing your business and increasing sales. Without one, you will struggle to attract new customers and retain existing ones.
Ideally, a strong marketing strategy will focus on providing value to customers and creating a positive brand image. It will include elements such as social media marketing, content marketing, and email marketing.
However, you must understand your target audience and their needs to create a successful marketing strategy. It would also help if you researched your competitors to identify any weaknesses in their marketing strategies and capitalize on them.
Alternatively, you can hire a professional marketing agency or expert to help you create an effective campaign, especially if you are a novice in the marketing field.