The idea of starting a microbrewery business is actually awesome. After all, nothing makes anyone feel greater than creating something you have been buying for decades. It’s likable to the feeling of a new novelist when they see their writing live on HBO. Before HBO, a novelist knows how much effort they have exerted. Similarly, before getting to the stage where you or anyone can consider starting a microbrewery, it’s important to understand relevant facts about the brewing business and bear the following facts in mind. While you can decide to break any of these you after you’ve become an expert, ensure you learn and adhere to the principles first.
10 Things You Must Know Before Starting a Microbrewery
1. The Inner Drive
This is your passion. It is the drive for virtually every human endeavor, especially if you want a positive result that endures for a long while. It applies to professions, occupations, and even athletics. It’s one of those constituents of your psychological unconscious that drive you when challenges come up. If you don’t have the passion flaring in you like an inferno, don’t sweat on starting the microbrewery business yet. It’s not for the frail-hearted. When the storms arise, it’s passion that keeps you going, functioning as your beacon. Before learning how to start a microbrewery business, activate your inner drive first.
The aphorism “he who fails to plan plans to fail” applies to lots of human activities. Planning is essential to setting up any business, and the microbrewery venture is not an exception. Therefore, it’s important to plan ahead before starting your business. You will need planning, especially in the financial aspect, else, your money is wasted.
Also, a vivid show of what your plans are, clearly written and aided by pictographs, charts, and infographics, will stimulate an investor to invest in your business.
You can see more about the significance of planning to finance in the section below.
This is the third commandment engraved in the tablet of starting any business, and it applies to the microbrewery business too. Money is the wheel on which the world runs. Since nothing can be done effectively without involving money, you shouldn’t take finance with levity when starting up your microbrewery business.
Of course, you won’t want a situation whereby your business survives for only a few months before withering into oblivion. First, you will be down, and it doesn’t even speak well of you. Taking your financing seriously makes your business soar, with other necessities put in place.
There are different ways of financing the microbrewery business, many of which you can consider:
- Bootstrapping: In this case, you have to harvest all your savings to start your business. The benefit of this method of financing the microbrewery business is that you owe no one a dime and you will be desperate to excel in the business. After all, you have spent all that you have on starting the business already, so you owe yourself one thing, which is success. If you excel in the business with the capital pooled from your savings, it remains your motivational story. If you fail, you can still rise. It all depends on you.
- Application: In case you’re very passionate but you know that, even if you bootstrap from the highest to the littlest of your possessions, the money still won’t be enough to hatch your brewery, you may consider applying for a loan.
While applying for a loan, you won’t show that you have just the passion, but you will also convince whoever is going to lend you the fund that you have a plan.
Also, the lender will ask you questions pertaining to what staff will perform what function. How many staff members will work for you? Are you setting up your microbrewery at home, or do you already have a site? How many products do you intend to brew? Do you have competitors around you or not? Do you intend to expand the business later in the future, or is a brewery in the garage of your home all you want? Ensure that you have answered all these and other relevant questions in your application before thinking of beginning your microbrewery business.
After preparing application and drafting out answers to the questions above, you send the content to your lender, who takes a look at the viability of your projections, mission, assumption, and others. If they consider you worthy, they may ask you to edit certain things. Mind you, such editing should be based on the content, not grammar or spelling. You won’t want to turn off your helper because of avoidable mistakes.
If your application goes down well with the lender, they can get across to you and discuss certain conditions before finally reaching a consensus. After agreeing, then your business can be financed.
Borrowing from the government is one other way you can fund your business. This is friendlier than the commercial method, as sometimes, the government can partially pardon your loan, which is an added advantage to you.
4. Legal Hurdles
As a start up, you need to familiarize with the ever-evolving laws guiding breweries in your country. Laws vary according to states, so know what laws apply to which state you’re starting or likely extending your business to. There are laws that guide the production and distribution of your microbrewery products. To jump over this obstacle, Amy Cartwright of Independence Brewing Co. recommends adaptability. But before you adapt to anything, you have to know it like the lines of your palm.
5. Be Self-Critical
Telling the truth to yourself is not low self-esteem. Get ready to work really hard if you want to start your business. You will have to clean, do calculations, talk at conferences, and so on. Since your business is understaffed at the first stage, you will have to put lots of energy into your business.
After all experiments and production, if your beer comes out well, you own the praise. However, if it’s bad, first acknowledge the fact that your result is below average and find where the fault is to amend. Phil Markowski, the Brewmaster of Two Roads Brewing Company asserts, “bad beer is bad beer and bad beer will kill your business.” To create a successful microbrewery, tell yourself the truth.
Experience is really important before venturing into any business. Many owners of the massive breweries you see around started this way. They worked in some brewing companies for years and probably from departments to departments before deciding to start theirs. Remember that most established businesses require experience ranging for a specific number of years. This is how invaluable experience is to companies.
7. Be Unique
Your brand deserves some attention. People don’t want to leave the brand they are already familiar to without an atom of uniqueness to hold on to. Your brand has to be really unique and be able to withstand existing competition, and this uniqueness covers the taste, color, packaging and even manner of distribution. So it’s important to think of how to uniquely deliver all these to your potential buyers.
8. Involve the Service of Professionals
It is paramount to understand the legal bindings of your territory, manage your accounts, and ensure your business as you produce consistently. You cannot achieve this all alone. You need professionals who can handle each aspect of all that makes your business to be up and running.
Packaging is really essential to your business. Sometimes, the way you package is what differentiates quality in the eyes of buyers. So you need to package your product really well before thinking of setting it off. Packaging starts from bottling, to labeling, racking, and even distribution. Distribution especially is hard, so you must brace yourself for it.
It is understandable that each of the following aforementioned steps deal with selling your product and expanding. You must have targeted buyers of your product. These are people towards whom you will direct your story. They are the reason you’re setting up this business in the first place. Always let each step you’re considering channel towards sales. After all, without sales, your business is mere letters written in the desert sand. It takes little time before it’s blown away by even gentle wind.
If your beer is going to be for everyone, let your plans channel towards making sales in this line. And if yours is going to be a little bit classy, let everything you do support the sales. You don’t want to fold up after a few months of starting your business. As you’re about to start your beer microbrewery business, bear in mind that you’re starting out your legacy. It’s not just any business, but one that will last your generations to come. Obviously, challenges will come, but you won’t lose to them if you keep don’t forget how important your sales are.
Always remember that passion comes first in successfully beginning your microbrewery business. It powers your resilience instinct. Also, financing is very important to starting your business, and you get this in various ways. More so, planning is essential to creating your craft or microbrewery business, as much as acclimatizing yourself with the legal aspect of your business. Planning to be unique in your business and involving the service of professionals is very much important to sales in the microbrewery business.