One of the unfortunate things about today’s business world is its persistent use of clichés and buzzwords rolled into a seemingly endless barrage of advertising and commercialism. For instance, words like ‘passion’ have ceased to pluck the emotional chord they once did because every business is ‘passionate’ about everything. In fact, words like ‘passion’ have become so prosaic we often infer the opposite meaning when we hear them due to the ulterior motives we know lay just beneath the surface of the latest marketing monology. The rather long-winded point trying to be made here is that if you wade through enough of the cliché and buzzword muck, you’ll actually come across a business that lives up to the true meaning of the ‘passion’. BreweryBusinessPlan.com is just such a business.
BreweryBusinessPlan.com originated from a love of all-things beer. The path towards starting the business will no doubt be familiar to many other brewing entrepreneurs – by buying a malt extract kit at the local homebrew shop. Over time, you become addicted to your friends and family complimenting your beer. You’ve likely heard, “Your beer is better than anything I can get at the store!” and “Why aren’t you selling this?” You start kicking around the idea of opening your own commercial brewing business. You dive into all things commercial beer related. You start reading everything you can on the subject, brew more beer than you can possibly give a way to hone your brewing skills, and start putting together a plan to get this dream of yours off the ground. Many of our clients’ success stories mirrored this scenario before they got their start, and your situation may mirror this scenario as well.
While my expectations were to start a commercial brewery in the next few months, my wife informed me she was expecting something a bit smaller in about 9 months. With funding for the new brewery (Hob Knob Brewing Co.) secured less than a week prior, it was a bittersweet decision to delay the opening.
Noah was born nine months later, and 13 months after Noah came Eli. My boys are the greatest blessing I’ve ever received. While I was expecting to start a brewery, I actually received something far greater. It was a happy yet stressful time period. I had quit my job to start the brewery. Rather than have someone else watch the boys, we decided I’d stay at home to care for the boys.
After we decided not to start the brewery, I was not only disappointed, I was left with a 100+ page business plan that we had no plans to act on. It was like building a house, and then deciding not to move in. After a few weeks, it dawned on me that even though we might not make use of the plan, someone else might. Johnny Cash said, “You build on failure. You use it as a stepping stone.” In our particular instance, though the brewery never opened its doors, the experience was a stepping stone to BreweryBusinessPlan.com. Now, instead of having started a single brewery, we’ve helped start dozens!
BreweryBusinessPlan.com was born with a simple post in the classified section of probrewer.com. As the website gained traction, I realized bringing in an individual with a lot of experience with brewery operations, production, and quality was a must. As a former company President and successful entrepreneur on multiple businesses, I brought planning, management, marketing, finance, and other business expertise to the table. ,hat I was lacking was a lot of real world experience in an actual brewery. We decided to add a gentleman by the name of Dan Feldman to further strengthen our standing within the industry, and provide a surfeit of industry expertise and experience. Dan is an award-winning brewmaster and brewery consultant with decades of commercial brewing experience who has helped start a . Once he agreed to join the team we had a well-rounded and very talented team of advisors that would work in unison.
To date, our business plan and consulting services have helped start dozens of breweries. To my knowledge, no other company, consultant, government business administration, or software program has helped more new breweries get their start. The emotion, drive, and sense of pride evoked every time we hear one of our customers has successfully started their own brewery – that we’ve helped change their lives for the better – now that’s something to be passionate about! Knowing that our fingerprint (albeit small fingerprint) resides on the craft beer industry via the dozens of breweries we’ve helped start over the past few years – that we’ve helped influence a small corner of an industry that over the years we’ve come to really love – now that’s something to be proud of!
Ever seen what happens when you try to sit a 4 year old down in the midst of a sugar rush? All that energy has got to be put to use. In our company’s case, passion breeds energy – energy spurs action – actions produce results. Our sugar rush often manifests itself as our relentless pursuit of perfection in the products and services that we offer – well, that or fidgeting. In speaking with various clients, the repetitive problem experienced by aspiring breweries is a lack of start-up funds, so we decided to do something about it!
Right now, we’re days away from launching what will hopefully be the most powerful tool we offer craft brewing entrepreneurs. Hopstart: Brewery Crowdfunding is an online fundraising and marketing application that provides startup funds specifically to breweries without loans or any type of financing, without giving up equity, and without spending any out of pocket money.