Four Keys to Starting a Brewery Business Plan

Creating a brewery business plan is a critical and necessary first step for your success. Without a business plan, you leave yourself open to financial pitfalls and potential litigation if all required pieces of the plan are not properly thought through, prepared and assessed.

The Parts of Your Business Plan

There is a lot of information and research that goes into writing your business plan. You have to be prepared to justify why your brewery will keep pace with competition and how you plan to sustain your business in the long term.

Working with a team of business attorneys, as well as past and current brewery owners, is key to your success. You will have to show that you are approaching the opening of your potential business with a keen eye turned to the legal and financial necessities.

A properly written business plan can also help you secure funding, in some cases. The better prepared you appear to be to banks and lenders, the more willing they will be to help you secure funds.

While every business plan looks different, you’ll typically find that they include the following sections:

Executive Summary

In your executive summary, you’ll explain what your brewery is going to be like and how it will fulfill a market need. You’ll need to describe in detail what product you’re going to sell and how your location will help or hurt your sales. Typically, executive summaries contain the following subheadings:

  • Product, in which you explain what you are selling and how it is different from other products on the market.
  • Vision, where you discuss what you’d like to achieve through the opening of your brewery.
  • Mission Statement, a statement about what you believe to be true about your company.
  • Business Structure, or how you will organize your business and staff.
  • Roles and Responsibilities of the staff you hire, i.e.; who is in charge of what.

Market Analysis

Your market analysis takes into account current market trends, as well as how you are going to be able to come by your startup costs. Subheadings for market analysis could include:

  • Target Market, which includes who you are hoping to sell your product to.
  • Competitive Advantage, or why you stand out from other competing products available on the market.
  • Pricing and Payment Options, in which you discuss how you plan to price your product, and the ways in which you will accept payment.
  • Budget, and a breakdown of how you plan to keep your brewery in business.

SWOT Analysis

A SWOT analysis takes into account the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats that face your newly minted microbrewery. You can use a template to help you get started, and begin thinking about the advantages and disadvantages you might face in the current market.

A SWOT analysis can also help you decide if you’re ready to open your brewery. If you’re facing more threats and weaknesses than you are strengths and opportunities, it may be time to reevaluate your course of action before proceeding.

Financial Projections

All potential costs and income need to be accounted for in your financial projections. Taking your financial projections seriously and considering all options with an unbiased eye can save you a lot of disappointment in the future. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 20% of small businesses fail in their first year, and 50% fail by their fifth year.

It’s a better business plan to avoid pouring time, money, and resources into an unsustainable business than it is to wait until a better opportunity presents itself.

 

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