Manage Your Brewery Like a Business
3 steps to ensure brewery success, from website & experiences, to the bottom line
As breweries continue to grow in this complex market, there are many decisions to consider. They range from the basics of marketing and outreach, to the more complex business analysis behind the scenes. As a result, managing your brewery like a business is more important than ever.
Let’s discuss three aspects to focus on in order to attract crowds, provide the best brand experience in the taproom, and track the profitability of it all.
This is a no-brainer for most, but you’d be surprised how a sub-par online digital presence can significantly undermine your bottom line. 77% of agencies reported that poor user experience on a website is a major weakness for their clients, making this the biggest factor holding back their marketing success.
Recall your last search for a new restaurant, craft beer bar, or “dog-friendly brewery.” The decision to visit a new spot is often determined by search results and the content you provide to help them make informed decisions.
Today’s most successful breweries are utilizing all the low-cost tools available to expand their digital reach. Custom-made websites, recent photos, and a dedicated URL for search engines are essential in building your online presence and getting people in the door. You need a story. It doesn’t have to be exhaustive or break the bank, (Wix and Squarespace have affordable, easy-to-use website builders), but it should convince new visitors to stop by your brewery rather than the “other place” around the corner.
According to Juan O’Naghton, Owner and Head Brewer at Nightlife Brewing in Miami, “You need to have a story, you need to have the catchphrases and your marketing needs to be on point. I know it doesn’t sound ‘crafty’ at all, but the craft is in the liquid and I’m still running a business.”
“…the craft is in the liquid and I’m still running a business.”
Juan O’Naghten, Nightlife Brewing
Local Google AdWords campaigns, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts are pivotal in getting your story out. Whether you have live music playing in your taproom, a tap takeover at a local pub, or a new Hazy IPA hitting shelves, let your biggest fans know what you have to offer on any given day.
Digital experience – check. Now that they’re in the door, what does your environment look like? Is it consistent with your brand?
According to a study by CGA/Nielsen for the Brewers Association, 64% of respondents said that a brewery visit was “either a different type of occasion or was in addition to typical on-premise occasions.”
The taproom provides your highest margins, event opportunities (revenue), and most importantly, immediate customer feedback. Utilize digital tap boards, iPad check-in apps, Untappd and other apps to interact with your customers for valuable feedback.
Offering something for everyone, not just the beer nerds, is key. Think Beer Yoga sessions, BINGO, dog-friendly and family-friendly events, and of course, great food options.
“We once sponsored a ‘Battle of the Bands’ event featuring Jazz Bands competing against each other,” says O’Naghton. “It was exciting to watch people enjoying our product, while listening to the jazz and loving the combination of the two.”
Don’t just make decisions from your gut. Arm yourself with the facts to back up your decisions.
Behind the Beer: Mind Your Business
So, you’ve got a killer online presence, Joe is slaying the banjo on Thursday nights, and the beer yoga classes are booked out. How do you know if it’s even profitable? None of it makes sense if you don’t have systems in place to analyze it all.
Owners, accountants, managers and decision makers need accurate, real-time insights from a single source of the truth to make the best business decisions.
Tracking your sales, costs, or who is performing in your taproom, will all impact your bottom line. Having access to how your brands are performing, where production needs to increase or decrease, and understanding your financial standing at any given time are all extremely valuable insights for any business, especially a brewery.
By utilizing OBeer Sales Reports, owners like O’Naghton can anticipate where the market is going and adjust accordingly.
“I can see the market trends happening in my taproom, and also in terms of what my distributor is buying.”
Juan O’Naghten, Nightlife Brewing
You’re no longer just a brewery, you’re a business. To sustain it, you need an external presence, an understanding of your customers’ needs, and the right tools in place for success.
Learn more about how OrchestratedBEER can empower your brewery to make the best business decisions, by providing a single source of the truth.