Do you want to start a small vineyard but you are worried about its profitability? If YES, here are 12 ways to boost vineyard revenue and profit. Just like every other business that can be started on a small scale, a small vineyard business can be profitable as long as factors that will aid the profitability of the business are put in place.

To start with, what is a Vineyard?

A vineyard is a plantation of grapes, grown mainly for winemaking, but also raisins, table grapes and non-alcoholic grape juice. The science, practice and study of vineyard production is known as viticulture.

Is a Vineyard Different from Winery?

Yes, a vineyard is different from a winery because a vineyard is a plantation of any size that grows grapes meant to produce wine. A winery is a licensed property that makes wine. So, a vineyard can have a winery that produces wine from the grapes it grows, but it can also sell its grapes to outside wineries and purely act as a grape-grower.

Can You Run a Winery Alongside a Vineyard?

Yes, indeed you can run a small winery alongside a small vineyard and it is economical to do so. This will help you increase the profitability of your small vineyard. Recent research shows that vineyards can make earnings up to $11,000 per acre and if you deduct the expenses, you could get $5,000 per acre.

All over the world wines are always in great demand and studies show that restaurants and bars have around a 70 percent profit margin on wine while retailers are typically between 30 to 50 percent. Distributors and wholesalers tend have a wine profit margin of around 28 to 30 percent, and producers and vineyards will make about 50 percent gross margin.

You can see that a small vineyard can indeed be profitable, but in order to grow your small vineyard to become profitable, here are tips you can follow to achieve it;

12 Ways to Make your Small Vineyard Profitable

1. Create and Promote Special Packages on a Regular Basis

One of the ways that you can make your small vineyard profitable is to ensure that from time to time you come up with promos that will be too tempting for customers (wineries and other companies that make use of grapes) to resist and at the same time will not deep into your profitability. For example, if your competitors are offering 10 Kg free vine for every 100 Kg ordered, you can go below the industry average in your price as well.

2. Partner with Key Stakeholders That Will Help You Attract Customers

Another marketing strategy that you need to adopt if you want to run a profitable small vineyard is to ensure that you partner with key stakeholders in and around the location where you have your target market. You can partner with different wine production companies (wineries), grape exporters and wholesalers. Please note that you can reach an agreement with them on the percentage they stand to get when any customer comes through their referrals.

3. Develop Mailing Lists and Leverage on Email Marketing

Developing mailing lists of your target market is yet another marketing idea that you can leverage on to market your grapes and make the business profitable. Before launching any business, you would have in mind the people and businesses that are likely going to patronize your produce hence you should be able to develop a mailing list and then use the list to market your grapes.

Email marketing is an ideal approach and a means of getting new visitors engaged with your business, as well as maintain relationships with your existing customers.

4. Spend More on Advertising and Promotion of your Vineyard

If indeed you want to make more maximize profit from your small vineyard business, you must be ready to spend money in order to be in the face of your target market. You are expected to advertise your vineyard on local dailies (community newspapers), local TV and radio stations.

You are expected to promote your vineyard business online via blogs and all available social media platforms. Make use of attractive hand bills to create awareness and also to give direction to your vineyard. Position your signage / flexi banners at strategic places in and around the city where you have your vineyard.

5. Leverage on Short Videos on Social Media

You could create a short-but-sweet video that explains what your vineyard is all about, the species of grapes you cultivate, or you could dive deep into a topic that relates to your business. Your potential customers might be searching for how-to videos, and that gives you an opportunity to catch their attention. And with the ability to shoot videos on any smartphone, this is a free marketing idea that can make a big impact.

Short videos are really valuable when it comes to marketing anything on social media including a small vineyard. All you have to do is ensure that you produce quality and easy to understand videos. Interestingly, you can do the video yourself if you don’t have enough money to hire professionals.

6. Get All Your Employees Involved in Marketing Your Services

As a small vineyard operator, part of what you need to do if you want to continue to welcome clients, generate revenue and maximize profit is to ensure that all your employees (not only marketing and sales executives) are directly or indirectly involved in the sales and marketing of your wine and grapes.

Just ensure that you create provision for your employees to earn a commission when they bring in business for the organization. You can as well create a business model that will enable freelancers to work with your organization especially as it relates to bringing in business.

7. Form Strategic Marketing Alliance with Players in the Wine Production Industry

As a vineyard business owner, if you want to continue to welcome clients, generate revenue and maximize profits, then you should look towards forming strategic marketing alliance with major players in the wine production industry.

Good enough, there are opportunities for small vineyards to form strategic marketing alliance with other players in the industry due to the fact that some wineries who don’t own their own vineyard or need more supplies despite the fact that they own their own vineyard, usually contract the supply of grapes to vineyards.

8. Build Good Business Network

Networking is perhaps one of the most effective and creative marketing ideas needed to build your client base and you have to put plans in place to leverage on all your networks if you truly want to do well with your small vineyard. In view of that, you should look out for gatherings where you can network with wineries, wine exporters and grape wholesalers et al. These are the people that will likely patronize your vineyard.

9. Develop a Customer Referral Program

Another strategic marketing idea that you can deploy for your small vineyard business is to develop a customer referral program that will help you reward customers who refer other customers to you. This is actually encouraging word of mouth promotion of your business. Interestingly, customers that you get via referral would definitely become another satisfied customer that will help you attract other customers.

10. Engage in Guerrilla Marketing

Applying guerrilla marketing approach is yet another creative marketing idea that you can adopt for your small vineyard busines. Guerilla marketing emphasizes creativity over budget, and strategies are often cheap and easy to implement, especially when localized.

Broadcast your Twitter handle with sidewalk chalk, use an abandoned storefront as a canvas for street art, or plaster custom stickers on urban décor that makes those who stroll by look twice. There’s a ton of room for invention here, and you don’t need a big budget to be successful with this idea.

11. Brand Your Official Vehicles

If you run a small vineyard business, you are expected to have a delivery truck at least. If this applies to you, then one of the ways of marketing the business is to brand all your official vehicles in such a way that people would always want to make enquiries on how they can patronize your vineyard.

Aside from branding all your official vehicles, you can as well paste stickers of your company on clients’ and family member’s cars. It will go a long way to communicate your brand and also attract customers.

12. List Your Vineyard on Yellow Pages Ads (Local Directories)

Another sure way to make your vineyard profitable is to ensure that you list your vineyard on yellow paged ads (local directories) in your city or community. With the advent of the internet, hard copy yellow page ads have been relegated to the background, but it is still one major tool that will help people locate your vineyard. Of course, if people know that your vineyard exists in their location, they will sure purchase grapes and wine from you.

Joy Nwokoro