Are you about starting a micro winery business? If YES, here is a complete sample winery business plan template & feasibility study you can use for FREE.
If you intend to start and run a winery as a profitable business, do not look forward to having immediate returns on your investment. This is why people who go into the business are generally seen as doing it not for their own gain or benefit but as a future investment they can leave behind for their children and grandchildren.
An important decision you will have to make before starting is to know what aspect of the business you will like to do or if you will prefer to handle all aspects. For instance you can decide to own a vineyard which is a farm that grows grapes a major ingredient for wines. After growing the grapes you can sell or export them to wineries who are involved in producing the wine.
In a situation where you do not have enough money to invest, you can choose to partner with more established wineries that have their own vineyards and wineries to grow their grapes and produce their own wines. These wineries give people the opportunity to make a barrel for their own private consumption or make hundreds of barrels for commercial purposes.
Another decision to consider is where your business will be located. When choosing where to site your business you will have to think of the climatic condition as grapes thrive in dry climates, cool days and hot nights. This is why places like Arizona and California are regarded as top wine growing and producing regions in united states of America because they have climatic conditions that suit the growth, cultivation and harvesting of grapes.
A Sample Micro Winery Business Plan Template
Table of Content
As stated earlier, the winery business is an exciting one and can be a rewarding experience if properly done and well planned. The industry is fast growing as despite the huge capital outlay needed to start the business a lot of people are still coming in leading to it being a vibrant industry.
The Wineries industry comprises of companies that are involved in at least one component of the wine making process. The wine making process includes growing and harvesting grapes, crushing and pressing grapes into unfermented wine and fermenting the wine. The industry also makes wine blends, brandies and wines made from other fruit sources.
The wine institute which represents about 500 wineries in California states that total wine sales in the United States both from foreign and domestic avenues was around 600 million gallons some years ago which recorded a retail value of 19 billion dollars. Also wine exports have been a good source of revenue with 79 million gallons exported providing about 500 million dollars in revenue.
California accounts for most of the wine markets in the United States but steadily over the years, the business has become very popular and there has been an increase in wine markets in various regions around the country. This has seen vineyards available in about 40 states with 49 states having wineries, leading to about 2000 wineries around the country.
In 2014, a major landmark was achieved when the United States of America for the first time became the largest wine consumer by volume with an annual consumption of 29.1 million hectoliters over taking France in the process. This has gone on to explain why wine brands from the United States are dominant in the world market and are continually on the rise.
Statistics also show that wine consumption in the United States is set to rise by 11% over the next few years and this growth will make the total market share of the country double what is expected from the market of China. There are several factors to consider like where to buy the land, cost of the land, planting of the grapes harvesting of the grapes, bottling the product, marketing and lots more making it a daunting and challenging task.
For instance, if you decide to start the business from the scratch you will have to be extremely patient and be ready to spend huge money. It can take up to four years before you produce grapes that are commercially viable and the process of making the wine can take a further two years which means whatever you budget for the business should be for a long term basis and you should be in it for the long haul.
The industry is characterized by fierce competition which is why it is important that when entering the business you develop a particular niche as this will enable you penetrate the market and get your own customers.
Over and above, the winery industry is a profitable industry and it is open for any aspiring entrepreneur to come in and establish his or her business; you can chose to start on a small scale (micro – winery) or you can chose to start on a large scale (mega – winery).
The Vineyard Group®, Inc. is a standard and licensed winery business that will be located in an industrial area in Indianapolis – Indiana. We have been able to secure a long term lease for a standard facility and 2 acres of farm land in a strategic location with an option of a long term renewal on an agreed terms and conditions that is favorable to us.
The facility has government approval for the kind of business we want to run and it is easily accessible and we are deliberate about that to facilitate easy movement of raw materials and finished products.
We are in the winery business to produce top taste and fine products such as Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot, Grigio, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, Zinfandel, Riesling and other blends that can compete with any other winery in the United States of America and in any part of the world.
We are also in business to make profits at the same to give our customers value for their money; we want to give people and businesses who patronize our products the opportunity to be part of the success story of The Vineyard Group®, Inc.
We are aware that there are several standard wineries scattered all around the United States and Canada whose products can be found in every nooks and crannies of The United States and Canada.
Which is why we spent time and resources to conduct our feasibility studies and market survey so as to enable us locate the business in an area that will support the growth of the business and also for us to be able offer much more than our competitors will be offering.
We ensured that our facility is easy to locate and we have mapped out plans to develop a wide distribution network for wholesalers all around the United States of America and Canada.
Much more than producing top taste and neatly bottled wines, our customer care is going to be second to none. We know that our customers are the reason why we are in business which is why we will go the extra mile to get them satisfied when they purchase any of our wine brands.
The Vineyard Group®, Inc. will ensure that all our customers are given first class treatment whenever they visit our winery. We have a CRM software that will enable us manage a one on one relationship with our customers no matter how large the numbers of our customer base may grow to. We will ensure that we get our customers involved when making some business decisions that will directly or indirectly affect them.
The Vineyard Group®, Inc. is family business that will be owned by Frank Potter and Family. Frank Potter who is the Chief Executive Officer of the Company is Graduate of Micro Biology (B.Sc.) and he holds a Master’s Degree in Business Management (MBA).
He has well over 15 years of experience working in related industry as a senior manager prior to starting The Vineyard Group®, Inc. He will be working with a team of professionals to build the business and grow it to enviably height.
The Vineyard Group®, Inc. is going to operate a standard and licensed winery whose products will not only be sold in the United States and Canada but also in other parts of the world. We are in the winery business to make profits and also to give our customers value for their money.
These are some of our services and product offerings;
- Growing wine grapes
- Blending wines
- Bottling wines
- Marketing and retailing wines
- Manufacturing brandy, vermouth and cider
- Cabernet Sauvignon
- Pinot Grigio
- Pinot Noir
- Sauvignon Blanc
- Zinfandel, Riesling and other blends
Our Mission and Vision Statement
- Our vision is to establish standard winery whose products will be not only be sold in the United States of America and Canada, but also in other parts of the world.
- Our mission is to establish a standard winery business that will produce a wide range of wines for both low income earners and for luxury consumption.
- We want to build a winery business that will be listed amongst the top 10 wineries in the United States of America and Canada
Our Business Structure
The Vineyard Group®, Inc. is a business that is established with the aim of competing favorably with other leading winery brands in the industry. This is why we will ensure that we put the right structure in place that will support the kind of growth that we have in mind while setting up the business.
We will ensure that we only hire people that are qualified, honest, hardworking, customer centric and are ready to work to help us build a prosperous business that will benefit all the stake holders (the owners, workforce, and customers).
As a matter of fact, profit-sharing arrangement will be made available to all our senior management staff and it will be based on their performance for a period of five years or more depending how fast we meet our set target. In view of that, we have decided to hire qualified and competent hands to occupy the following positions;
- Chief Executive Officer (Owner)
- Winery (Plant) Manager
- Human Resources and Admin Manager
- Warehouse Manager
- Merchandize Manager
- Sales and Marketing Manager
- Information Technologist
- Accountants / Cashiers
- Customer Service Executive
Job Roles and Responsibilities
Chief Executive Officer – CEO (Owner):
- Increases management’s effectiveness by recruiting, selecting, orienting, training, coaching, counseling, and disciplining managers; communicating values, strategies, and objectives; assigning accountabilities; planning, monitoring, and appraising job results; developing incentives; developing a climate for offering information and opinions; providing educational opportunities.
- Creates, communicates, and implements the organization’s vision, mission, and overall direction – i.e. leading the development and implementation of the overall organization’s strategy.
- Responsible for fixing prices and signing business deals
- Responsible for providing direction for the business
- Creates, communicates, and implements the organization’s vision, mission, and overall direction – i.e. leading the development and implementation of the overall organization’s strategy.
- Responsible for signing checks and documents on behalf of the company
- Evaluates the success of the organization
Winery (Plant) Manager
- Responsible for overseeing the smooth running of the winery(plant)
- Part of the team that determines the quantity of drinks (wine) that are to be produced
- Map out strategy that will lead to efficiency amongst workers in the plant
- Responsible for training, evaluation and assessment of plant workers
- Ensures that the steady flow of both raw materials to the plant and easy flow of finished products through wholesale distributors to the market
- Ensures operation of equipment by completing preventive maintenance requirements; calling for repairs.
- Ensures that the plant meets the expected safety and health standard at all times.
Human Resources and Admin Manager
- Responsible for overseeing the smooth running of HR and administrative tasks for the organization
- Updates job knowledge by participating in educational opportunities; reading professional publications; maintaining personal networks; participating in professional organizations.
- Enhances department and organization reputation by accepting ownership for accomplishing new and different requests; exploring opportunities to add value to job accomplishments.
- Defines job positions for recruitment and managing interviewing process
- Carries out staff induction for new team members
- Responsible for training, evaluation and assessment of employees
- Oversees the smooth running of the daily office and factory activities.
- Responsible for managing the daily activities in the warehouse
- Ensure that the warehouse facility is in tip top shape and conducive enough to welcome customers
- Maintains office supplies by checking stocks; placing and expediting orders; evaluating new products.
- Interfaces with third – party providers (vendors)
- Controls the supply floor inventory
- Ensures that goods and products are properly arranged
- Supervises the entire warehouse
- Handles any other duty as assigned by the CEO
- Manages vendor relations, market visits, and the ongoing education and development of the organizations’ buying teams
- Helps to ensure consistent quality of wines are produced
- Responsible for the purchase of raw materials and packaging materials (bottles and cans et al)
- Responsible for planning sales, monitoring inventory, selecting the merchandise, and writing and pricing orders to vendors
- Ensures that the organization operates within stipulated budget.
Sales and Marketing Manager
- Manages external research and coordinate all the internal sources of information to retain the organizations’ best customers and attract new ones
- Models demographic information and analyze the volumes of transactional data generated by customer purchases
- Identifies, prioritizes, and reaches out to new partners, and business opportunities et al
- Responsible for supervising implementation, advocate for the customer’s needs, and communicate with clients
- Develops, executes and evaluates new plans for expanding increase sales
- Documents all customer contact and information
- Represents the company in strategic meetings
- Helps to increase sales and growth for the company
- Manage the organization website
- Handles ecommerce aspect of the business
- Responsible for installing and maintenance of computer software and hardware for the organization
- Manage logistics and supply chain software, Web servers, e-commerce software and POS (point of sale) systems
- Manage the organization’s CCTV
- Handles any other technological and IT related duties.
Accountant / Cashier
- Responsible for preparing financial reports, budgets, and financial statements for the organization
- Provides managements with financial analyses, development budgets, and accounting reports; analyzes financial feasibility for the most complex proposed projects; conducts market research to forecast trends and business conditions.
- Responsible for financial forecasting and risks analysis.
- Performs cash management, general ledger accounting, and financial reporting
- Responsible for developing and managing financial systems and policies
- Responsible for administering payrolls
- Ensuring compliance with taxation legislation
- Handles all financial transactions for the organization
- Serves as internal auditor for the organization
Client Service Executive
- Ensures that all contacts with customer (e-mail, walk-In center, SMS or phone) provides the client with a personalized customer service experience of the highest level
- Through interaction with customers on the phone, uses every opportunity to build client’s interest in the company’s products and services
- Manages administrative duties assigned by the store manager in an effective and timely manner
- Consistently stays abreast of any new information on The Vineyard Group®, Inc. products, promotional campaigns etc. to ensure accurate and helpful information is supplied to students when they make enquiries
- Responsible for cleaning the facility at all times
- Ensures that toiletries and supplies don’t run out of stock
- Cleans both the interior and exterior of the facility
- Any other duty as assigned by the winery (plant) manager.
We are quite aware that there are several wineries in the United States of America and Canada which is why we are following the due process of establishing a business so as to compete favorable with them.
We know that if a proper SWOT analysis is conducted for our business, we will be able to position our business to maximize our strength, leverage on the opportunities that will be available to us, mitigate our risks and be welled equipped to confront our threats.
The Vineyard Group®, Inc. employed the services of an expert HR and Business Analyst with bias in start – up business to help us conduct a thorough SWOT analysis and to help us create a Business model that will help us achieve our business goals and objectives. This is the summary of the SWOT analysis that was conducted for The Vineyard Group®, Inc.;
Part of what is going to count as positives for The Vineyard Group®, Inc. is the vast experience of our management team, we have people on board who are highly experienced and understands how to grow business from the scratch to becoming a national phenomenon.
So also, we grow our own grapes and the wide varieties of wine et al that we produce our large national distribution network and of course our excellent customer service culture will definitely count as a strong strength for the business.
A major weakness that may count against us is the fact that we are a new winery and we don’t have the financial capacity to engage in the kind of publicity that we intend giving the business especially when big names like The Wine Group, Gallo and Constellation Brand Inc. are already determining the direction of the market.
The opportunities for mega wineries with a wide range of products are enormous. This due to the fact that the average Americans and Canadians consume distilled products.
As a result of that, we were able to conduct a thorough market survey and feasibility studies so as to position our business to take advantage of the existing market for wine products and also to create our own new market. We know that it is going to requires hard work, and we are determined to achieve it.
We are quite aware that just like any other business, one of the major threats that we are likely going to face is economic downturn and unfavorable government policies. It is a fact that economic downturn affects purchasing power. Another threat that may likely confront us is the arrival of a new winery or distillery plant in same location where ours is located.
- Market Trends
One common trend in the wineries industry is that, over the last five years, it has become obvious that consumer drinking preferences have moved away from standard light beers, and loads of consumers have discovered wine for its perceived health benefits and increasingly diverse flavor profiles.
Going forward, the wineries industry will continue to benefit from a growing number of consumers, mostly among the millennial generation, who have expanded their palettes toward domestic wine. Also, the US wine region is increasingly becoming popular on a global stage.
Another trend in the wineries industry is that most wineries now produce expensive wines for the high end clients and also normal wine for everyday people. Statistics has it that consumers have experienced appreciable increasing disposable income since 2009, and as a result, many have sought out expensive wine brands that are perceived to be classy and of higher quality.
Our Target Market
When it comes to selling wines, there is indeed a wide range of available customers. In essence, our target market can’t be restricted to just a group of people, but all those who drink alcoholic drinks and non – alcoholic drinks. One thing is certain; the target market for wines, especially red wines will continue to increase.
In view of that, we have conducted our market research and we have ideas of what our target market would be expecting from us. We are in business to engage in the production and wholesale distribution of assorted wines to the following groups of people:
- Corporate Executives
- Government Officials
- Business People
- Military Men and Women
- Sports Men and Women (with the exemption of under – age)
- Students (with the exemption of under – age)
- Event / Wedding Planners
- Every adult in the neighborhood where our wines will be sold.
Although we are set out to establish a standard winery in Indianapolis – Indiana whose products will be sold throughout the United States of America and Canada, but that those not stop us from setting up our own unique retail outlets across major cities so as to bring our brands closer to locals. This is part of the competitive advantage that we are bringing into the market.
Another competitive advantage that we have is the vast experience of our management team, we have people on board who are highly experienced and understands how to grow business from the scratch to becoming a national phenomenon.
So also, the wide varieties of wine flavors that we produce our large national distribution network and of course, our excellent customer service culture will definitely count as a strong strength for the business. One thing is certain; we will ensure that we produce a wide range of distilled drinks with different flavors so as to give our customers various options.
Lastly, all our employees will be well taken care of, and their welfare package will be among the best within our category (start – ups commercial greenhouse farms in the United States) in the industry. It will enable them to be more than willing to build the business with us and help deliver our set goals and achieve all our business aims and objectives.
SALES AND MARKETING STRATEGY
- Sources of Income
The Vineyard Group®, Inc. is established with the aim of maximizing profits in the wineries industry in both the United States of America and Canada and we are going to go all the way to ensure that we do all it takes to sell a wide range of both alcoholic and non – alcoholic wine products to a wide range of customers.
The Vineyard Group®, Inc. will generate income by offering the following services and products;
- Marketing and retailing of various flavors of alcoholic and non – alcoholic wines
- Manufacturing brandy, vermouth and cider
- Sale of Chardonnay
- Sale of Cabernet Sauvignon
- Sale of Merlot
- Sale of Pinot Grigio
- Sale of Pinot Noir
- Sale of auvignon Blanc
- Sale of Zinfandel, Riesling and other blends
It is important to state that our sales forecast is based on the data gathered during our feasibility studies, market survey and also some of the assumptions readily available on the field. Below are the sales projections that we were able to come up with for the first three years of operations;
- First Year-: $500,000
- Second Year-: $750,000
- Third Year-: $1,500,000
N.B: This projection is done based on what is obtainable in the industry and with the assumption that there won’t be any major economic meltdown and the arrival of a competitor in same location as ours within the period stated above. Please note that the above projection might be lower and at the same time it might be higher.
- Marketing Strategy and Sales Strategy
Before choosing a location for The Vineyard Group®, Inc. and also the flavors of wines to produce, we conduct a thorough market survey and feasibility studies in order for us to be able to be able to penetrate the available market of those who consume wines.
We have detailed information and data that we were able to utilize to structure our business to attract the numbers of customers we want to attract per time and also for our products to favorable compete with other leading brands in the United States of America and Canada.
We hired experts who have good understanding of the wineries industry to help us develop marketing strategies that will help us achieve our business goal of winning a larger percentage of the available market in the United States of America and Canada.
In other to continue to be in business and grow, we must continue to sell our products to the available market which is why we will go all out to empower or sales and marketing team to deliver our corporate sales goals. In summary, The Vineyard Group®, Inc. will adopt the following sales and marketing approach to sell our distilled alcoholic drinks;
- Introduce our wine – brand by sending introductory letters to residence, alcohol merchants, hotels, event planners and other stakeholders both in the United States of America and Canada
- Open our winery with a party so as to capture the attention of residence who are our first targets
- Engage in road show in targeted communities from time to time to sell our products
- Advertise our products in community based newspapers, local TV and radio stations
- List our business and products on yellow pages ads (local directories)
- Leverage on the internet to promote our wine – brands
- Engage in direct marketing and sales
- Encourage the use of Word of mouth marketing (referrals)
Publicity and Advertising Strategy
Despite the fact that our winery is a standard one with a wide range of products that can favorably compete with other leading brands, we will still go ahead to intensify publicity for all our products and brand. We are going to explore all available means to promote The Vineyard Group®, Inc.
The Vineyard Group®, Inc. has a long term plan of opening wine retailing outlets in various locations all around the United States of America and Canada which is why we will deliberately build our brand to be well accepted in Indianapolis – Indiana before venturing out.
As a matter of fact, our publicity and advertising strategy is not solely for selling our products but to also effectively communicate our brand. Here are the platforms we intend leveraging on to promote and advertise The Vineyard Group®, Inc.;
- Place adverts on both print (community based newspapers and magazines) and electronic media platforms
- Sponsor relevant community programs
- Leverage on the internet and social media platforms like; Instagram, Facebook , twitter, et al to promote our brand
- Install our Bill Boards on strategic locations all around major cities in the United States of America and Canada
- Engage in road show from time to time in targeted communities
- Distribute our fliers and handbills in target areas
- Position our Flexi Banners at strategic positions in the location where we intend getting customers to start patronizing our products.
- Ensure that all our staff members wear our customized clothes, and all our official cars and distribution vans are customized and well branded.
Our Pricing Strategy
When it comes to pricing for products such as alcoholic and non – alcoholic wines, there are two sides to the coin. We are aware of the pricing trend in the winery industry which is why we have decided to produce products for both high – end customers and regular consumers of wines.
In view of that, our prices will conform to what is obtainable in the industry but will ensure that within the first 6 to 12 months our products are sold a little bit below the average prices of various alcoholic and non – alcoholic wine brands in the United States of America. We have put in place business strategies that will help us run on low profits for a period of 6 months; it is a way of encouraging people to buy into our brands.
- Payment Options
At The Vineyard Group®, Inc. our payment policy is all inclusive because we are quite aware that different people prefer different payment options as it suits them. Here are the payment options that will be available in every of our outlets;
- Payment via bank transfer
- Payment via POS machines
- Payment with cash
- Payment via online bank transfer
- Payment via check
- Payment via bank draft
In view of the above, we have chosen banking platforms that will enable our client make payment for farm produces purchase without any stress on their part.
Startup Expenditure (Budget)
The winery business is a capital intensive venture to start and we are well prepared financially. We are aware that where you decide to locate the business, the equipment as well as structures you will build will take up a major chunk of the money you have put aside to set up the business.
We have conducted our research, analysis, feasibility studies and market survey very well before drawing up a budget and going ahead to source for funds for the business. This is the key areas where we will spend our start – up capital;
- The Total Fee for Registering the Business in the United States – $750.
- Legal expenses for obtaining licenses and permits as well as the accounting services (software, P.O.S machines and other software) – $1,300.
- Marketing promotion expenses for the grand opening of The Vineyard Group®, Inc. in the amount of $3,500 and as well as flyer printing (2,000 flyers at $0.04 per copy) for the total amount of – $3,580.
- Cost for hiring Business Consultant – $2,500.
- Insurance (general liability, workers’ compensation and property casualty) coverage at a total premium – $2,400.
- The budget for permits, Insurance and license – $5,000
- The money needed to acquire land that will be suitable for the variety of grapes we will like to plant can cost you between – $100,000-300,000 per acre
- Construction of the vineyard facility and tasting rooms and other administrative blocks could cost about – $200, 000
- Equipment for the offices such as filing cabinets, safety gadgets, computers, printers, telephones, fax machines, furniture and electronics could cost about – $15,000
- Creating and launching an official website could cost about – $700
- Other expenses such as signage, business cards, advertisements, publicity and promotions) could cost around – $2,500
We would need an estimate of $1.2M to successfully set up our Winery Business in Indianapolis – Indiana. Please note that this amount includes the salaries of all the staff for the first 3 month of operation.
Generating Funding / Startup Capital for the Vineyard Group®, Inc.
The Vineyard Group®, Inc. is a family business that will be owned and financed by Frank Potter and Family. They do not intend to welcome any external business partners, which is why he has decided to restrict the sourcing of the start – up capital to 3 major sources.
These are the areas we intend generating our start – up capital;
- Generate part of the start – up capital from personal savings and sell of stocks
- Source for soft loans from family members and friends
- Apply for loan from my Bank
N.B: We have been able to generate about $500,000 (Personal savings $400,000 and soft loan from family members $100,000) and we are at the final stages of obtaining a loan facility of $700,000 from our bank. All the papers and document have been signed and submitted, the loan has been approved and any moment from now our account will be credited with the amount.
Sustainability and Expansion Strategy
The future of a business lies in the numbers of loyal customers that they have the capacity and competence of the employees, their investment strategy and the business structure. If any of these factors is missing from a business (company), then it won’t be too long before the business close shop.
The Vineyard Group®, Inc. will ensure that all the factors listed above are reinforced on a regular basis, we will continue to improvise with our products and also we will engage in continuous capacity building of our workforce. As a matter of fact, profit-sharing arrangement will be made available to all our management staff and it will be based on their performance for a period of five years or more.
We will make sure that the right foundation, structures and processes are put in place to ensure that staff welfare is well taken of. Our company’s corporate culture is designed to drive our business to greater heights and training and re – training of our workforce is at the top burner. We have the plans of
Check List / Milestone
- Business Name Availability Check: Completed
- Business Registration: Completed
- Opening of Corporate Bank Accounts: Completed
- Securing Point of Sales (POS) Machines: Completed
- Opening Mobile Money Accounts: Completed
- Opening Online Payment Platforms: Completed
- Application and Obtaining Tax Payer’s ID: In Progress
- Application for business license and permit: Completed
- Purchase of Insurance for the Business: Completed
- Leasing of facility (farmland inclusive) and construction of winery: In Progress
- Conducting Feasibility Studies: Completed
- Generating capital from family members: Completed
- Applications for Loan from the bank: In Progress
- Writing of Business Plan: Completed
- Drafting of Employee’s Handbook: Completed
- Drafting of Contract Documents and other relevant Legal Documents: In Progress
- Design of The Company’s Logo: Completed
- Graphic Designs and Printing of Packaging Marketing / Promotional Materials: In Progress
- Recruitment of employees: In Progress
- Purchase of the Needed furniture, racks, shelves, computers, electronic appliances, office appliances and CCTV: In progress
- Creating Official Website for the Company: In Progress
- Creating Awareness for the business both online and around the community: In Progress
- Health and Safety and Fire Safety Arrangement (License): Secured
- Opening party / launching party planning: In Progress
- Establishing business relationship with vendors – wholesale suppliers / merchants: In Progress