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How Do We Increase Sales? A Collaborative Guide for Wineries

At Protea Financial, we are proud to work with many incredible people who are making exceptional wine! Their dedication to their craft is inspiring. 

We wish this were enough to build a successful wine business. But it is not! 

Currently, wine and alcoholic beverages, in general, are having a tough time. Between oversupply, congested markets, and changes in taste pallets, there is a lot for wineries to think about. Overall, the wine market is difficult, and it is really hard to stand out. Wineries are going to have to be strategic and very creative to be successful and find ways to stand out from the crowd.

Improving sales is a crucial and ongoing challenge in the wine industry. Let’s explore some collaborative strategies to boost sales and grow your winery. This guide incorporates insights from our team at Protea Financial and industry experts to provide you with actionable advice.

Get Your Financial and Sales Information in Order

Before diving into strategies, ensure your financial and sales information is well-organized. Understanding your current position is essential for making informed decisions. Accurate data helps you identify strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities for growth. This means communicating with your accounting team timeously and providing them with as much information as possible. Staying on top of the back-end side allows you to have good information available to review the state of your business and use that information to make better decisions going forward. Clarity on your business position is essential!

Talk to Your Trusted Advisors

Engage with your trusted advisors to gain valuable insights and perspectives. These experts can offer guidance on financial planning, market trends, and strategic opportunities you might have yet to consider. Talk to your accounting resource. Talk to your tax provider. Talk to your bank. They will be more than happy to share their thoughts and ideas, which generally come from a more extensive source than just your business. These people want to help you and will be more than happy to have a discussion!

Bring in New Professionals with Fresh Insights

Consider bringing in professionals with skill sets you don’t currently have. These new team members can provide fresh insights and strengthen your overall strategy, helping you stay ahead in a competitive market. Consider bringing in professionals with deep industry experience who have worked with different businesses and seen success. There are great consultants and CEO/COO types that can provide you with guidance and the expertise to build a strategic plan. As an industry, we must stop thinking we must do it all ourselves and focus on achieving the results. 

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Look at Reducing Costs

Nobody likes this, but it is important to evaluate your operations to identify areas where you can reduce costs without compromising quality. Streamlining processes and cutting unnecessary expenses can improve your profit margins and make your pricing more competitive. This can be a tricky process because sometimes it takes time to see what is necessary, what is adding value, and what is just a luxury. Look into subscription costs and see if they are really needed. Confirm that all technology costs are necessary and are being used. See if you can get better pricing on labels or if changes in packaging could improve your product margins. Look for small cost savings that can make a difference over the long term.

Develop Your Brand

Your brand’s story is unique—share it! Highlight the history of your winery, the story of your vineyard, and the people behind your wines. A robust and compelling brand resonates with customers and builds loyalty. Monitor and respond to online reviews to manage your reputation effectively. People buy from people who they can relate to. Be true to yourself, and people will appreciate it. Remember, being the best version of yourself is a great place to start!

Utilize Customer Feedback

Collect feedback from visitors, wine club members, and customers to understand their preferences. Use this information to refine your wines and enhance the overall customer experience. Customer feedback is invaluable for continuous improvement. Those already buying from you and love your product will be more than happy to share their thought. Use that information!

Increase Foot Traffic to Your Winery

This is always contentious, but you need to get people at the top of the funnel. If you do not have enough people discovering your product, it doesn’t matter what your conversation rate is. There will never be enough customers to buy your product. Create new experiences to attract different customers to your physical space. Offer a range of price points and activities to cater to various interests. Exceptional tasting experiences and informative tours can turn casual visitors into loyal customers. And then let people know about it! And a bonus tip: make it easy for people to buy your wine and book experiences on your website! People are busy, and if it is difficult, they will move on.

Leverage Digital Marketing

We live in the digital age. A robust online presence is essential. If you cannot be found online, you are in trouble. Optimize your website with relevant keywords to improve search engine rankings. Use social media platforms to share visually appealing content about your wines and events. Content marketing through blogs, videos, and newsletters can attract and engage your audience. If this is outside your comfort zone, get people in to help. But also remember to use your current team. There is likely someone on your team who is excellent at social media. Get them involved.

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Conduct Market Visits and Go to Your Customers

We know the 3 tier system is broken and difficult to navigate. However, one way to get the most out of the system is to be present. Work the market hard—talk to your distributors and do market visits. Additionally, go to your clients and host special events in their hometowns. Bringing the experience to them can increase loyalty and sales. Nowadays, there are technologies out there that can help identify your best customers, where your customers are, and where you could have the most impact. Look into them.

Collaborate and Partner

Partnerships can expand your reach. Collaborate with local restaurants, hotels, and tourism boards to promote your wines. Participate in wine festivals and trade shows to increase visibility and attract new customers. Engage with local influencers and get them to share your brand. Create opportunities to be seen. The more people know about you, the better your chance of standing out.

Explore Additional Revenue Sources

This one can be tough in a highly regulated industry like the wine industry this one can be tough, but find ways to generate additional revenue using excess capacity or facilities you have on-site. This could include hosting events, offering space for private functions, or starting a side business related to your core operations. This could be tricky in California, but it might be an option in your state. Feel free to think outside of the box, but simple things like charging people to store wine in your back room you are not using could be a great way to get more out of the space you are already paying for.

We are just accountants trying to help. We do not have all the answers, but these strategies have drawn from various industry insights, conversations with partners, and team contributions from what they see successful wineries do. We do not have all the answers, but these are designed to help your winery thrive by giving you something to think about. We can boost wine sales and achieve long-term success with creativity, strategic planning, and a collaborative approach.