5 Basic Steps to Start a Wine Business

Did you know that there are already 28 million small businesses in the United States alone? This just goes to show that you can turn your passions into a way to make serious money. 

Wine lovers may have considered turning their love into a business in the past just for fun but you should definitely put some serious thought into it. 

There are a few options when it comes to starting your own business such as a vineyard, wine bar, wine retailer, or any other wine-related endeavors you might have come up with.

Getting started is all pretty similar so keep reading for our guide on the five basic steps on how to start a wine business. 

1. Choose a Name 

The first step in starting any business is choosing a name that can represent you and your company. You’ll want something that’s timeless as well as something that you won’t want to consider changing later. 

If you have plans or ideas for future business plans, then try to pick a name that can encompass everything. Especially if wine isn’t the only thing you want your business to revolve around, then branch out and pick a name that can be versatile.

Do some research and make sure that there isn’t another business with that same name or even something similar. For example, if you’re looking into starting a winery, then you won’t want your competition to have the same exact name. Plus, there could be a legal battle down the line. 

You can also check with the secretary of state to see if a business name has already been taken. 

2. Find Your Location

Your next step in the process is finding a location for your wine business. You should now have decided whether you’re going to be starting a winery, vineyard, wine bar, wine retailer, or another wine route. 

For a wine bar or a wine retailer, you’ll want to look for a location in a busy area that gets lots of traffic. Downtown areas are great for places like this because you can also attract foot traffic. People can walk by and see how busy or great the atmosphere of your place is and want to stop in and check it out. 

When starting a vineyard or winery, you’ll want to look for a location that has soil suitable to grow grapes and has lots of land and space. If you’re learning how to start a winery, then you also will want to look into getting a warehouse. This is another necessity that you’ll need for this type of wine business because you’ll need somewhere to produce the wine. 

On the other hand, you might also want to exclusively sell wine online. Online is a great location for businesses nowadays and in this case, the first thing you will need to do is create a website.  

3. Create Your Business Plan

Creating a business plan is crucial for starting a wine business. A business plan can is a great way to get started in outlining your goals.

You should also use a business plan to create a budget that can get you started with what you’ll need when starting your wine business. 

Your business plan should go over every detail of your business from how you’ll start to how you’ll execute each step along the way. If you don’t already know, then you’ll want to look into how to make your own wine.

Of course, your business plan will vary depending on what type of wine business you’ve decided with, but you should make it as detailed as you can. 

Having a business plan can also help you in getting a loan or getting someone to help support you financially. If you can show what concrete steps you’re taking to get your business started, then they’ll be more likely to want to support you and see your business through to the end. 

4. Get Funding

As we mentioned in the last step, a business plan is a great foot in the door to help get a loan, but how else can you get funds for your wine business? It’s rare that someone looking to start a business has all the necessary money they need to get everything up and running. 

One type of loan to look into is a bank loan. Head over to a community bank or your local credit union to try your luck at getting a loan. You may have to pay a hefty down payment with a high-interest fee, but many people have found more success with local places, than national or larger scale banks. 

A business credit card is another method that you can use to put a lot of your equipment or business purchases on. Opening a credit card can sometimes mean a year of no interest rates which is great when just starting out. 

Lastly, if you know anyone looking to invest in small businesses, then get out your business plan and come up with a great pitch. If you look determined to see your wine business become a success, then they’ll believe in you and want to support you too. 

5. Market Your Business

Once you’ve taken care of all of the background tasks and established your wine business, it is time to get your name out there! You need to find the best way to market your wine business and reach your target audience. 

Barrels Ahead Marketing specializes in marketing for wineries. They’re a great resource to get more visitors to your website, in your tasting room, and even to help you sell more wine. 

You should also make sure that you’re taking advantage of social media as it’s a great resource to interact with your target audience. 

Starting Your Wine Business

When starting your wine business it’s going to take time, dedication, and motivation on your end. It’s something that definitely won’t just happen overnight. 

If a wine business is something that you’ve dreamed of, then you should have no problem putting in the work that’s required to get it started. Once it takes off you’ll be delighted to see the end results of all your hard work. 

Make sure to check out our page if you’re looking for more small business advice!

Adam Hansen

Adam is a part time journalist, entrepreneur, investor and father.