10 Tips for Successful Wine Clubs

Wine clubs are the lifeblood of our direct-to-consumer program. We can’t let them just run on autopilot if we want to keep our members. Here are 10 tips to consider that will strengthen both our club program and our relationships with our members. Customize our club One size does not fit all. Traditionally, we expected our club members to take the wines we want to sell, and that was that. Nowadays, every business is customizing to let customers get what they want and we need to do the same. If we want to keep and grow our most lucrative sales… Read more »

10 Ways to Surprise & Delight

In the past 5 years, we’ve seen a trend with our mystery shopping and the experiences wineries are providing. It used to be the exception, not the rule, when we would see a host surprise and delight a guest beyond their expectations. In the past, we used the ‘bonus pour’ to wow our visitors. But today’s consumers are getting more savvy and have higher expectations, so our new goal becomes to surprise and delight every guest beyond that extra splash. WISE Best Practice: Exceed every guest’s expectations on every visit by formally choreographing these elements of surprise and delight into… Read more »

Wash. Rinse. Repeat. – Staying Motivated

We are often hear: “How can I stop checking out on the job halfway through my day?” Or essentially: “How can I keep myself on task and motivated through my work day?” Often times people working in winery tasting rooms begin to experience a bit of burn out and no longer look at guests as warmly as they once did. Self-motivation takes practice. It is a skill we need to develop and practice daily. The master motivator Zig Ziglar would hear often that “Motivation just doesn’t last.” His reply was always, “Well neither does bathing, that’s why we recommend it… Read more »

10 Tips for Successful Tasting Rooms

With the arrival of Daylight Savings Time, we know that it’s just a matter of weeks now until busy season starts. Let’s get ready to shine with these 10 tips. Great Greeting We only have one chance to make a great first impression, so we need to make sure that our greeting is exceptional. Studies show that if guests aren’t greeted or acknowledged within the first 15 seconds, they typically rate their experience lower. Your first impression is an important one, and recovering from a bad start is almost impossible. Start off every experience on a positive note. If our… Read more »

Storefront Tasting Rooms Best Practices

Storefront Tasting Rooms Best Practices Is your brand in a holding pattern, waiting for a destination winery to be built? Perhaps your brand makes wine in a warehouse district with little organic foot traffic. Maybe there is a mountain range between your winery and where your target market is located. Whatever the reason, more and more “storefront” tasting rooms are popping up across the country – retail spaces in downtown areas acting as a tasting room for wineries/brands that are not easily accessible (or not yet built). One of the biggest challenges of these storefront tasting rooms is that guests… Read more »

Leadership – Pulling versus Pushing

Pulling versus Pushing – If you’ve got some free time, go check out some truly inspirational talks on TedTalk. WISE has garnered some great ideas there especially about how true leaders lead. One such TedTalk (besides our favorite, Simon Sinek), is from Bill Davids*, who contends that leadership without ego is the most valuable and rarest commodity on earth. If management is about control – control over quality, time, and money of the products we sell – then leadership deals with people. While we certainly need good management to have a viable business, it is leadership that makes a difference,… Read more »

Top New Year’s Resolution for DTC Success in 2018: Go Granular

Top New Year’s Resolution for DTC Success in 2018: Go Granular Ready or not, here comes 2018! With a brand-spanking new year ahead of us, let’s see how we can raise the bar on our own performance, and execute on some new, actionable initiatives we didn’t get around to in 2017. If we have been paying attention to the data on our dashboards, it’s time to take a deeper d   ive by going granular. Tasting Room Data – Capture By Experience How many guest different experiences do we offer? Are they all working as we had intended? Many of… Read more »

Budgeting – Terror or Triumph Part II 

Budgeting – Terror or Triumph Part II Budgeting Expenses We hope that the sales budgeting process we covered last month has worked well for you [link to article].  To complete our budget, we will now turn our attention to expense budgeting.  There are several types of expenses to budget. Let’s gather our historical data and get to work on a 5-Step process for expense budgeting.  Like our sales history, if we’ve been vigilant in keeping up with our monthly expense history, this will be easy.  If we haven’t, let’s vow to do this also in the future. Step 1 – Determine… Read more »

Budgeting – Terror or Triumph Part I

Budgeting Sales It’s that most wonderful time of the year – time to plan! Are we approaching this with glee and enthusiasm, or are we feeling terror and planning a sabbatical instead? Perhaps the enthusiasm or terror is in direct proportion to the type of planning we’re doing. If your fiscal year is also your calendar year, and you’re looking at the sales budgeting process, it doesn’t have to strike fear in our hearts. There is a simple 5-Step process we can follow that will deliver impressive results every time. To begin, let’s gather our historical data and get to… Read more »

Business Interruption Clause

Business Interruption Clause After the catastrophic events this month in Northern California Wine Country, the clean up and recovery are now beginning. As the smoke clears, and the dust settles, many small DTC wineries are left to pick up the pieces and rebuild. Some experienced devastating losses and have started the insurance claim process. Even those who may not have experienced physical damage still have been greatly impacted. The good news is that there may be ways to recoup some of that loss, if you have Business Interruption Clause through your property insurance company. Even if you don’t have this… Read more »