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 DTC winery 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 dive 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 »

Dream a Little Dream with Me

Dream a Little Dream with Me Let’s go on an adventure.  Close your eyes and imagine taking the most luxurious vacation of your dreams.  Money is no object.  You will be pampered in a stunning setting.  It’s as if the staff can read your mind – everything you desire appears before you even ask for it.  You will never forget this incredible experience. Let’s go on an adventure.  Close your eyes and imagine taking the most luxurious vacation of your dreams.  Money is no object.  You will be pampered in a stunning setting.  It’s as if the staff can read your… Read more »

Go See

How has the summer been for us so far? What valuable lessons have we learned about our customers and about our business challenges? Many of us who manage tasting rooms barely have time for the basics of hiring and scheduling staff, selling wine, and taking care of housekeeping chores during the summer. Very little beyond those demanding tasks gets done during our busiest season. That’s a shame. There are lots of opportunities for learning from others. If, however, we can manage to carve out some time to visit other wineries, we can learn a lot about how others handle the… Read more »

Measuring Our Progress

We still have a couple of months left of our busiest season. This is our happy and hectic time. Are we making the most of our opportunities, or are we just anxious for everyone to go home? Have we been able to take advantage of the traffic we are getting during this crucial time and convert them to wine buyers, wine club members and email list members? We count on our summer traffic to help us build our business for the rest of the year. So how are we doing so far this summer? Here are the Key Performance Indicators… Read more »