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October 10, 2007 | General , Wine Club Management | WineDirect Admin

REthink: Your Planning

Preparing Your Business for 2008

What is Your Plan?
It’s that time of year again; time to look back at where you have been, but more importantly, time to look ahead to the new year. While making resolutions is often part of your New Year’s activities, when it comes to running a winery business, setting business resolutions are equally important. Planning ahead by calendaring your marketing campaigns and anticipating the outcomes are key factors in measuring and optimizing your Return on Investment (ROI).

Where are Your Plans Taking You?
If you don’t know where you’re going, any bus will take you there. First, know your business then translate your understanding of your business into attainable goals. Second, what are your sales goals for each channel? Think by and for individual channels – ecommerce, tasting room, wine club, and telephone – and leverage the nuances of each. Create goals and plans to reach those goals for each DIRECT sales channel. Third, plan, monitor, and reassess your goals as necessary.

The first step to setting and achieving your winery DIRECT sales goals is to get on the right bus. What are the key goals to have? Wineries who can execute strategies which achieve all of the following five goals within each of the sales channels have the greatest success.

  1. Effectively build your unified database
  2. Increase online orders month over month
  3. Build loyalty among customers
  4. Build your Wine Club membership
  5. Reprioritize your time to maximize ROI

How are You Getting There?
Once you know where the bus is going, you can help navigate the best way to get there. Take these five goals and translate them into strategies for each sales channel. Here are some examples that can be utilized in different sales channels:

  1. Build your database by collecting 50 new contacts in a month. For your strategy, try putting a ‘fish bowl’ in your tasting room to collect business cards.
  2. To increase online orders month over month, set a goal of an increase of 3 additional orders each month. To increase orders, try a promotion for free shipping or a telemarketing campaign.
  3. Build loyalty among customers by offering pre-release specials.
  4. Build your wine club membership by allocating select SKU’s to reward club members and utilize a club-exclusive area.
  5. Reprioritize your time to maximize ROI: Instead of stuffing envelopes and lickings stamps for a mailer, send out a targeted email blast to subsets of your database.

Whatever strategies you decide to implement, calendar your marketing plans in advance to leverage against these goals. Whether it’s email blasts, customer loyalty programs, or winery events, have a plan in place on a monthly basis for the entire year, but continue to reassess and reschedule.

Who is Driving?
Now that you know what bus you’re on and where it’s going, assign a competent driver to ensure your bus arrives where you need it to go. Most wineries are so busy with the overall business management that the person who is in charge of ecommerce is also in charge of fifty other things, the same can be said of the Tasting Room Manager. The romancing of a hospitality employee up-selling in a tasting room is much different than Internet commerce. Their expertise in face-to-face interaction and salesmanship does not translate the same way to a customer behind a computer screen. Both require a different mentality to gain sales and customers in each arena, so ensure your driver is the best for that roadmap.

Save yourself time and energy by being proactive – plan in advance and be organized. Use helpful tools to keep your business goals on track with reminders and a calendar. Make sure everyone on the bus agrees with the destination; then, get down to business.

Remember, DIRECT is the best way to Communicate with, Acquire, and Retain your customers.

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