Author Topic: realistically, what does it take?  (Read 2680 times)

Offline yso191

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Re: realistically, what does it take?
« Reply #60 on: January 05, 2013, 01:29:37 PM »
Marketing = BS = everything that's not in the glass. I agree that BS important. Plenty of crappy micropubs are very profitable, and some breweries make very good beer but go out of business anyway. I agree you need to give customers what they really want. I think too many brewers make what they want to brew, not what people want to buy. How many more nanos making IPAs do we really need?

My point was mostly that 'craft beer' has been having this discussion of "value" as long as there has been 'craft beer.' Only now the discussion is between big micro breweries and little micro breweries, whereas before it was just macro vs micro.

And it is a good discussion.  Again I agree - well with everything except the BS part.  To me BS is worthless, which is not what good marketing is about.

There are a million examples, but here is one that is near to me:  I own/ride a 2008 Harley Super Glide.  Is it a good bike?  Yes.  Is it the best bike? No.  I ride it because it is good, and it is a connection to culture and it is American made - among other reasons & values.  And I pay a premium price for these values.  It is what I want.

People want good/great beer, but they also want more.  Provide the more, and you'll be able to make a living is all I am saying (a general statement that is true but not in each and every circumstance).

There is a bookstore a few blocks from me, owned by a local family that sells real, paper (not digital) books that is still in business after Borders closed up and left town.  This bookstore is offering something Borders couldn't, AND what a digital book can't.  Again, examples abound...

Steve
Steve

Offline phunhog

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Re: realistically, what does it take?
« Reply #61 on: January 05, 2013, 01:39:33 PM »
I think Steve is right on the money!! With more and more breweries making really good beer it takes something "more".  I love that phrase "relationship, information, experience, identity". !! Beer drinkers want to identify with the brewery/brewer on a personal level.  In most cases that can only be done in small breweries. Sure you might get an email from a big brewer....but what about a personal tour?  My brother own a very small boutique winery that makes incredible wine. He gives personal tours and barrel tasting to his customers. They then identify with him and the winery and they buy lots of wine.  Otherwise he is just another great winery in a sea of great wineries. 
Someday I hope to own a small brewery but I have already begun to build relationships with potential customers.  I have poured at charity beer festivals, donated homebrewing lessons, and invited complete strangers over to see the "brewery" and have a beer.  I even have Facebook page with over 650 people following my brewing/progress.   I can only assume because at some level I have contributed to their "relationship, information, experience, identity" of craft beer. 


Offline nateo

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Re: realistically, what does it take?
« Reply #62 on: January 05, 2013, 01:44:23 PM »
My point is craft breweries are already doing all of those things, so you won't really have a competitive advantage.
In der Kürze liegt die Würze.

Offline yso191

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Re: realistically, what does it take?
« Reply #63 on: January 05, 2013, 02:19:33 PM »
Just one more tongue-in-cheek response to your question about how many more breweries do we need making one more IPA...  In my very serious quest for the perfect IPA, apparently at least one more.  I love them but haven't found a consistent beer nirvana yet. Hop Stoopid delivered once...

Steve
Steve

Offline Thirsty_Monk

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Re: realistically, what does it take?
« Reply #64 on: January 06, 2013, 12:20:20 PM »
I am not making IPA. I do make Czech and German beers.
If you go above the price point in your market you need to tell your value proposition why your product is more expensive and better then rest of the pack. You would do it thru Customer education. Most customer education is done thu advertising. How much resources do you have for this? What are your channels for it?

If you think that customers are going to be rushing to buy your product whithout this, you are mistaken.

As someone said "We are not in the business of making beer. We are in the business of selling beer". Beer is just what you are selling.
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Bohemian Pilsner
Bohemian Dark Lager
Smoked Bock
MaiBock
American Brown Ale
Marzen
Root beer

Offline micsager

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Re: realistically, what does it take?
« Reply #65 on: January 06, 2013, 08:57:17 PM »
The people who are contemplating this business know nothing about brewing

That is a huge red flag for me. I wouldn't waste my time.

I understand what you guys are saying.  But, I was thinking that just helping a guy get started, and have a locally brewed beer available.  Now, if one ever feels like what they are providing has $$$ value, then they should charge for that.  But helping a guy get started, is both COOL and FUN.

Offline nateo

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Re: realistically, what does it take?
« Reply #66 on: January 06, 2013, 09:09:06 PM »
I understand what you guys are saying.  But, I was thinking that just helping a guy get started, and have a locally brewed beer available.  Now, if one ever feels like what they are providing has $$$ value, then they should charge for that.  But helping a guy get started, is both COOL and FUN.

I don't anymore, but I used volunteer for non-profits all the time. But, I have a huge philosophical problem volunteering for a "for-profit" enterprise. Other people may not have the same objections.
In der Kürze liegt die Würze.

Offline tomsawyer

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Re: realistically, what does it take?
« Reply #67 on: January 07, 2013, 06:18:56 AM »
Just an update on the situation.  After talking with the guy again at the last brewclub meeting he's come a long way.  They are looking at a 7bbl system, and talking with some brewers in a nearby town about them brewing for him.  Which means I'll just be helping if I want.  I told him that sounded like an excellent idea.
Lennie
Hannibal, MO

Offline micsager

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Re: realistically, what does it take?
« Reply #68 on: January 07, 2013, 08:43:01 AM »
I understand what you guys are saying.  But, I was thinking that just helping a guy get started, and have a locally brewed beer available.  Now, if one ever feels like what they are providing has $$$ value, then they should charge for that.  But helping a guy get started, is both COOL and FUN.

I don't anymore, but I used volunteer for non-profits all the time. But, I have a huge philosophical problem volunteering for a "for-profit" enterprise. Other people may not have the same objections.

I get that.  And it makes sense.  I guess I want more breweries in my my town.  And, I'm willing to offer my help to make that happen.  I think the line where one would want to be paid, rather than volunteering is much different for a for-profit, than a non-profit. 


Offline Thirsty_Monk

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Re: realistically, what does it take?
« Reply #69 on: January 07, 2013, 08:04:34 PM »
I don't anymore, but I used volunteer for non-profits all the time. But, I have a huge philosophical problem volunteering for a "for-profit" enterprise. Other people may not have the same objections.
Now let me think about this.
Hospitals are non profit.
So it is O.K. to volunteer there even thou they have more then enough money to pay.

Start up for profit (No tax exampt).
It is not O.K. to volunteer there. Owner works there 60 hours a week and can not pay himself.

Do I understand it right?
Am I missing something?
Na Zdravie

On Tap At The TapRoom:
Bohemian Pilsner
Bohemian Dark Lager
Smoked Bock
MaiBock
American Brown Ale
Marzen
Root beer

Offline nateo

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Re: realistically, what does it take?
« Reply #70 on: January 07, 2013, 10:02:07 PM »
Do I understand it right?
Am I missing something?

Yes, that's exactly right. I would never ask someone to work for free at my tackle store. I would pay them.

Sure, owning a small business sucks and all that, but that's a choice you make as an owner, and if/when it pays off, it pays off for the owners, and no one else.

One of the non-profits I volunteered at provided counseling services and support for torture survivors. That's a hell of a lot more meaningful than selling beer.
In der Kürze liegt die Würze.

Offline tomsawyer

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Re: realistically, what does it take?
« Reply #71 on: January 08, 2013, 06:00:45 AM »
To help a friend with a startup I could see it.  I would also do it for the experience of brewing on a commercial apparatus.  But that wouldn't take more than some months.  If you can't afford to pay the help you need to operate long term though, indicates that you need to adjust your business model.
Lennie
Hannibal, MO

Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: realistically, what does it take?
« Reply #72 on: January 08, 2013, 07:46:43 AM »
I don't anymore, but I used volunteer for non-profits all the time. But, I have a huge philosophical problem volunteering for a "for-profit" enterprise. Other people may not have the same objections.
Now let me think about this.
Hospitals are non profit.
So it is O.K. to volunteer there even thou they have more then enough money to pay.

Start up for profit (No tax exampt).
It is not O.K. to volunteer there. Owner works there 60 hours a week and can not pay himself.

Do I understand it right?
Am I missing something?

The Fair Labor Standards Act clearly delineates one is permitted and one is (mostly) prohibited. There's a couple pretty clear reasons for this. First, the FLSA prohibits people from being put into situations where the business owner is volunteering the worker for free labor when the worker isn't freely volunteering the work. Protecting the general public is a higher value than an individual, unprofitable business owner, at least under the FLSA. Second, there's an intrinsic problem in having people giving free labor to a for-profit institution in which the owner is obtaining a financial benefit (not having to pay for the work or do it herself) but the worker is obtaining no financial benefit. If the employment relationship relies on at least some contractual premises then you have to have both sides obtaining a tangible benefit. If the worker is volunteering labor there is only a tangible benefit to one side of the relationship. The worker is entitled to compensation in exchange for labor. The distinction with volunteer work for a non-profit is the equivalent of gifting one's labor to a charitable organization. However, there can be situations where a volunteer at a non-profit has become an employee entitled to compensation.
Heck yeah I blog about homebrewing: Brain Sparging on Brewing but I'm also a lawyer: The Kielich Law Firm

Offline micsager

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Re: realistically, what does it take?
« Reply #73 on: January 08, 2013, 08:44:15 AM »
To help a friend with a startup I could see it.  I would also do it for the experience of brewing on a commercial apparatus.  But that wouldn't take more than some months.  If you can't afford to pay the help you need to operate long term though, indicates that you need to adjust your business model.

Hard to disagree with that one. 

Offline micsager

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Re: realistically, what does it take?
« Reply #74 on: January 08, 2013, 08:48:18 AM »
I don't anymore, but I used volunteer for non-profits all the time. But, I have a huge philosophical problem volunteering for a "for-profit" enterprise. Other people may not have the same objections.
Now let me think about this.
Hospitals are non profit.
So it is O.K. to volunteer there even thou they have more then enough money to pay.

Start up for profit (No tax exampt).
It is not O.K. to volunteer there. Owner works there 60 hours a week and can not pay himself.

Do I understand it right?
Am I missing something?

The Fair Labor Standards Act clearly delineates one is permitted and one is (mostly) prohibited. There's a couple pretty clear reasons for this. First, the FLSA prohibits people from being put into situations where the business owner is volunteering the worker for free labor when the worker isn't freely volunteering the work. Protecting the general public is a higher value than an individual, unprofitable business owner, at least under the FLSA. Second, there's an intrinsic problem in having people giving free labor to a for-profit institution in which the owner is obtaining a financial benefit (not having to pay for the work or do it herself) but the worker is obtaining no financial benefit. If the employment relationship relies on at least some contractual premises then you have to have both sides obtaining a tangible benefit. If the worker is volunteering labor there is only a tangible benefit to one side of the relationship. The worker is entitled to compensation in exchange for labor. The distinction with volunteer work for a non-profit is the equivalent of gifting one's labor to a charitable organization. However, there can be situations where a volunteer at a non-profit has become an employee entitled to compensation.

OK, that's the legal answer.  So it sounds like if I help my neighbor set up for a garage sale, he has to pay me.  The key word here is volunteer.  No one is REQUIRED to charge for their services.