My name is Millie Shamburger and I’m the business programs coordinator at the AHA. Among these programs are various initiatives to help shops thrive in the homebrewing industry and connect with the AHA, but I also conduct our industry surveys every year. I think there are a few things to consider here:
• joe_meadmaker makes a great point about clubs. Take some time to connect with your local hoembrewing community, attend some club meetings, and investigate how truly high the demand would be for a local shop.
• If the demand is high, some of the best performing homebrew shops are located in areas that may have been previously under-served, so use this as an opportunity to see what has been missing for your local homebrewers
• When considering your business model, think multi-dimensional. Just because you don’t have a huge warehouse full of inventory doesn’t mean you can’t meet some of the convenience/online shopping needs of your customers. Some great ways to diversify your offerings and generate alternative revenue streams are:
*Incorporating educational courses for beginners and experts alike
*Creating some sort of online component whether that’s pre-order for pick-up or simply listing what your
offerings are on your website so your potential customers can see what you have available before
making the trip
*Offer other types of fermentation projects such as pickles, cheese, kombucha, and more.
*Small taproom to appeal to both homebrewers and craft beer enthusiasts
*Invest some time and money in marketing and online visibility
*Create programs that appeal to people of color, women, and beginner homebrewers
I would be happy to answer any additional questions you might have and/or provide you with some resources to help with your decision: firstname.lastname@example.org
Here is a link to our business tools page as well: https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/business-tools/sell-aha-memberships/