Resources: winery business plans

by Brad Asmus

Every small business requires a business plan. Wine businesses are no exception. Wineries should also have a marketing plan, but it should always serve the requirements of the business plan. Without a business plan, a marketing plan is a vanity, not a business requirement. Good marketing drives business, and the business plan is the road map.

(Note: The articles and sample plans are linked to the places where I found them on the Web. They are also linked–where it says SWM–to the same documents that I have saved on this site in order to insure continued availability despite the vagaries of broken links, etc. This does not imply any ownership or authorship rights).

Winery Business Plan Resources:

Here is a fine example from Cornell University describing a start-up winery that reflects a pretty typical small winery scenario. The start-up intends to begin with 1,850 cases in the first year and grow to 9,250 cases by year five.

Writing a Business Plan, An Example for a Small Premium Winery, Pisoni and White, Cornell University, Department of Applied Economics and Management, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, 49 pages SWM-Cornell Sample Business Plan

Cornell also offers a how-to guide for preparing a business plan. A little light, but still useful.

Writing a Business Plan, A Guide for Small Premium Wineries, Pisoni and White, ibid, 39 pages SWM-Cornel Guide to Writing a Winery Business Plan

For a more detailed plan that covers all of the traditional business plan basics and many that are unique to the wine industry, try this one for a mythical Chapel Springs Winery in the Finger Lakes region of New York.

Chapel Hill Winery, LLC Business Plan, Kaufmann Foundation, James J Hill Reference Library, 52 pages. SWM-Sample Business Plan: Chapel Hill Winery

If you haven ‘t written a business plan and would like some help, here is another guide that is useful.

Winery Start Up and Business Plan Handbook , Illinois Small Business Office in collaboration with Southern Illinois University, 71 pages SWM-Winery Start Up and Business Plan Handbook

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