Starting a beer club is a great way to help friends get together and enjoy some good brews. It also helps aficionados taste different types of beer. Before you start your business, you need to make sure you have everything in order.
Here are the 10 steps you can take to get started on building your very own beer club business.
10 Steps to Launching a New Beer Club Business
1. Choose Your Type of Beer Club Business
The first step in launching a beer club business is to identify the type of beer club business you want to launch. You might choose from the following types among others:
- Homebrew club: This type of beer club is typically composed of amateur brewers.
- Tasting club: Tasting clubs are more like social gatherings where members meet to try new beers and discuss their thoughts on them.
- Brewpub club: Brewpubs are local breweries that also serve food. Joining a brewpub club gives you access to exclusive events and beers.
2. Name Your Beer Club Business
Give your beer club business an identity so people will think of it as a well-known and respected brand. You can take the name of your beer club business from your industry, focus on a geographical location, or use your own name among other options.
The main goal for naming your beer club business is to make it sound appealing and trustworthy so customers will want to join.
3. Determine Your Beer Club Business Model
There are several possible types of business models for a beer club business including:
- Delivery service: Beer is delivered to the home or workplace of each member on a regular basis.
- Subscription service: Members pay a monthly fee to receive a certain number of beers delivered to them.
- Retail store: You operate a retail store where members can purchase various beers.
No matter which model you choose, make sure that it aligns with your business goals and the products you offer.
Read more about choosing the right business model for your beer club business.
4. Choose a Legal Form for Your Business
By incorporating your beer club business, you will limit your liability. You can incorporate as a Limited Liability Company (LLC), a C Corporation (C-Corp), or an S Corporation (S-Corp). Or you can operate as a sole proprietorship.
The business structure you choose for your beer club business will determine the amount of taxes you pay and which state or federal tax forms you need to file.
Read our article comparing the most common beer club business structures.
5. Write a Beer Club Business Plan
All beer club business owners should develop a business plan.
A business plan is a document that outlines the goals, strategies, and operations of a business. It can be used to secure funding from investors or lenders, as well as to guide the day-to-day operations of the business. The business plan should include information on the company’s products or services, market analysis, financial projections, and management team among other things.
When developing your beer club business plan and strategy, you should think about the following questions your customers might have:
- What is a beer club?
- What are the types of beer clubs?
- How much does it cost to join a beer club?
- How often do I receive my beers?
- Can I choose the beers that I want in my monthly shipment?
- Can I cancel my membership at any time?
- What are the benefits of joining a beer club?
- How can I start my own beer club business?
Answering these questions in your business plan will give you a solid foundation on which to build your beer club business
Read our article about how to write a beer club business plan.
6. Apply for the Necessary Permits and Licenses
There may be required licenses and permits you need to obtain before launching your beer club business.
For example, if you plan on selling alcohol, you will need to apply for a liquor license from your state’s Alcoholic Beverage Control board.
You must also register your beer club business as a legal entity with the state where you plan to do business. You can simply file an online form through your Secretary of State website.
Registering with the federal government is also essential so you can properly pay taxes for your business. You will also need an Employer Identification Number (EIN), which you can apply for at the IRS website, if you plan to hire employees.
Read our article about obtaining the proper beer club business licenses.
7. Determine Your Budget & Apply for Funding as Needed
In developing your beer club business plan, you will figure out how much funding you need to start and grow your business.
If you have your own funds to invest in your beer club business, you may consider taking advantage of that. In addition to your personal funds, other forms of potential funding for your beer club business include traditional bank loans, SBA loans, credit cards, angel investors and family and friends.
Read our article about the costs associated with starting a beer club business to help you determine if funding is needed.
8. Get the Technology & Software Needed to Run Your Business Efficiently
When you start your beer club business, it’s essential to have the right technology in place to maximize efficiency. You definitely need a computer with Internet access, and accounting software for tracking expenses and revenues.
You may also want to invest in software specifically for beer clubs, which can automate many of the tasks associated with running your business. For example, some beer club software can help you manage inventory, track customer preferences, process payments and shipments, and generate reports.
9. Market Your Beer Club Business to Potential Customers
Before you start selling your products, you have to let the world know you exist. The first step is to create a website so people can learn more about your products and how they benefit them.
After you launch your website, start promoting it through social media channels like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Also consider networking with other people in the beer club industry through social media and blogs so they can help share your business.
You also need to start gathering the materials needed to execute on your promotions strategy, which is your strategy for attracting new customers. Beer club businesses should consider the following promotional strategies for which you should start getting prepared:
- Sponsor local events: Sponsor events that draw people from the geographical area of your beer club. This will help get your business name in front of potential customers.
- Give out free samples: One great way to introduce people to your beer club is to give out free samples. You can set up a table at local events or hand out flyers with information about your beer club.
- Offer discounts: Everyone loves a good deal, so offer potential customers discounts on their first purchase from your beer club. This will help attract new customers and get them to try your products.
- Create a referral program: Referral programs are a great way to get existing customers to help promote your business. Offer a discount or other incentive for referring new customers to your beer club.
- Get involved in the community: Getting involved in the community is a great way to raise awareness about your beer club. You can volunteer for local events or donate to a local charity.
- Advertise online: Advertising online is a great way to reach potential customers who are looking for a beer club in your area.
Read our article about how to market your beer club business for more tips.
10. Get New Customers & Grow Your Business
When you promote your products, you’ll start to get interest from potential customers.
Make sure you’re ready to serve these customers. Also, be sure to establish systems to ensure consistency and reduce costs. And be sure to find and train the right people to help you grow your beer club business.
Read our article about how to effectively grow your beer club business to learn more.
Starting a Beer Club Business FAQs
Why Start a Beer Club Business?
There are many reasons to start a beer club business:
- It’s a great way to make money.
- A beer club builds community among people who enjoy the camaraderie.
- It’s a growing industry with lots of potential.
- You can be your own boss and set your own hours.
- You can make a difference in people’s lives by providing them with a service they enjoy.
What is Needed to Start a Successful Beer Club Business?
To start a successful beer club business, you need to have a passion for beer, be knowledgeable about the industry, and be able to market your products effectively. You also need to have a good understanding of the technology and software needed to run a beer club business.
How Can I Start a Beer Club Business From Home?
Starting a beer club business from home is a great way to save money on overhead costs. You can use your home as your office and store all of your products in a garage or basement. To get started, you’ll need to create a website, promote your business through social media, and start gathering the materials needed to execute your promotions strategy.
How Can I Market a Beer Club Business Online?
There are many ways to market a beer club business online. You can start by creating a website and promoting your business through social media. You can also advertise online and get involved in the community. And, be sure to offer discounts and create a referral program to attract new customers.
What are Some Tips for Starting a Beer Club Business?
Here are some tips for starting a beer club business:
- Research the market: Before starting, it’s important to do your research and learn as much as you can about the industry. This will help you understand the market and find a niche for your business.
- Find a niche: After you’ve done your research, it’s time to find a niche for your business. This will help focus your marketing efforts and attract the right customers.
- Promote your products: After you’ve found your niche, it’s time to start promoting your products. Advertise online, get involved in the community, and offer discounts and referral programs.
- Get new customers: As you start promoting your products, you’ll start to get interest from potential customers. Make sure you’re ready to serve these customers and establish systems to ensure consistency and reduce costs.
- Train your staff: As your business grows, find and train the right people to help you grow your beer club business.
Where Can I Find a Simple Checklist for Starting a Beer Club Business?
A simple checklist to use when starting a beer club business is as follows:
- Choose Your Type of Beer Club: This should be based on what you are best at and how much experience you have. Remember to keep your interests, skills, and experience in mind at all times.
- Name Your Beer Club Business: This should be done with care, as your brand is important for attracting the right customers. A simple, memorable name will go a long way.
- Choose a Legal Form for Your Business: Whether you choose to become a sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC, corporation or another option will depend on your business. Ensure that you are aware of all the implications of each type.
- Determine Your Beer Club Business Model: Determine how your business will make money. Will you sell products, services, or a combination of both?
- Write a Beer Club Business Plan: Your business plan will also help you determine what your start-up costs will be and will provide a roadmap with which you can launch and grow.
- Apply for the Necessary Permits and Licenses: In most locations you will be required to apply for a business license and/or permits before you can begin operations.
- Determine Your Budget & Apply for Funding as Needed: You will need to know how much money you have to spend on all of your business-related expenses before opening any doors. If needed, apply for a small business loan or other funding options.
- Get the Technology & Software Needed to Run Your Business Efficiently: You need to have the right tools in place to succeed. Implement software that will help you manage your time, contacts, and business operations in general.
- Market Your Beer Club Business to Potential Customers: A solid marketing plan will be crucial to your success. It should focus on attracting the right customers so that you can provide them with the products they truly need.
- Get Customers & Grow Your Business: Once you have a solid marketing plan, it's time to actively pursue and secure those who could benefit the most from your products.
Starting a beer club can be a great way to tap into the growing craft beer industry. By researching the market and following these tips, you can start a successful beer club business.