Starting a beer company requires many things to consider. In addition to the process of making and selling beer, you’ll need to explore the licenses, marketing plans, and other variables needed to start your own beer company. In this article, we will explore the various steps involved in starting a successful beer company.
Here are the 10 steps you can take to get started on building your very own beer company business.
10 Steps to Launching a New Beer Company Business
1. Choose Your Type of Beer Company Business
The first step in launching a beer company business is to identify the type of beer company business you want to launch. You might choose from the following types among others:
- Regional or local brewery
- National or international brewery
- Online beer company business
2. Name Your Beer Company Business
Give your beer company business an identity so people will think of it as a well-known and respected brand. You can take the name of your beer company business from your industry, focus on a geographical location, or use your own name among other options.
The main goal for naming your beer company business is to make it sound appealing and trustworthy so people will be more likely to buy your beer.
3. Determine Your Beer Company Business Model
There are several possible types of business models for a beer company business including:
- Distribution company: You will form relationships with distributors in order to place your beer into stores and restaurants.
- Microbrewery: You will brew, package, and ship your beer to customers.
- Brewpub: You will need brewing equipment and food preparation areas, as well as a place to serve your beer.
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 company business.
4. Choose a Legal Form for Your Business
By incorporating your beer company 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 company 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 company business structures.
5. Write a Beer Company Business Plan
All beer company 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 company business plan and strategy, you should think about the following questions your customers might have:
- What type of beer do you offer?
- Do you have a brewery/brewpub?
- Where can I find your beer?
- Can I buy your beer online?
- What are the ingredients in your beer?
- How long has your brewery been in business?
- Do you have any awards for your beer?
- What is the brewing process like?
- Do you offer tours of the brewery?
- Do you have a blog or newsletter?
- Can I buy your beer in kegs or growlers?
- Do you sell pint glasses or other merchandise?
- Do you host events at the brewery?
- Do you offer any food options?
- Do you donate to any charities or sponsor any events?
- Can I get my company logo on your bottles/cans?
Answering these questions will help you develop a strong business plan.
Read our article about how to write a beer company 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 company business.
For example, you will need to obtain a license from the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) if you plan on manufacturing or selling alcohol. You will also need to obtain a permit from your state’s Alcohol Beverage Control Board.
You must also register your beer company 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 company business licenses.
7. Determine Your Budget & Apply for Funding as Needed
In developing your beer company 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 company business, you may consider taking advantage of that. In addition to your personal funds, other forms of potential funding for your beer company 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 company 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 company 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 to help with marketing and customer relationship management. Customer relationship management software can help track sales leads, customers, and prospects.
Marketing software can automate various marketing tasks such as email marketing, social media campaigns, and targeted ads.
9. Market Your Beer Company 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 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 company businesses should consider the following promotional strategies for which you should start getting prepared:
- Host beer tastings and events at local bars and restaurants.
- Sponsor community events, such as festivals or charity runs/walks.
- Partner with a local microbrewery or homebrew club.
- Give away free samples at farmers’ markets or other outdoor events.
- Make limited-edition beers for special occasions.
- Sell your beer online and ship it to customers anywhere in the world.
Read our article about how to market your beer company 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 company business.
Read our article about how to effectively grow your beer company business to learn more.
Starting a Beer Company Business FAQs
The beer industry is booming and there’s a growing demand for craft beer. If you’re passionate about beer and want to be your own boss, starting a beer company business could be the right move for you.
To start a successful beer company business, you need a great product, the right technology and software, effective marketing and promotional strategies, and a way to get new customers and grow your business.
You can market your beer company business online by creating a website and promoting it through social media channels, blogs, and other online platforms. You should also consider selling your beer online and shipping it to customers globally.
Here are some tips for starting a beer company business:
- Research the market: The first step is to learn all you can about the beer industry.
- Find a niche market: Research the competition and find a niche market to target.
- Develop a business plan: When you have a niche, it’s time to start developing a business plan.
- Raise capital: To start your beer company, you’ll need money to cover the costs of brewing equipment, ingredients, and marketing.
- Choose the right technology and software: To produce high-quality beer, you’ll need the right technology and software.
- Promote your business: Launch your website and start promoting your beer company through social media channels like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.
- Get new customers and 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 and grow your beer company business.
A simple checklist to use when starting a beer company business is as follows:
- Choose Your Type of Beer Company: 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 Company 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 Company Business Model: Determine how your business will make money. Will you sell products, services, or a combination of both?
- Write a Beer Company 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 Company 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 company is a complex process, but it can be very rewarding. To increase your chances of success, be sure to research the market, develop a business plan, and choose the right technology and software. Additionally, make sure you engage in active marketing so you can attract potential customers and grow your business. With careful planning and execution, you can be on your way to starting a successful beer company.