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Disastrous Common Errors of a Failing Wine Business

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29/10/2019 Things that no one talks about, are the primary reasons of a failing wine business!

The below points are sourced from William Sciambi’s (President at Drewbar Consulting) powerful and to-the-point presentation at the conference for alcohol and beverage import and distribution, hosted by Beverage Trade Network. His presentation discussed some of the most core mistakes that several failing wine businesses make and become a recipe for disaster. Over time, these errors amount to irreversible issues that bring the venture’s sustenance in question, addressing which, will need for the company to go back to its foundation, and eliminate it from its roots. There is a reason why William Sciambi calls them common errors, the presumption would be him being the President of Drewbar Consulting has brought a lot of failing businesses to his experience and to him, identifying common errors is by now a piece of cake

1. Failing to meet goals

Business goals are what direct the entire business towards a point of profit-making. A wine business that has deviated from its business goals or is simply failing at satisfying its business goals will simply not make profit. The business will eventually lose reputation, which in a world of the wines business is nearly impossible to return from. Once a wine business is clearly noted by its external interest groups as the one that is failing to meet basic goals, dealing with them, will become undeniably a chance that they’d never be willing to take again. In an industry where there are thousands of quality wines waiting in line for one chance, asking for a second chance is almost redundant.

2. Supply defaulter

Let’s say your wine gets lucky and makes it to a well-known retail store shelf, the owner of which, maybe either likes the taste of your wine and agrees that he has several customers for that type or probably just decides to give your wine a shot because of your personality or for any other reason for that matter. An empty shelf is the last thing that a retailer would want, a space where he could’ve otherwise kept a wine that he might’ve have earned out of. A supply defaulter is the worst for a retail store. Delaying in supplies is considered a sin equivalent in the wine industry.

3. Staff panics over the variety of product mixes:

In a scenario wherein a staff member has no clue about the various wine varietals in your business almost never happens. But if that does happen your business will fail because if the staff member is a waiter or a server, his/her cluelessness is going to become the restaurant’s worst nightmare in front of customers. It’s usually not the cluelessness, but a sheer lack of time taken to become familiar to the wines that do not give them the confidence to answer to a customer asking a random question.

4. The sales staff is undertrained, unproductive, or unaccountable

Now, this does happen more often than you know. Situations wherein you hire sales staff to sell your wine, although they have the basic knowledge about wines they don’t know the USPs that will actually make the sale of your wine easier. It is the time and money that is invested into an undertrained staff which does not yield any money whatsoever or a staff that is left unaccountable that ultimately leads to the failure of a wine business which would otherwise flourish if one acts upon such simple factors.


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5. Low Produce

If you own a winery, or a liquor or wine store, and if you aren’t producing the right volume of wines that your winery does actually have the potential to, you are yourselves slowing down your own returns on your heavy investments, or if you are a liquor or wine store and you aren’t consuming all the space that you can for shelves and have a lot of empty  space where you could fit another shelf rack for more wine and still allow customers to walk freely in spite of it, you are simply to say, losing money that you would’ve otherwise earned.

6. Extinguishing fires

A business must not be about surviving or extinguishing fire instead of finding points of strength and making good palatable profits. The act of extinguishing fire in an already failing business is only trying to prevent the extent of damage, wherein the damage is unsaid consequence which will happen regardless of the problem. The quintessential take from this is to go back to the roots of problems and eliminate it before they have caused damage to the reputation of the venture in the wine market.

7. Salesforce doesn’t have/feel ownership of goals and results.

Something that William Sciambi admits to practicing is allowing his employees to solve problems. Sciambi believes that if an employee, may he/she be from sales or any other department has solved a problem, he/she is bound to feel ownership of the results. This keeps him/her motivated to delve deeper and not feel like a replaceable cog of the system, and instead feel a member who brings value to the table that no one else couldn’t. This certainly becomes the deciding factor for him/her to prioritize work before several other things in his/her life, which would ultimately not only benefit his growth in the firm, but would continue the company’s growth.

At the end of the day, a failing wine business, which returns by becoming a reliable ratchet of the wine market, is an irresistible story in itself snowballing into becoming the primary reasons for one to try the wine.


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