Breaking into any industry takes a lot of work, patience, money, and expertise, and the beverage industry is no different. However, that doesn’t mean becoming a successful entrepreneur is impossible. With enough determination, knowledge, and hard work, anything is possible.
Remember that all successful business owners need advice on how to get started. If you want to start your own brewery, soda company, or coffee selling business, use the following tips.
There are millions of sodas, beers, teas, and coffees on the market, but that shouldn’t discourage you. If you can find a niche or improve on a popular product, you’ll find a customer base. But if you want to solve a problem, you need to conduct extensive market research.
Let’s look at energy drinks as an example. Through market research, energy drinks, which were initially used to help patients recover from injuries, became a widely sold soft drink that promotes wakefulness. It fills two niches targeted by drink manufacturers: people who need caffeine and people who hate coffee.
Alternatively, you could go for an even more specific audience. For example, you could sell an energy drink to students and fill it with vitamins and nutrients that help with studying.
What separates Monster Energy and Red Bull? Marketing! Both products taste virtually the same, but Monster comes in a bigger, darker can than its competitors. What’s more, Monster Energy partners with extreme sporting events and has a strong presence in the music industry.
People connect Monster with youth and general “coolness,” but they wouldn’t be able to accomplish this without sponsorships and a dangerous-looking brand. When thinking of your product, go beyond what’s inside the can. It’s outside of the can that sells your beverage.
While it’s true that marketing will sell your product, that doesn’t mean you should skimp on the product's taste. However, testing can be really expensive, especially when starting out.
All businesses need a bit of capital to get off the ground. We recommend speaking to angel investors and putting your product on crowdfunding sites, like Kickstarter and Gofundme.
When creating a product to test, make sure you place different branding on each formula. Mix up the branding to avoid bias, and be sure to ask what the testers thought of the packaging.
If you want to approach angel investors or venture capitalists for funding, you’ll need to draft a business plan. Not only will a plan give you a sense of direction, but it will also give your investors the peace of mind they’ll need to put up money for your current project.
Use SMART goal setting for every part of your project you develop, including your branding, marketing, and distribution strategy. With a roadmap in place, you’ll have an easier time staying on the right track. Plus, a business plan can come in handy when you’re taking out a loan.
Networking is incredibly important to your success. Ask anybody in the beverage niche, and you’ll find that several of your competitors found mentors in their space to help them scale.
Not only that, but your competitors also used their connections to find quality employees. No entrepreneur is able to create their product from start to finish, even if they’re multitalented. There simply isn’t enough time in the day to complete your project on your own.
You’ll need to work with a team that supports your growth, so it’s a good idea to network early. Go to in-person and online events in your niche to start making friends in the beverage industry.