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5 Things Wineries Should Do To Prepare for 2019

December 17, 2018

With the end of 2018 so close, finding the time to think about 2019 might seem like an impossible dream. But taking just a little time now can have a significant impact and help you make the most of your DtC wine sales in the New Year.

Don’t know where to start? Here are just five things you should do before the year ends

Get organised

When you’re busy, it’s easy to let things slip but even just taking half an hour to clean the mess from your desk and reply to unanswered emails can help you start 2019 right.

Reviewing what you are already working on gives you the opportunity to take stock. Seeing what you’ve been avoiding can also reveal either the greatest areas for growth in your winery or alternatively, the tasks that just aren’t important to you. Use this to come up with a few major projects to work on in the new year or to simply explore options that can ease those pressure points.

Review your online presence

The reality is that the Twitter page that you haven’t updated in two years is not doing your winery any favours. The wine that’s out of stock on your e-commerce store from 8 months ago isn’t either.

Increasingly, customers are checking out businesses online before they visit them and having an inconsistent, outdated or even incorrect online presence can be damaging. Take the time to check your social media and your own website as well as review sites like Trip Advisor and make sure all of that information is accurate. If you do have social media accounts that you simply won’t use again, delete them or alternatively, look at how you can streamline content creation to save time.

Pro Tip: it’s worth checking that all login details are up to date. If an account has been set up in an old employee’s name, it may prove difficult to access it again in the future so take the time to update it to a current email. Also, don’t forget to check your Facebook admins. 

Plan how to communicate with your customers

Businesses live and die by their customers, but too often there is not a concerted plan around how we communicate with them.

This step will depend on how you’re currently communicating with customers and how happy you are with your results but for most wineries this means looking at your email marketing as well as your social media.

It’s best practice to send customers 2 – 3 emails a month so if you’re emailing less than that, your plan should involve more regular email communications. If you think you’re sending enough emails, then consider whether your emails could be more effectively targeted to your customers. Even simple segmentation like sending your wine club members a different email from your other customers can drive much better engagement and sales. 

When it comes to social media, there are two major things to look at it. Take the time to see what content has received the most engagement and if there’s a way you can provide more of it. Also, simple things like making sure you respond to messages and comments is a great way to build an ongoing relationship with people who visit you.

Evaluate your current systems

Just because you’ve been using one product for a few years doesn’t mean it’s the right product for you. Take the time to look at what programs you use across your winery and see if they're still fitting your needs. Consider things like data backups, payroll & HR, email campaigns, e-commerce and website plus of course your POS!

The other thing to consider is where you may have any gaps. If you’re still running your wine club off an Excel spreadsheet, it might be the time to look into wine club software or if you are without a CRM, there are many free options available online that will make keeping your customer details much easier.

Get to know your business

Off the top of your head, do you know what your best selling wine is? Do you know how many people are members of your wine club? Do you know what your average order size is?

Taking the time to understand the trends of your business can be crucial to your success. When you know what is working, you can do more of it or alternatively, when you realise what isn’t working, you can take steps to address it.

If you’re not sure what kind of things you need to be tracking, start with the following

  1. Your average order size
  2. What percentage of wine is sold via your cellar door, online, events and through distributors
  3. Your best and worst selling wines.
  4. The number of people on your mailing list

From there, all you need to do is take a few minutes every quarter to jot down the same information to understand the trends of your business.

Make 2019 your best year yet

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