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  1. TL;DR: I'm in the beginning throws of creating a business plan. What part of your business plan did you struggle with the most and how did (or didn't) you overcome it? After enough research, I've come to terms that I won't be a distillery owner for at least 18 months, if not longer. I still need money coming in. I need to save. I need to figure out what the f$%* I'm doing. So here we are, at the beginning. I'm locked in with a blank document and in a staring contest its title; Business Plan. Sort of. I've broke it down into four major themes I need to flesh out: Production/Operations Marketing/Sales Financial Legal My plan is to start one page vision of the distillery/product (to get my head straight) and then go after legal (local zoning board/politicians) and marketing (distillers, retailers, bars and potential customers). I'll see what the reaction is to my vision and tweak as I go. Why this approach? Because talking doesn't cost money. Truth be told though, I'll be winging it for a while. So I'm wondering if anyone has comments or critiques to this approach? And maybe you'd like to shed some light on the areas you struggled with regarding your own business plan in the beginning.
  2. I'm in the logistics and supply chain industry. I hope I can shed some light on this. Fuel Surcharges: Vendors and last mile carriers are reluctant to drop this charge. A lot of them got burned in 2008 with the fuel spike and lost a number of customers when they tried to pay the fuel costs forward. They keep it in there for line item reasons. It's easier to dial up the $25 line item surcharge to $100 rather than to add one Pallet Surcharges: This is one you could easily negotiate out if you wanted to. Pallets are there to make transporting cargo more efficient. Pallets help your vendor's warehouse and last mile delivery teams operate at a profitable level. Easy on...easy off. If you purchase from a vendor often enough, you can get this charge removed (especially if the opportunity cost of switching vendors is low).
  3. A market without a product is an opportunity. A product without a market is a hobby. @MythBuster, if I were creating a product, and people who are - or interact with - my potential customers are saying I don't have a market, I wouldn't be so flippant with my retorts. In fact, I'd probably stop what I was doing and conduct some serious market research. Like, months of it. I'd like to figure out who my target demographic is, what they do for work, what they do for fun, what they spend their disposable income on...for starters. The ol' Field of Dreams mantra "If you build it, they will come" has a wake dead products in its path. I hope you've done the research necessary to justify your hubris. Good luck.
  4. As I don't want to start another "From Massachusetts" thread...I too am from Mass and new to distilling. I'm working in a field that has long hours, hard mental and physical work and ungodly amounts of regulation, only I don't have a nice sipable product when it's all over. I'd like to change that. I've read through a number of threads on this and other forums and it has proved to be a great starting point. Thank you all for your past and future contributions. @Larry G if you like to chat, feel free to DM me. @Foreshotand @SlickFloss, thanks for the book rec's. I've seen these books and a lot of others. It's hard to know what's worth reading and what should be skipped. Great starting point.
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