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Merchandise & Non-product Related Sales Projections


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My business partner and I are finishing up the financials for our business plan for opening up a small batch distillery. Our location and marketing plan call for a tasting room, distillery tours and merchandise available for sale at our facility. We have had great success modeling product sales and expenses from contacts within the ADI, but have not run into any examples of projections of revenue for merchandise and other non-product related sales.

I was hoping someone would be able to share their experiences or recommend a good resource to indicate merchandise/tour sales. Any amount of information from the annual number of visitors to sales numbers or even items that you found to be very popular.

Thank you all for your help!

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I'd say it's impossible to predict. I did the same as OldSpye and left it as a zero, that way if there's a surprise it comes in the form of dollar bills going into my pocket vs going out.

There's also all kinds of variables out there such as:

Are you going to source the cheapest shirts possible and try to get the most profit?

Are you going to source quality shirts and get minimal profit?

Odds are when I get to selling merchandise I'm probably not going to earn much profit. If I can give them a quality shirt which they are going to proudly wear once a week for 3 years I think that's better than the $5-10 I might have earned. Heck, I should be paying them for being a walking, talking billboard!

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Similar vein - we zeroed out the income from merchandise but in the start up costs and subsequent cash flow requirements for years 1 - 5, we have the inputs for sourcing these. That way, any merchandise revenue is all upside but you've ensured your cash flow projections and month to month needs include the manufacturing of your merchandise.

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  • 2 months later...

Hi Braeden, not sure I can give you much advice on the financials (though we did recently close a retail store here in Seattle that we'd owned for the last 2.5 years.) But I CAN say that the key here is authenticity and quality. Your guests (tours, tastings, etc.) will see through poor quality products. Every opportunity to interact with a customer is a chance to convey the quality of the spirits you're distilling. You're off to good start because whatever the branded goods are, they're yours and yours alone, which means you won't have competition online from a competitor undercutting your prices. Another great strategy is to partner with another manufacturer (not spirits-related) in your city or region - and one that already has a strong following. Local outdoor gear maker? Local clothing manufacturer? etc. Part of any craft distillery's value to customers is that you're local, that YOU are producing the goods...finding some oversees made t-shirts and screen printing them online misses the mark, and misses an opportunity to strengthen your brand.

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