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How Long Before You Broke New Business Momentum


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Hello everyone,

I am a partner at a distillery in Tempe, AZ and we've had our distilling license since Nov. 2016.  We have had vodka since January, our unaged bourbon and rum since early April, and our gin since late May.  People who come into our distillery really like our products and we are on the sales trail and self-distributing.  After 3 months or so of pushing we're in 6 restaurants/bars and a handful of liquor stores.   I wanted to ask how long it took for other distilleries to break momentum and start making a name for themselves.  One thing that we know is we don't have a whiskey ready (bourbon soon and a smoked whiskey bottling in early September) and we keep saying, "we'll take off when we get our aged spirits". 

We're going to continue pushing sales and I was looking to see what it took for others to really break into the bar/restaurant scene in their area.  What marketing worked, what hasn't?  We don't want to assume that it'll be easier getting sales with whiskeys (although it may be) so we will keep pushing.  Just want to know if we're an anomaly and how long it took others to gain momentum.

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Making it is easy, it's the sales end of it that is the hard part. You need to be spending 90% of your time building relationships with the bars, restaurants, and liquor stores. This is a seven day a week endeavor because you have to catch these people at times when they work and are able to see you. The turnover rate is pretty high in the restaurant industry so plan to recanvas at least every quarter so you know who is pouring your product and who you still have to convince.

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