Brewery Sales Plans…Avoid these Mistakes

The sales plan is your road map to brewery growth. 

In this post, I want to share 3 Mistakes to Avoid when building your brewery Sales Plan. These are mistakes that I have made (and hopefully learned from).

I’m sharing them with you so that you can avoid these pitfalls, and build a great sales plan for your brewery.

3 Brewery Sales Plan Mistakes to Avoid

  1. Starting too late…(or not finishing the plan)
  2. Not involving the right people
  3. Using poorly designed financial planning tools

Mistake #1: Starting the Plan too Late

The goal is to have your sales plan done and communicated to your team several weeks before the start of the new sales plan period.

The new sales plan period may start with the new year, January 1st, or it may be a mid-year sales plan update and start on April 1st.

To make sure you start on time, create a sales planning calendar with deadlines so that the plan is done and communicated to your team. Here’s an outline:

Sales Plan Timeline

  • Start the plan 10 weeks before you need it done
  • Get a high-level sales plan draft on paper 6 weeks before you need it done
  • Finalize + Communicate 2 weeks before the plan start date
  • Example: Start your sales plan in mid-October, and get a good draft done by mid-November, before the holidays kick in. Finalize the plan and communicate the information to your team by mid-December.

Mistake #1a: Not Finishing the Sales Plan

You’re busy, and have other things that may seem more important than finishing a sales plan.

This is understandable, but remind yourself (and your team) that this is an important project. The sales plan is the Road Map to Brewery Growth.

One tip to help finish the sales plan is to keep it simple. Use 30,000 foot planning. For example, project top-line annual sales through the taproom, self-distribution, or wholesale.

Project top-line annual sales by beer brand, or by market territory or by wholesaler.

Keep it simple, build some momentum, and finish the plan. The details can come later.

Mistake #2: Not Involving the Right People in Sales Planning

I’m a big fan of sharing info so that employees can make better decisions.

If information is useful for owners, it’s likely useful for employees.

To help create better outcomes with your sales plan, consider including these folks in the planning process: inventory manager, brewing manager, and packaging manager.

A rounded group of individuals is best, and provide different perspectives on future sales opportunities.

Moreover, this process gives your managers a front row seat in the planning process and gives them a voice in shaping the plan.

Involve the right people in your sales planning. You’ll get a better plan, better buy in, and better understanding from those involved in process

Mistake #3: Using Poorly Designed Financial Tools

It hurts to invest time and resources into building a plan only to find you’ve used the wrong tools.  Don’t do that.

I’ve built hundreds of sales plans in my day, and have put together a set of models that you can download and use to build your brewery plan.

Get instant access to the sales models and step-by-step video instructions with your annual subscription.

Already a subscriber? Head over to the Online Courses section of membership and get started today.

 Wrap Up + Action Items

The sales plan is your road map to brewery growth.

Do these 3 things to build a great sales plan:

  1. Create a calendar with deadlines so that you start and finish your plan on time.
  2. Involve the right people in your planning process. I’ve found that a good combination is to include the sales manager, inventory manager, packaging manager and head brewer. Throw a finance person in there as well.
  3. Use proven sales models to build your plan. This will save time, money and headaches in the planning process.

Now, it’s up to you. Get out there and build an amazing sales plan in your brewery.

Yours in Brewery Sales Plans,

Kary