Final Blog Post

Goals:

  • Rachel Melton:My goal is to find out how to create and run a successful website and social media presence for Brew With Your Crew. We want as many people as possible to come to our business. Social media is an easy way to make that happen as long as we do the right things to attract customers. For our website we need to give our customers a sense of who we are and why they should check out BWYC.
  • Keaton Flaesch: In this last period of the semester, I am starting a job at a local craft beer restaurant, Flying Saucer. At Flying Saucer, they have over 200 brews available and my goal is to learn as much about their business model as a can as well as where they source their beers from and how much the restaurant pays for each of the beers they source. This is very important because selling our seasonal brews to local restaurants will be an integral part of our business model in order to market ourselves to the Columbia area and be able to turn a profit as quickly as possible. My goal is to learn more about the different kinds of craft brews by sampling them, learn about the business model by interviewing the manager, and see if there is a specific kind of beer that is a crowd favorite among the regulars and employees to model our first seasonal beer after. After I have learned this information I will report my findings to the group.
  • Morgan MacLachlan: My goal is to research and decide what the best marketing tactic would be for Brew With Your Crew in order to advertise to our specific target market successfully. I am thinking of ways including sponsored advertisements on Facebook, print advertisements in magazines as well as online counterparts for the print ads, and any other marketing tactics I stumble across during my research. My final goal as well is to efficiently create the business plan and contribute in any way I possibly can. This is going to be one of the biggest challenges of the whole semester and is going to require a lot of fine tuning and work in order to be successful.
  • Christina Nelson: For the remainder of this semester, I would like to look into the marketing costs and mediums that we could use for our business. I will look into the different costs for marketing and which platforms will be best to reach our target audience. We will be selling Brew With Your Crew merchandise as well, and I will look into the costs of production. I will also look into the different costs associated with social media marketing. This will also help Brew With Your Crew better understand how much money our business will bring in, and how much money we can spend on our business.

Previous Goals:

  • Rachel Melton:My previous goal was to find out the estimated cost of all the machinery and equipment we would need for Brew With Your Crew. Another goal I made for myself was to find out how much a building the size we need would cost here in Columbia. We decided as a group that we would do 50 mini brews kit  “stations” so that we could have multiple groups brewing at one time. The average starting costs for these kits begins between $50-$100. So we’re looking at anywhere between $2,500-$5,000 just for those. We may also want to look at purchasing one barrel to brew beer for big events, which averaging starting cost is about $100,000. Taking into account the need for all of these kits and barrels, as well as comfortable entertaining space for our customers, we would probably need a space with at least 1200 square feet. One space I found to use, as an example was $20 per square foot to lease for the year. With the space being 1500 square foot, which would be $30,000 for the year.
  • Keaton Flaesch: My previous goal was to find out what the monthly cost of running BWYC would be in terms of rent and utilities. Some spaces I have found have ranged from anywhere between $3000 and $4000 a month in Columbia, SC. However, a lot of commercial real estate leases to companies yearly in which case the money would be due up front unless a payment plan was worked out. Another cost of the space would be utilities which would include water, sports cable, wifi, electricity and gas. On my estimate from spectrum, game time cable, wifi, and phone would cost about $170/month bundled. In my research, breweries utilities usually cost about half of their rent space which would mean water, electric, and gas would come out to be anywhere between $1500 and $2000. In summation the total cost of running BWYC in utilities, connection services, and rent would be anywhere from $4670 to $5670 in monthly costs.
  • Morgan MacLachlan: My previous goal was to outline the initial costs and elements that it takes in order to open up a business, more specifically a brewery, and possible ways to obtain the startup money. Throughout my research I found many possible sources of money, most of them being things involving kickstarters and investors as I believe our idea is new-age and different and has not been done before, therefore it is an interesting business idea to invest in or put money towards in order to see it created. If we do not get enough investors we will have to put the money forward ourselves, which would be much more challenging as it will be a very pricey venture.
  • Christina Nelson: My previous goal was to research the specifics of running a business, such as how many employees we would need, the costs of owning a large building, and how much room our business would need to rent. I found a helpful website called Microbrewery.com, where I found an article called “How Big Should Your Brewery Be?” This article broke down the costs of owning a brewery, such as needing 22 workers for every 1,000 barrels brewed every year. Our business aims to entertain a minimum of 4 groups a day, which would produce 16 barrels a weekend and 832 barrels a year. Our numbers are below 1,000 barrels a year, so after doing the math, I have concluded we would need a minimum of 18 employees. I then did some research on the costs of renting a large business in Columbia, SC. and concluded we could rent a space large enough for our business for $4,000 a month. I also watched a few Youtube videos on opening a brewery, such as “How to Start a Microbrewery” which introduced me to other factors our business will run into such as taxes. All of this information will help my group with our business plan; knowing how much money our business will approximately cost.

Interesting Article:

  • Rachel Melton:The interesting article I chose for this blog post was about running a successful social media presence for Brew With Your Crew. This will give me a head start on my next goal. The article 10 Tips for Successful Social Media Marketing that Delivers 10X ROI was very helpful.Social media is a great marketing tool that BWYC can use to solidify our branding, reach out to customers, and drive our business towards success. To do this, we must identify our goals that need to be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely. It’s also important that we identify our audience and direct our attention to them. For our social media marketing to be effective, we need to target our select audience and select the best platforms to get our message across. Who our audience is (age group) will determine the best social media channels to use. For example, with our target customers being between the ages of 21-35 it would be more beneficial for us to use Facebook and Instagram. One very important thing for us to do is to engage our customers by posting fresh and interesting content frequently so that they stay entertained. We want them to not only come to BWYC, but we want them to continually come to us and enjoy our services.
  • Keaton Flaesch: This week for my interesting article I chose “Here’s How a Six-Pack of Craft Beer Ends Up Costing $12” from the Huffington Post. I thought this article was interesting because it breaks down the process of what goes into brewing a craft beer and why at the end of the day, its’ cost is equal to that of a case of a nationally mass-produced beer such as Busch or Bud-Light. This is relevant to BWYC because we are not only planning on producing craft beer, but hopefully producing over 100 unique brews a month, as well as a seasonal house brew which we would plant to sell to local restaurants by the keg, as well as to local alcohol stores such as Greens and local grocery stores like Publix and Food Lion by the six-pack. This article helps to give perspective to why our services would cost as much as they do and gives exact percentages on what we should charge (by percentage) for each ingredient the customers choose to use. In order to make BWYC a successful business, we would need to have different streams of income to turn a profit in a fast and effective way.
  • Morgan MacLachlan: The interesting article I chose to apply to my goal for the closing term was Business Plans: A Step-by-Step Guide. This article goes in depth through the steps that it will take in order to create the most effective business plan possible for your business. It provides individual links to specific categories of things you will need to make your business plan all in one convenient place, as well as listing them in the order that we will most likely need them. I know that this will be the perfect source if I ever have any questions about further determining my goals and objectives and how to make them more specific, outlining financial needs, and really just everything we have been over in class that I may need to look over one more time from another source in order to create a fully rounded business plan with multiple sources of information and advise. Within the article, there is even a link for how to enhance your business plan, which I want to use after we create our first initial plan in order to make sure that it is the most in depth and best it can be plan.
  • Christina Nelson: This week I am focusing on marketing our business and reaching our target audience. I chose the article: “From Yellow Fizz to Big Biz,” which breaks down the craft beer industry. This article begins by explaining how the beer industry is on the rise, and more specifically craft beer is booming. In the article, target audiences are mentioned, and it is noted that the biggest market for craft breweries is with the millennial generation. This will be helpful to my group because our target audience is beer drinkers between the ages 21 and 35. Next the article discusses marketing, stating the best way to reach millennials is through word of mouth, which is where BWYC will try to reach our audience. BWYC is going to have merchandise, that our audience can purchase and market our business. Millennials are also known for digital communication, which is why our business will market through social media. This article is helpful because it breaks down the craft beer industry into target audiences and marketing which is my research goal this week.

Discussion of Another Group’s Blog:  The group chosen for this blog’s discussion is Indulgences. Specifically, their branding is very well done. To choose a paint brush painting across with the word “Indulgences” was a very smart logo choice. I like how they chose the colors of the logo to reflect how they want their customers to feel about their business. For example, they used two shades of teal because typically the color blue is a color that people trust. It has a sense of dignity and loyalty. These are very important aspects that they want their clients to feel when they interact with Indulgences. The gold color of the paint symbolizes that they, “only provide top notch service of outstanding quality.” This strong statement shows how much they value customer service and that they want to give their customers the best of the best. Indulgences pays very close attention to details, which will set them apart from their competition. Over the course of the semester, Indulgences has been very consistent with who they are as a company and the impeccable service they will provide.

Marketing Plan:

  1. Our Marketplace: For Brew With Your Crew we are forming our own market in Columbia, SC. There are not any other businesses around the Columbia area that are similar to ours in the aspect that customers would be able to come and brew their own beers. Our barrier to entry would be creating the need for the market itself and one way to overcome it would be to market ourselves well to our target customer segment. Another barrier to entry would be the price of starting this business. The space we would need and the machinery we have to have will be very expensive. We will not be making profit right away, so it is very important that we don’t get discouraged.
  2. Our Customers: Our market segments and our target customers are beer drinkers from the ages 21-35. In Columbia, that market segment is fairly large. Our customers would be fun, trendy, and enthusiastic about trying new things and instead of wanting to just buy beer, they want to experience it also. Traditionally, millennials have been known to spend more money on experiences rather than products and BWYC would cater directly to that. Another Market segment would be local Columbia restaurants and grocery stores who would purchase kegs and bottles of our seasonal brews. This customer segment would work in unison with our initial customer segment, beer drinkers aged 21-35 by utilizing  space on bottle labels to market our business and let people know that they will be able to brew their own beers as well as buy seasonal crafts.
  3. Niche Market: Our niche market is customers who are looking for a unique brewery experience where they get to brew beer with a group of friends in a fun and laid-back environment. As a business, BWYC is all about the experience. Yes customers will get their beer in about 2 weeks, but they immediately walk away with an unforgettable experience. We walk them through the brewing process and let them choose their unique flavors to create their beer. During this time they get to hang out with their “crew” and eat some food.
  4. Sales and Marketing Goals: Our target customer segment would be best reached by social media and word of mouth. Other good ways to market to our customer segments would be to hand out coasters with our logos and social media handles and hold beer at Soda City on Saturday mornings. For social media, the best platforms for us to use would be Facebook and Instagram. Our target audience widely uses these as their main sources of social media. Word of mouth is another important way for us to reach our target customers. When we have people come in BWYC and enjoy our service, we want them to tell their friends, family and coworkers. Word of mouth might not be the fastest way to reach customers, but it is very crucial. Other people’s opinions matter.
  5. Position Our Product or Service: Words that we would use to describe our brand would be adventurous, minimalist, community, and entertainment. Colors that we would use to convey this message are a palate of teals, blues, reds, oranges and yellows. These colors convey that we are a fun and hip place to be. We want our customers to understand that they are a part of a unique experience. We will offer merchandise such as coasters, koozies, bottle openers, t-shirts and hats to promote our brand through advertising and social media.
  6. Our Unique Marketing Message: There is no one else who offers the same service as us. People would want to buy from us because they want to create new unique experiences with friends and family. Not only is the experience of brewing your own beer unique to the area, but we do the difficult work for the customers. That way they don’t have to deal with the hassle of sanitizing, fermenting and bottling the beer themselves. They also get custom labels for their beer, which solidifies that this is theirs and that no one else has the same thing. Being different and having something that no one else has is an important goal that many try to achieve. Coming to BWYC will guarantee that you will not be like everyone else.
  7. Our Marketing Approach: Brew With Your Crew would be a market nicher, because we would cater to specific customer segment and our business is unique to us. Being in a niche market is more beneficial for BWYC because we offer such a unique experience that no other business has. We allow our customers to brew their own beer with our materials, we do all of the dirty work, and then they get their product with custom labels on the bottle.
  8. Our Market Mediums: We will provide promotions for first timers as well as a referral program for people to receive extended benefits for the more customers they send our way. We will also be doing lots of social media giveaways of various sizes in order to promote that we are a fun and giving business as well as attract new and current customers by offering unique promotions and deals through our giveaways. We will host various events, some at the brewery and some at places like Soda City or pop-up beer gardens with brews that our customer base has made themselves. This will promote people to tell their friends to come and taste their beers as well as attracting future clientele when they openly see what they can create as others have before them. Our website will be the final addition for now to our marketing mediums and it will explain our business, provide a link that can be easily distributed to possible clientele in order to explain our business to them, provide an easy booking and sign up link, as well as give a more personal feel to further market Brew With Your Crew.
  9. Our Marketing Budget: Our marketing budget would be about $500/month in giveaways, social media promotions, coasters, and a Soda City booth once a month. This can be easily adjusted depending on if we decide a medium is not working properly for us, but it is nice to start with a smaller marketing budget and depending on word of mouth and media promotions and shout outs to begin with. Soda City is also a great and cheap marketing tactic because it is full of people mostly local from the Columbia area and attracts tons of people from our target market. If the budget needs to be adjusted in the future, we can figure out alternatives and maybe cut back on the number of giveaways in order to promote more or find other outlets in order to market ourselves in the most effective way possible for the funding we have.
  10. System of Accountability: Average $5 customer in advertising. Open 11-6 Thursday – Sunday. We would do a group minimum of 4 and anyone with a group of more than four must book at least two hours ahead of time in order for us to make sure we have enough brew kits to be designated to the party. If not booked ahead of time, there will be an additional gratuity added in order to acquire the systems needed for the larger than 4 person party. We would start out buying 50 miniature home brew kits and expand on that in the future to large brewery kits and regular brewery machinery. The process to brew beer takes 2 weeks in order to go through the brew system and make the individual beers, which is something we would inform our clientele on ahead of time in a signed agreement acknowledging the time frame. The ingredients for each brew will be listed with prices next to each of them in order to make sure we can still acquire quality ingredients and charge accordingly for them. There will be an initial flat fee for using the brewery kits which will depend on the cost of running each of these kits and electricity billing.
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