“Christmas in July” – we have all heard the phrase and cringe when we know others are starting to plan for the holidays. But in the wine business it is important to plan ahead and set your calendar for the coming months, especially for direct wine sales.
The fourth quarter of the year usually makes or breaks the bottom line of a financial plan for most wineries and it is never to early to start the planning process. Make a calendar for your fall releases and offers, making sure you are hitting key dates and planning with the fulfillment houses for shipping. As the weather finally cools down across the country in the fall, shipping begins to ramp up and unless you are on the books, your release could be left out in the cold.
Are you offering any verticals or large formats? Review your inventory to see what library wines may add that special touch to someone’s celebration. The holidays are the time of year in which people feel justified in splurging for that little something special that they may not be able to get the rest of the year, so take advantage of it!
And be clear in your communications with your customers, especially if an offer is limited in supply or has a deadline – the last thing you want to do is disappoint someone who thinks they have a perfect gift but can’t get it. Suggest alternatives and bend over backwards to satisfy them – they will become your biggest fan and loudest advocates.