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Drafting Your Wine Bistro Business Plan

You"ve worked in the wine industry for a while, and have daydreamed about opening a gorgeous, well-stocked wine bar, and all you need to get started is a business plan. Without a well thought-out plan, banks will not lend money to your start-up. Here"s what you"ll need to start thinking about.
 
The Big Picture
 
What is your goal? What will success look like? Sum up the basic logistics. This is where you put your aspirations in terms of tangible end results. Your goal may read like this:
 
Within the next two years, The Bistro Bar will have $675,000 in net profits annually. The success will be due to: the cozy interior atmosphere and lounge-style seating, the opportune location within walking distance of residents, the lack of similar competition, and the sommelier"s unique tasting options.
Chocolates, cheese, fruit, and gourmet pizza from the pizzeria next door will be on the menu, in addition to a rotating selection of wines. The location is ideal because a new upscale apartment building with 900 units is being built four blocks away. Full bottles will be available for sale for take-out, and wine-of-the-month delivery will be offered. 
 
The Finances
 
What is the cash flow plan? Expenses include telecommunications devices, interior modifications, supplies, lease costs, staff salaries, training costs, advertising, and insurance. Projected revenue can be estimated based on first-year earnings at similar US wine bar enterprises.  
 
The Customer Relationship
 
How will you keep customers, and develop new ones? Think about the positives and negatives. Here"s an example:
 
The downsides include the potential at any time for competition to move into the area. The upside is that our focus will be on cultivating unique, personal relationships with customers. Training for staff will focus on how to provide premiere customer service based on current research. Television ads and social networking sites will be our primary means of advertising. Discount coupons will be mailed to loyal customers. The bar will be available for rental during off-peak hours for corporate and private functions.
 
The Battle Plan: A To-Do List
 
The concrete steps, in order, are listed here. Example:
 
  1. Secure financing
  2. Find distributor and supplier
  3. Sign Lease
  4. Find sign maker and menu printer
  5. Hire Staff and Sommelier
 
About Myself
 
What are your strong points that will increase your likelihood of success? Can you prove that you have the right education or experience to yield a winning cash flow?
 
                "My strengths include my 25 years in restaurant and retail management. My business partner has a degree in enology (winemaking) and has spent 12 years in the field of winemaking.-
 
Once you"ve gotten the basics figured out, you are ready to get started on your mission. Many local banks offer free business plan workshops and worksheets to craft your daydream into reality.

By Rita Henry
Get Wine Jobs, Contributing Editor

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