B.C. Beer Blog

The who, what, where, when, why, and how of B.C. craft beer

Posts Tagged ‘market research

SYWTOABP: Minimum Viable Market Size

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The So You Want To Open A Brew Pub series ended many moons ago, but people still read it and it has become a valuable resource for entrepreneurs and beer aficionados. Sometimes folks leave comments and questions and sometimes they find my personal email address and write me directly. The most common question is, do I think [insert small Canadian town name] is a good spot to open a brew pub? Read the rest of this entry »

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Written by Muskie

December 1, 2013 at 12:33 pm

SYWTOABP: Top 10 Takeaways

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When I volunteered to write the “So you want to open a Brew Pub” blog post series, I had a rough idea of how many posts I was going to need to write, how much time I was going to have to spend researching costs and industry regulations, but in the end I probably spent a lot more time and energy on this series of posts than anyone expected. I tend to write lengthy rambling posts going into more detail than is necessary, so I often go back and rewrite the material into a short, snappy, Top 10 style list of key takeaways.

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SYWTOABP: Industry Research

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The So You Want to Open a Brew Pub series of blog postings is in the final stretch.  I realize I’ve done several posts on market research, but not a dedicated post on industry research.  What’s the difference you ask?  Well, I got asked that once and, basically, market research is investigating the people (businesses) who potentially would buy your product or service. Industry research is everything else: competitors, government regulations, suppliers, etc. Porter's Five Forces for Canadian Brewing Industry

A loyal reader would note we have covered government regulations and suppliers pretty thoroughly, and touched on direct competitors and less direct competition for people’s disposable income. What part of industry research have we neglected? For starters, what industry is a brew pub in?  If you answered brewing, you haven’t been paying close enough attention.  A brew pub is officially classified as part of the restaurant and food services industry. That is the industry most of my research and writing has focused on. However, some of the brew pubs in the province have had considerable success selling beer outside of their pub in kegs, bottles, and even cans.

The recent BC Business article on the craft brewing industry noted the success of Central City. They started making their beer available for purchase offsite. Now demand exceeds capacity, which isn’t a bad problem to have. Their rapid success isn’t unique. Several other BC craft brewers are noted as experiencing very healthy sales growth in the last few years. However, I have to caution anyone thinking of opening a brew pub that thinks Central City’s growth is the norm for new businesses in either food services or brewing. As Central City expands, less of their total revenue will come from retail sales at the brew pub and more will come from packaged product.  Selling bottles, kegs, and cans for consumption elsewhere is what the brewing industry is all about.

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SYWTOABP 6.5: More on market research and cashflows

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Development site at Kingsway and Broadway, Vancouver BCThis isn’t the post I wanted to write or at least planned to write this week.  The plan called for another dull list of equipment you (I) need to price out, this time for a commercial brewing operation of a size suitable for our hypothetical brew pub.  The post I wanted to write was something in my mind that I’ve dubbed “A day in the life of a brew pub brewmaster”. To that end, I’ve been beating the cyber bushes for a brew pub brewmaster who is willing to talk about their job and duties. That post, whatever number it ends up being, will happen before the series draws to a close.  I’ve been putting off doing the list of brewing equipment until after my little chat with a working brew pub brewmaster, which made sense, but has meant publishing delays…

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SYWTOABP 3: Market Research

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Longwood Brew Pub in NanaimoThe third in our series on opening a brew pub deals with market research.  Market research is the process of determining whether sufficient demand exists in the area of the province you hope to operate your establishment.  Without sufficient sales volume you will not be able to keep your brew pub running, you need to convince yourself and your potential backers that sufficient demand exists for the products and services you propose to sell.

There are three types of research your should conduct.  Market research can be further broken into two types, primary and secondary.  Primary research is carried out by the prospective business owner, asking specific questions of potential customers, or observing say the walk-by traffic at a potential location.  I won’t be doing any primary market research, but prospective brew pub owners definitely should.  Secondary market research is data which you yourself do not collect.  This includes all the information published on the Internet or in books.  Secondary market research can be very accurate and useful, but does not completely replace the need for primary market research.  The final research that needs to be undertaken is industry research.  Market research covers the people who potentially buy your goods and services, Industry research covers everything else: competitors, suppliers, government regulations, etc.

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