The Executive Summary:
Brewing Company will create and sell beer through a brick & mortar taproom located in a high traffic, gentrifying area in city. I will sell all (or nearly all) beer through the retail outlet to take advantage of full $6/16oz pricing. The taproom will feature 4 standard beers and 2 rotating/season/experimental taps when running at full capacity. Every beer brewed will be under 20 PPM gluten content. The gluten content of each batch can be viewed in the taproom or online. I fills a void in being the only gluten-reduced beer with draft offerings in Western Canada. The gluten-reduction will be advertised in such a way that Regular Joe, whom would normally turn his nose up at gluten-reduced beer, has no idea that it is. It will taste the same.
I have a couple more ideas for the business I'm not ready to put out there because I think they are truly original.
Brewing Company will sell t-shirts, hats and other merchandise in addition to beer.
Craft beer is one of the fastest growing industries in province after it became legal. There are 50+ breweries in province currently with 31 more slated to open in 2017/2018. Craft beer still only makes up 5% of beer consumed compared to 25% in neighbor province. I want to take advantage of the boom by slicing out my niche market. I will use the newest technology to allow me to fit into a lower-rent, lower-square footage retail space that would be restricted from other craft breweries.
I will brew on evenings and weekends in addition to my full-time job with the hope of scaling that back to 4 days a week after opening. I am fully prepared to work 80 hours a week to make this happen, taking no time off. I know that my age, energy, background, lack of commitments (family, house, dog) and day-to-day application of ERE can allow me to do this.
I will be owner/operator/financer/brewmaster until/unless a partner falls out of the sky. I'll hire consultants and employees as need be. My best financing options are through an 6-9% loan from the BDC or selling equity to friends/family with built in buybacks.
I want to be open in 2018 or 2019 depending on how the next year goes. Ie. finding a space, securing financing, nailing recipes etc.
I've been in contact with financiers, small business owners, brewmasters, and anyone else that will sit down with me that can offer advice. I've nearly rode my bike to every single brewery in town. The craft industry is amazingly supportive. It's an Us vs The Big Guy mentality.
Decided not to post the broken-out specifics. I will PM or Skype if you want to chat further. My capital requirements accounting for new everything (worst case) are $150K and first year op cost (worst case) are $200K.* Gross revenue could be as high as $780K (all beer sold through taproom) or as low as -$40K (all beer distributed) Canadian dollars. No craft brewer I've met in this city has had problem selling product. I assume I move everything as quickly as I can brew it. Bold but that's the evidence.
*The summary has accounted for every single thing I can think of or read of on forums and in books. Labor, tax, utilities, ingredients, renovations, glass washing equipment, the most expensive viable lease I could find, website development, marketing, brand new stainless steel, contractors, and especially the fact the Canadian peso absolutely sucks. I'd be small enough my liquor tax is near 0. Does not account for the cost of the loan.
The big picture
I want to start a business in my life. I've read E-Myth, Siddhartha, Man's Search for Meaning, Meditations, 1 Mil in the Bank etc etc (some many times) and still want to start a business. I want to create something tangible. I can't imagine a better time than right now. I have no commitments to anyone but myself.
I'm not a 10 year beer brewing hobbyist. I'm detached. I will make what sells and not what my favorite beer is. It's a science and an art but it isn't rocket science or the philharmonic orchestra.
I will make a system that anyone can run so if I want to cut ties and sell I can. I will make every part of the business so damn simple that it can be outsourced to morons if need be.
I want to be able to go into a god damn establishment and drink a god damn draft beer for once in my life.
I'm not letting my immediate family invest.
I'm not doing this to get rich. I'm doing this because I think it will be interesting. It could help me develop another, potentially significant, income stream decoupled from my primary job. If it goes well, I can ERE sooner, if not... back to square one. I have the tools to work for 5 years and retire anyway so it is low risk in that sense.
Feedback and criticism from my business owning friends
-Be prepared to have no life.
-You need a girlfriend/wife to help so you can stay sane.
-Do not take on any partners who have less to lose than you do. This probably applies to more than business.
-Do not let people give you "free" money.
-Finance as little as you need to, only use the BDC for bank loans.
-Start small and grow into it (if you want growth).
-Highly competitive market right now and that came with conflicting advice.
1. Maybe wait 3 years see where the industry is.
2. If you don't start now, when?
“When you throw a stone into the water, it falls quickly by the fastest route to the bottom of the pond. This is the way it is when Siddhartha has an aim, an intention. Siddhartha does nothing – he waits, he thinks, he fasts – but he passes through the things of the world like the stone through the water, without bestirring himself. He is drawn forward and he lets himself fall. His goal draws himself to it, for he lets nothing enter his mind that interferes with the goal. This is what Siddhartha learned from the shramanas. This is what fools call magic, thinking that it is brought about by demons. Nothing is brought about by demons; demons do not exist. Anyone can do magic, anyone can reach his goals if he can think, wait, and fast.”
Thanks for reading through, it felt great to write it all out. Now please... shoot as many holes through it as you can. Edited for spelling.