10 Ways to Boost Sales During Reopening

Reopening is happening, so now what? Every location will be different in their timing and regulations, but as of today, craft beverage producers are slowly beginning to reopen their doors to consumers.

Again, our community is faced with the challenge of navigating the unknown. Have you ever reopened your business after a global pandemic? I didn’t think so. (not that the health crisis is over by any means, but conditions are getting better across the globe)

There’s light at the end of the tunnel, but don’t go thinking your revenue will be all unicorns and rainbows now that you can invite consumers back to your taproom, tasting room or production facility. Continuous effort to keep increasing sales in creative ways is going to be necessary if you want to right the ship.

So here are 10 ways that you can boost sales during the reopening phase:

  1. Embrace New Income Streams: selling beer to go? Don’t ditch this income stream yet. There are rumors that e-commerce and direct to consumer sales will stick around for quite some time. States are taking notice. Your efforts in this department to increase online, delivery, and to go sales will pay off if you continue this service.
  2. Set Clear Expectations: reopening is complicated, make sure your consumers know what is expected. Post clear signage on site, post rules and regulations on your social media feeds, send out informative emails, make sure your staff is well versed about regulations and knows how to handle situations of non-compliance.
  3. Streamline Your Business Model: if you haven’t done so already, now is the time to suss out inefficiencies in your business model. Get clear on cash flow and reserves, create a NEW sales and marketing plan, diversify your income streams, and make sure your staff is properly trained.
  4. Find New Sales Opportunities: speaking of business, now would be the time to address your sales. Would it be smart to move into permanent packaging? Can we align with a distributor? Can we increase our self-distribution footprint by opening up new accounts? The taproom model is great, but after shutdown orders shocked the world, you now realize how important multiple income streams can be for your craft beverage business.
  5. Show Off Your Sanitation: craft beverage folks are great sanitizers. Guess what’s important right now with consumers? Sanitation. Go public with your cleaning and sanitization procedures to instill consumer confidence in your effort to protect their safety. Post it on social media, send emails to your fans, and upload videos to your website.
  6. Cross Promote with Other Local Businesses: many brands have already done this in order to comply with regulations that require you to serve food with alcoholic beverages. Partnering with local restaurants or food trucks is a great way to boost brand awareness and increase sales for everyone involved. You might also want to consider partnering with other local retailers or service providers to offer additional upsells to your consumers. It’s a win-win.
  7. Get Involved with Your Community: now is a great time for collaborations. Collaborate with other craft beverage brands for a united cause, local charity or foundation. Consumers love a good two-for-one punch when it comes to alcohol purchases. See if you can boost your beverage sales with a powerful community support message and communicate it with your fans.
  8. Make Marketing a Team Effort: we all know that behind the scenes marketing is one of the most effective ways to connect with consumers, so getting your entire team to pitch in is a great way to customize your branded messages. Shy head brewer? Highlight the packaging team or service staff. Have your service staff take photos and videos for you. Get creative and go public.
  9. Use Your Outdoor Space Creatively: outdoor seating is the new Hazy IPA. You need to take advantage of all approved outdoor space to generate incremental sales. Set up a beer garden, show outdoor movies, organize a “beer farmers market,” host a “picnic” night, whatever you do, make sure you’re taking full advantage of your outdoor space by securing licensed variances and hosting creative (socially distanced) promotions.
  10. Upsell, Upsell, Upsell: the simplest way for you to boost sales? Ask your customers if they want more. Sold a crowler? Want a shirt or a sticker to go with that? — Sold a pint and a meal? Do you want some beer to take home with you? — Bought products online? Do you want to join our email list? — It seems obvious, but many folks never ask. You would be surprised at how much you can increase sales just by asking.

Julie Rhodes is the owner of Not Your Hobby Marketing Solutions, an educational services company that teaches sales, marketing, and management tactics to growing craft beverage businesses through industry specific webinars, digital courses, and coaching programs. Find out more at NotYourHobbyMarketing.com or contact her directly at [email protected].

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