While attending and speaking at the 2020 Brewery Accelerator Workshop in Virginia, I answered questions following my presentation: The Brewery CFO: Accounting, Inventory, and Pricing Seminar.
Ekos Brewmaster, craft beer focused business management software, has come a long way from my first initial meeting with them after the Portland Craft Brewers Conference in 2015. Josh and Greg were new on the scene and were full of big ideas. After reviewing the product, I told them that they needed to add functionality before I could fully get behind it. It took a while, but I’m beginning to see where they are going and it’s very exciting.
Begin with the End in Mind
Your plans for any kind of administration should be based upon where you want to take the company. If you are going to be a “tasting room” only, that means that you will have to keep your overhead lean and mean. If you are planning for AB-Inbev to take you over in five years, then you had better plan to be an attractive target.
Whenever you sit down to review your financials a thought often comes to mind…how are we doing compared to other breweries? Are we as efficient as everyone else? Is anyone else making any money? Those answers are tough to come by….most craft breweries are privately owned, so we can not go to the stock market to see how our industry is doing. There is the BA benchmark study (more on that in a later post). So we need to rely on any benchmarking data that we can get our hands on.