Regularly, the question comes up in conversation: Mary, what is it exactly that you do? The thing is, what I do just doesn't fit into a 30-second elevator speech. To best outline the type of success I bring to breweries, I would like to share my process and the key elements involved along the way.
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.
Congrats, you've been handed the best job in the world–the CFO of a brewery! Now how can you be successful in craft brewing? I’ve often told people that my job was the intersection of power, emotion and money. Since I wish that someone had sat me down and explained this industry and how it works, I'm sharing my experience in a regional craft brewery in ten distinct words of wisdom.
In early November I was surprised at the amount of Christmas decorations everywhere. I even saw a mall Christmas tree one week before Halloween! Despite the hectic feel and busyness of the season, it is still one of my favorite times of year. Most everyone is in a good mood and Christmas day is such a peaceful day. That got me thinking about breweries and how they can best navigate through the holiday season sanely and profitably.
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.