A recepie for setting up a wineshop in the middle of nowhere

Somlói Borok Boltja 
Fotó: www.gaborfoto.com

A recepie for setting up a wineshop in the middle of nowhere

Offer very expensive wines from growers no-one has ever heard of and keep your shop closed for one third of the year. Sprinkle it with next to nothing knowledge about wine and total disregard for any ‘traditional’ wisdom on building such an enterprise. Then add sales and marketing experience from an entirely different industry, a pinch of foolhardiness and a generous amount of passion for the locals and the location.

Now you are set to achieve great things.

In 3 years time, you will be running a proper small business venture. You will be well known in the national wine-scene and some will even call you an influencing factor in your new profession.You may not be hugely financially successful at this stage, although you double your sales each year, you are still investing. However, you will be referred to as the most authentic and reliable source of information in your wine-region. Your tasting events will become sold out and your other events will double in attendance each year. Winegrowers will come to you; no longer will you have to court them for their most precious wines. You will inspire new and young growers. Your wines and your shop will start to gain international acknowledgement. Locals will trust you and ask for your advice and support in local matters. Many will love, hate, envy, admire you, some stand in awe of your achievements.  Some will try to drag you down. One thing they will all do though, is wonder. Wonder about how she did it.

I did it all on Facebook.

No, seriously. I did it all on Facebook.

I never advertised anywhere else. In the beginning, I never even advertised on Facebook either. Everything so many people now know about my shop, the region, the wines, the growers, our events, our promotions – all of it came to them online, via our Facebook page.

 Yes, I was in the shop, too. But mostly I wasn’t. I was in front of my laptop – very often 2500 kms away from my shop. I know no other sales method so powerful – nothing that delivers these results with so little investment and  once you get the hang of it – so little effort.

I am  and my 60m2 tiny wine shop on this extinct remote volcano called Somlo are living proof that Social Media today is without any doubt the most powerful tool to reach, engage and grow your customer base. You simply can not ignore this – whatever business you are in.

Did I know this when I set up my business?  I didn’t. Did I know how to use Facebook? Yeah, I could just about log in (that’s a no). Would I do it the same way again? Same platform, yes, but with so little knowledge: never.

I learned the hard way. By trial and error, by just going with my gut and adjusting on the go. If I had to start again, I would definitely start by doing a proper course. On wine? No. On Facebook.

I would expand a lot sooner to other SM platforms, too. My Klout-rating on Facebook today is 74. My overall rating is 57 – because I only just started using Twitter, Instagram, and indeed – LinkedIN. I should be above 70. I will be above 70 soon. I just wish I had realised the importance of this earlier.  I could have saved so much time, money and effort.

My point?

Hate Social Media all you want. Then when you’re done resenting it, go and get someone to manage it for your business properly.

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