Jul 26, 2007

Wineries: You Need to Check This Out

I know I have at least a couple of winemakers on my reader list, so this one's just for you. Direct sales can be a big boon to the indie winery, and if you haven't heard of Inertia Beverage Group, you should check them out. But aside from that little plug, I have bigger and more important one. They're about to launch a free service that allows you to generate state-specific compliance forms for your direct-to-consumer sales.

Inertia Beverage Group logoThe tool will be available to any winery, not just IBG's customers, and it is compiled and maintained by what seems to be a rather reliable team of legal and wine industry experts. Just imagine what it would be like if you didn't have to wrangle with state-by-state conformance laws: you'd save time, money and headaches.

Now, I'm not affiliated with IBG in any way, shape, or form (in fact, I could consider them a competitor since I run a communications studio for a living). But I've been following their blog throughout the development of this program, and have been consistently impressed with their transparency and commitment to the industry overall. The little guys need more companies working on their behalf. This kind of tool is a great way to introduce themselves to the marketplace, while advancing the cause of direct-to-consumer trade.

Despite the controversy this is stirring up (some folks just don't trust free), I hope independent wineries give this tool a shot. No, it doesn't mean you can lose your lawyer, but it sure could help make your life easier overall. I'd love to hear what you all think of this.


Matthew Mann said...

Thanks for bringing RethinkCompliance.com to the attention of your readers. By way of full disclosure I am affiliated with IBG as the compliance specialist but I also come from a small winery background. I can comfortably say that the IBG RethinkCompliance.com site is a revolution and I only wish I had it available when I was performing the compliance tasks for the winery where I worked for over 10 years. Small winery folks wear many hats and doing compliance work is a necessary evil that isn't high on the agenda. Being able to have my reports produced from my sales data would have saved me countless hours I could have devoted to marketing our wine. I'm excited to be a part of this revolution and am hopeful wineries do themselves a favor and check out the site.

Jessie Jane said...

Matthew, I'm just excited to see a company offering such an incredible service free of charge. Indie businesses (wineries, breweries, etc) are generally doing precarious balancing acts as they fight to carve out a market segment for themselves,and anything that might help them streamline operations is okay in my book.

Of course, when dealing with legal issues and the sharing of sales information, every business owner needs to do their due diligence, but I am excited to see what the feedback is once you guys have launched RethinkCompliance.