Actions for distillers to take now during the Covid-19 pandemic

There’s considerable uncertainty in the world right now, and as recession-resilient, as the spirits industry can be, it’s not immune to the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. Some existing distilleries will close. Some new distilleries won’t get the chance to get off the ground. Nonetheless, there is no better time for the well-prepared. The distilleries that have strategized, who are knowledgeable, well-financed, nimble, and diversified (those with a healthy combination of on/off-premise and affordable price points) have the potential to flourish.

Below are three steps we recommend distillers take now to safeguard the future:

  1. Center yourself and get extra clear on your definition of success.
    This pandemic will hopefully be the toughest business challenge you will face in your lifetime. As such, it presents an excellent opportunity to reflect and confirm your commitment to your business. Is it your life’s calling/purpose? Do you have the energy and resources to start back from where you were in the early years? What will your personal and financial well-being look like if it takes you 2 years to get to where you were at the end of 2019? If you have the fortitude, and the wisdom, you can work through this, and the grass will likely be even greener if you can make it to the other side.
  2. Develop a rock-solid strategic plan and financial model.
    No matter how this pandemic is affecting your business, it is vital to create a strategic plan with varying pathways and outcomes, for there is only one who is all-knowing in this unknown time, and that is neither you nor us. With plans in place, financial models need to be built to ascertain how much time you have. This is a crucial step to gain awareness of what the critical decisions and timeframes are. By assigning weights to the various outcomes, you can then make an educated and calculated risk assessment of what should even be attempted.
  3. Get your team informed and aligned, from front line workers to investors.
    GI Joe said it best, “Knowing is half the battle.” You need to prepare your team mentally and emotionally for what is at hand. Be sure that your staff, investors, and vendors are well aware of your plans. They, too, are making assumptions based on what they believe you are doing, so don’t be afraid to over-communicate. Now is the time to be sure you have the right warriors on your side and the leadership and wisdom to see them through, so, if tough conversations need to be had, have them right away.

You are an entrepreneur. It is no coincidence you have worked up to your position today. You have the characteristics to think and work through this. These times aren’t easy for anyone, but, by taking the right steps now, you can look forward to a brighter future.

If you want to talk through anything, know we are here for you, even if it is just to bend an ear.

– Scott + Team Thoroughbred

Share This Article