When you first turned your dream of owning a winery or distillery into a reality, you probably had a detailed business plan in place—and a very good one at that. You hired a few employees and before long, business was booming, and you were making a tidy profit.

Fast forward a few years and throw in a recession or two, and suddenly things aren’t going quite as well as you expected.

Chances are you hadn’t realized that managing a successful winery or distillery takes considerable more skill and time than you thought it would…or that managing your employees would be far more time consuming—and stressful–than you ever imagined.

You’re probably wondering what happened.

Most likely, it’s a combination of factors. For one, there’s probably more competition than there was a few years ago. Then there are taxes, payroll, inventory costs, and complex regulations to deal with, not to mention hiring and training new employees.

And that business plan you so carefully developed? It’s probably been gathering dust instead of evolving into a strategic plan that will carry your business forward for the next several years.

Now, what?

Take Control of Your Business — Cook CPA Group is Here to Help

At Cook CPA Group in Roseville, our tax and accounting professionals specialize in CPA services for wineries and distilleries. As a CPA for wineries, we work with businesses like yours every day. As your trusted business advisor, we don’t just prepare your tax return or file your quarterly estimated taxes we also help you navigate an increasingly complex regulatory environment.

But even more than that, because we have a firm grasp on your financials, we can assist you in developing a strategic plan based on hard numbers and taking into account strengths and weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) in support of your long-term business objectives.

And when you work with a trusted CPA for wineries and distilleries like us, we help you gain the competitive advantage you need to succeed.

What is SWOT?

SWOT is an acronym for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. It provides a framework that businesses like yours can use to evaluate factors crucial to their success–factors such as debt burden, cost structure, or maybe even why other wineries and distilleries in Placer County and the Sacramento Valley with comparable products are priced lower than yours.

As the Sacramento Valley’s top CPA for wineries and distilleries, Cook CPA Group has many years of experience helping businesses like yours with a SWOT analysis. Please call if you need assistance!

Developing a Strategic Plan for Wineries

Once your SWOT analysis is complete, the next step is to develop your strategic plan, which typically includes several broad strategies to meet your company’s long-term goals. It also includes short and long-term programs to carry out these strategies, as well as metrics and milestones.

Your strategic plan should align with your company’s financials, and that’s why hiring an experienced CPA for wineries (or one that provides CPA services for distilleries) like Cook CPA Group is essential to your long-term success.

You also need a team of employees who understand and can execute your strategic plan. Key personnel should be assigned to implement short and long-term programs and equally important, held responsible for meeting agreed upon milestones and metrics.

Tips for Managing Employees

Most winery and distillery owners find that it’s difficult to balance training and nurturing existing employees and hiring new, perhaps more experienced and professional staff, who require additional expenditures of cash. However, to grow your business in the coming years, it’s necessary to invest in employee development through training (including leadership training).

Because Cook CPA Group specializes in providing accounting services for distilleries and wineries like yours, we understand the challenges you face. We partner and work closely with many wineries and distilleries throughout the Sacramento Valley and Placer County. We’ve noticed that happy employees tend to lead to increased profitability, so we’d like to share a few suggestions regarding employee management:

  • Training – Employees whose job skills are regularly enriched by training feel more skilled — and more valued. Plan a training program that involves carefully selected methods and content. You’ll need to determine whether to do the training in-house or via an outside vendor. An outside vendor may cost more upfront, but it could save you time in planning and present the curriculum more effectively.
  • Engage – The best way to retain your employees is to engage and challenge them. Inform workers about career paths or development opportunities within the company and encourage them to reach higher. A company with a highly engaged workforce tends to have a much better retention rate than its peers.
  • Balance – In today’s increasingly hectic world, “work-life balance” is more important than ever to your employees. As an employer there are many measures you can take–but you need to ask your employees what’s important to them, whether it’s part-time work opportunities off-season, telecommuting several days a week or flex schedules.
  • Recognize – Employees are more than just a line item on the payroll sheet. Of course, you already know this and appreciate your employees’ hard work, but sometimes there’s a need for recognition of a job well done, whether it’s an award or monetary compensation (or both).

When Cook CPA Group provides tax, accounting, and CPA services for wineries and distilleries like yours, we not only take care of the accounting end of your business. We also help you understand labor costs, use proven tax strategies to minimize your taxes, and identify ways to compensate your employees–without reducing your profits.
Is it time to get your business back on track?

Call Cook CPA Group today at (916) 724-1665 and find out what CPA services for distilleries we offer and how we can help your business develop a strategic plan and help you achieve the success you deserve this year and every year.