Wine Shop

Startup Costs: $10,000 - $50,000
Franchises Available? No
Online Operation? Yes


Retailing wine can be extremely profitable. It can also be operated from a well-positioned kiosk in a mall or online, like Gary Vaynerchuk’s Empathy Wines. In the right location, walk-in customers will keep you busy selling lots of wine. But as a method to bolster sales and profits, also be sure to establish alliances with event and wedding planners, catering companies, and business clubs and associations as they can become a great source of repeat business. Like any retail business, you should try to offer your customers something the competition does not, which might include online orders, free delivery or a weekly wine tasting night. 


How much money can you make? 

As with any industry, there’s a huge range. Someone like Vaynerchuk was able to grow his family business to as much as $60 million in annual revenue over time, but there’s also significant financial risk … especially if you intend to make your own wine, rather than just sell it. Not only will you need to buy land, supplies, etc., but you might even need to inventory your wine for years before you sell. 

What kind of experience do you need to have?

As guest writer Pattie Simone outlines in this piece, the experience you need to become successful in all sorts of ways -- from healthy relationships in your community, to encyclopedic knowledge of wine-related books, to a lifetime spent within the industry. It all helps and can all make a difference.

What’s the most important thing to know about this business?

"You have to be a little nuts [to be in this business], but that's OK," says Cathy Corison, one of the first women to do cellar work in California's Napa Valley in the mid-1970's.

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